American ski sensation Hannah Kearney was the big story today at the 2013 Voss FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships. Crowds were amped as the Vermont native turned in near perfect runs to earn herself a second career world championship title. On a day that saw firm snow conditions that allowed all skiers to turn in fast times, Kearney was able to impress the judges by pulling off the fastest times, the cleanest turns, and the biggest airs of the pack. Kearney’s gold place finish makes her only the third woman in history to earn two World Championship titles in moguls.
Following the day’s intense action, Kearney spoke to reporters about her record setting performance, battling back from injury, and her desire to stay successful.
“In this sport you have to be on top of your game all the time or your career isn’t going to be successful.” Kearney explained, “There are always new athletes coming up the line and new tricks to perfect it’s a constant game, and it’s a pressure that I put on myself. I have to say that my injury this season definitely helped me keep my focus. When I was watching my competitors train and compete it only pushed me to not be complacent and to never take my health for granted. It became my epic challenge to battle back and fight for that yellow bib. I put the pressure on myself today to elevate my skiing to where the competition was. That’s what I have to do at every event in order to be successful. Whether it’s a World Cup, World Champs or the Olympics. Moguls is a difficult sport and often inconsistent so to be able to say I won this event eight years ago is a testament to the consistency of my skiing. That’s something I’m extremely proud of.”
Kearney wasn’t the only American to turn in a solid performance. The 2009 World Champion, Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA), earned a bronze medal after throwing a D7 on the top air and a huge back X on the bottom. After qualifying second, Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) ended the competition in fourth, partly due to her decision to go big on the top air, which caused a slight deviation in her run after landing. Moguls Head Coach, Scott Rawles, spoke to reporters about the success of his team.
“Today was a great day for the moguls team.” He said, “We qualified all eight of our athletes from yesterday for the finals today. Hannah came out and performed at an exceptionally high level even for her today. Her runs were fast and dynamic and she nailed both of her jumps on both runs. Quite an accomplishment to be World Champion again after her last title in 2005. Patrick Deneen skied the fastest run in the final and had an excellent result in third place. Heather McPhie threw a back full and a D-Spin in one run which is the highest degree of difficulty ever performed at World Championships in moguls. She had a couple of difficulties on her exit out of the top air but I couldn’t be prouder that she threw everything she had out there. We are right back at it tomorrow morning for dual mogul qualifying and I think the whole team and staff are looking forward to the event on Friday.”