Three Women In Top Six At Deer Valley World Cup
The pressure was on for the U.S. women's mogul team in the final Olympic qualifying event of the season, with six women qualifying for the first final to be held on the Champion course and four women on the brink of securing an Olympic bid. Olivia Giaccio, Elizabeth Lemley, and Kai Owens finished just off the podium in Friday's super final at the Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort. Tess Johnson, Hannah Soar, and Jaelin Kauf did not qualify for the super final.
Soar and Kauf, who met criteria to be nominated to the 2022 Olympic team prior to the Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International, qualified for the first final, but not the second, finishing seventh and 14th respectively. Between Johnson, Giaccio, Lemley, and Owens, competition for a shot at Beijing was tight.
Giaccio led the fight for the third criteria spot heading into Deer Valley, so it was imperative for the women who wanted to compete on the Olympic stage to do well in order to secure their place on the team. Johnson just missed the cut to compete in Friday's super final and finished the day in ninth, leaving the podium open for Giaccio, Lemley, and Owens. Unfortunately, none of the U.S. women could capitalize in the super final, and the trio finished fourth, fifth, and sixth.
21-year-old Giaccio, who made history in the Tremblant World Cup when she became the first woman to ever land a cork 10 in World Cup competition, and secured a World Cup win in Ruka in December, objectively met criteria when she and her teammates came up short of a podium in the super final.
"The contrast between the last Olympic qualifying season and this one, it's been so much more fun this season and I've just been kind of leaning into the pressure and performing the way that I want to," commented Giaccio. "All I really wanted to do was ski three clean runs the best that I could and I'm really happy with my process and how I accomplished that; there's a lot of great women's skiing out there today."
15-year-old Lemley and 17-year-old Owen's final scores suffered from small kick-outs. They finished the day fifth and sixth.
Brad Wilson and Cole McDonald qualified to represent the U.S. in the men's final but did not make the cut to fight for a podium in the super final. Wasatch Freestyle alumni and Park City local McDonald finished 15th. Wilson just missed the top six mark, finishing seventh overall in the final Deer Valley World Cup of his career.
"I literally was crying. I was talking about it all day, that this was my last time here at Deer Valley, and I was fine," said Wilson. "Then as soon as it actually happened, knowing it was my last run here, I just lost it. This place has been so good to me, this course is incredible, the event is so much fun, and it's such a legendary place and I'm just so happy that I was able to be a part of it."
HOW TO WATCH
*All times EST.
Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022
12:30 p.m. Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International Men and Women's Moguls - next-day broadcast, Deer Valley, UT, Broadcast CNBC
2:00 p.m. Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International Men and Women's Aerials - delayed broadcast, Deer Valley, UT, Broadcast CNBC
Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022
12:00 p.m. FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup, Freeski & Snowboard Halfpipe – delayed broadcast, Mammoth, USA, Broadcast NBC
1:30 p.m. Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International Men and Women's Moguls - delayed broadcast, Deer Valley, UT, Broadcast NBC
Sport-specific broadcast and streaming schedules are available below:
Broadcast and streaming schedules are updated daily throughout the season.