The 2013 FIS Freestyle World Cup opener starts on Saturday, January 5th in Changchun, China. American ski fans will be able to catch Olympians Emily Cook and Dylan Feguson as they lead the U.S. Freestyle Aerials team against steep international competition.
The team saw a strong start with four podiums at the Columbia Super Continental Cup in Park City, Utah last week. They're looking to bring that same intensity to the Changchun opener and the rest of the season.
“The athletes are jumping well after a great prep period and posted strong results at the Columbia Super Continental Cup at the Utah Olympic Park prior to traveling to China,” said Todd Schirman, Freestyle Program Director. “We have severa
l new athletes in China and this will be great international experience as we head towards the Olympic test event in Sochi and the upcoming World Championships. China always has a strong event and we are looking forward to getting the season started.”
Absent from the opener will be Olympic and World Cup aerialist Ashley Caldwell, who was injured in a crash last month in Park City. She will be out for the rest of the season. Scotty Bahrke is also going to be absent this season in order to commit his total focus to the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi.
Bahrke talked about coming to his decision, explaining, “After a lot of thought this summer I've decided to take the season off from competitive skiing. The decision wasn't an easy one but it's led me to some great new opportunities! I'm now a student at Westminster College and couldn't be more excited to start. This time off will allow me to refocus and be even more prepared for the 2014 Games.”
After the opening event in China this weekend, the team will then head back to North America for an event in Val Saint-Come, Canada on January 12. Then it’s back to the states for the USANA Lake Placid Freestyle Cup on January 17-19.