Johnson Third in Tremblant, Lemley Fourth in World Cup Debut
Tess Johnson claimed her second World Cup podium of the season with a third-place finish Friday at the FIS Moguls World Cup in Tremblant, Canada. Elizabeth Lemley had quite the performance in her first World Cup appearance, finishing fourth.
“I’m feeling really happy, I just had so much fun today, and I’m really proud to land on the podium after a stressful Christmas and only two days of training,” said Johnson from the finish. “I took it one run at a time and just focused my attention toward my queues. I also want to congratulate Liz for such an incredible debut. We were only 0.01 points apart, so in a way I share this success with her. It’s always so fun to ski in a Supers with teammates.”
“This whole season, Tess has a fire going on, with her intensity and her positivity,” said Mogul World Cup Coach Bryon Wilson. “She’s approaching every competition with a very clear objective, and she’s executing. She’s been very consistent.”
Johnson shared the podium with first-place finisher Japan’s Anri Kawamura and France’s Perrine Laffont in second.
After clearing active snow guns from the course, athletes were treated to a beautiful bluebird day. Johnson reported the course to be in prime condition with consistent pitch, minus a few tactical spots, “the top section and top air exit were big focus points for us,” explained Wilson. “More aggressive skiing on the top section set the tone for the rest of the run.”
The Americans didn’t miss a beat coming off their brief holiday break. Three men and four women qualified for finals.
Lemley made an impressive statement in her first World Cup competition, going huge in her airs and pushing speed all day. Her super finals run earned her a score of 79.24, just 0.01 points off the podium behind Johnson. Lemley attributes her success to feeling good and having fun in the moment. “ I had a ton of fun today. All of my mental thoughts were really good. I think the course was fabulous and it’s always great to ski a nice course. Everything about [today] was fun, and I just felt really strong.”
“Liz’s performance was outstanding today,” said Wilson. “It’s not every day you have a young woman come into this field and do what she did. It’s a very competitive field out there, but she didn't let it bother her at all. She owned it and belonged. She has a bright future in the sport for sure.”
Olivia Giaccio built upon her momentum from early season and skied strong all day. Her top full to bottom cork Super Finals run earned a score of 77.04 for a sixth-place finish. Avital Carroll also had a solid day, skiing into 12th place in her first World Cup of the season.
Nick Page, Cole McDonald, and Dylan Walczyk all represented the U.S. in finals on the men's side. Page laid down a fierce run, scoring high in his airs and turns, but narrowly missed the super final round by 0.44 with his score of 79.60. Walczyk finished 11th. McDonald skied well through qualifiers and was having a good finals run, but got a little anxious on his bottom air and DNFed, to end the day in 16th.
Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury won his 69th World Cup on home snow, Sweden’s Walter Wallberg finished second, and Japan’s Ikuma Hiroshima came in third.
Madison Hogg came in 28th, Jesse Andringa came in 18th, George McQuinn in 29th, and Brad Wilson in 30th.
Friday’s competition represented the first of the last four Olympic qualifying events for American mogul skiers. On top of the added Olympic pressure, athletes are navigating an increasingly isolating experience due to tight COVID protocols. “Although it’s been stressful for everybody in trying to be as careful as we can, we were still able to have a great competition,” said Wilson. “The athletes take that adversity and handle it well. There were lots of smiles [today], and that’s always key for us – to enjoy what we do and put on a good performance.”
“I am just so thankful to Alexis (our team manager) and our staff for getting us here. It was a massive challenge,” added Johnson.
Moguls continues competition tomorrow with another World Cup on the Tremblant course.
HOW TO WATCH
Broadcast and streaming are updated on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard website throughout the season.