Olympic Hopefuls Compete in the World Freestyle Championships at Deer Valley and Park City
by Jill Adler
A little blustery weather may have shut down the upper lifts at Park City Mountain Resort this Saturday but it wasn’t enough to stop the FIS World Freestyle Halfpipe Championships from going off without a hitch.
After a tremendous inaugural slopestyle competition for skiing athletes on Friday, all eyes- as in IOC, the Olympic governing body- turned to the men and women throwing down in PCMR’s Eagle Superpipe. Deer Valley Resort regularly hosts the World Freestyle Mogul and Aerial Championships but with the IOC considering skiing slopestyle and halfpipe for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, (ski cross was introduced in 2010) it was time to stage some world-class action.
“Deer Valley came to us and asked if we would host (the events),” said PCMR’s Krista Parry. “It went really well.” And because of the Olympic carrot, athletes fresh off the Winter X Games took an aggressive interest in a World Cup event.
Park City local Jen Hudak was the number one qualifier going into Saturday’s halfpipe finals.
Hudak needed a bomber second run to upset what was looking like a Canadian shut out. Hudak laid down a big and technical run, which began with a smooth 900, to bump Keltie Hansen onto the bronze platform so Hudak could take the World Championship silver.
Canadian Rosalind Groenewoud won gold.
The athletes move on to the Winter Dew Tour Toyota Championship. The culminating event lands at Snowbasin in Ogden this Thursday, Feb. 10-13. The top competitors in freeskiing and snowboarding will compete in slopestyle and superpipe.
Jill Adler is an award-winning outdoors writer and broadcaster based in Park City, Utah. As a professional skier, rock climber, kayaker, hiker and mom, she goes out of her way to play hard and tell about it. To find out more or to send her a note, follow her on Twitter @pcskigal.