No Retina
XS Screen (480px)
SM+ Screen
SM Screen (768px)
SM- Screen
MD+ Screen
MD Screen (992px)
MD- Screen
LG+ Screen
LG Screen (1200px)
LG- Screen
XL+ Screen (1600px)

Vinecki Wins, Curran Second in Deer Valley Aerials

By Leann Bentley - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
February, 2 2024
winter vinecki
Winter Vinecki celebrates atop the podium at the Intermountain Health Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Dustin Satloff)

Under the lights and in front of a deafening crowd at the Intermountain Health Freestyle International at Deer Valley, the Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerials athletes put on a show, with Winter Vinecki winning her third World Cup of the 2023-24 season and Connor Curran taking home his first career World Cup victory.

The weather was not in the athletes’ favor, with heavy snowfall through qualifications slowing down the snow, ultimately taking away the triple jump opportunity from the athletes due to unsafe conditions. All athletes could only go off the double jump, which made it a different ballgame. Most of the men compete triples, as well as some of the women, with many not training doubles regularly.

Going into qualifications, where the top 12 advance through to finals, the U.S. women put an impressive seven into the finals, led by Karenna Elliot qualifying in second place. For the men, three advanced through, stacking the finals lineup on both sides with American athletes. 

In the finals, the men and women went one after the other. Kaila Kuhn landed the second best score and advanced easily to super finals, alongside Vinecki and teammate Tasia Tanner. Vinecki, who has been the only woman throwing triples in competition, needed to put her best double tricks down alongside the strong field of women. The same rang true for the men. 

Curran, who stated he wasn’t “throwing his best tricks in training” easily advanced through to finals, winning qualifications. Going into the finals with confidence, Curran then moved to super finals alongside his teammate and Olympic champion Chris Lillis.

At the end of the night under the Deer Valley lights, it was six women and six men in the super finals. Vinecki threw down a back-double-full-full, besting all of the competitors and skied into the finish area, all smiles to take her fourth career win. Vinecki further solidified herself as the strongest aerials athlete on the circuit, continuing to lead the overall World Cup standings

“I had to throw a trick that I only had done once in training her in the last two months,” said Vinecki. “I’m happy to have just put it to my feet and excited to be on top! It’s incredible. All of my family is right here and just got to see me win—I’m so happy.” 

On the men’s side, Curran successfully landed a full-double-full, scoring a 102.22, putting him into first place. He was only barely beaten by Alexandre Duchaine of Canada, who threw a back-double-full-double-full, one of the most complex tricks to throw in competition, to best Curran’s score by less than a half of a point, landing a 102.57. With that, Curran, who was part of Park City Ski & Snowboard before he made the Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, stepped on the podium for the first time on his home course. Lillis finished the evening just off the podium in fourth place. 

“I’m really excited,” said Curren. “I think that’s about it. I don’t know how to really describe it; I’m just so excited. I had no idea. I’m just so glad I got to be here—I was just focusing on the jump I was going to do and make it to my feet. At the end, I was just trying to beat myself.”

Curren’s career-best place before tonight was 13th at the 2023 Intermountain Health Freestyle International at Deer Valley. One year later, the young star was on the podium, making a mark with a second place in one of the more challenging World Cups on the circuit. “It means the absolute world,” he said. “I can’t wait to do it again. It’s always been a dream to podium here at Deer Valley. I’m just so stoked that I got my dream going.”