Moguls Returns to North America and to Competition
The U.S. Moguls Team returns to North America and the FIS World Cup circuit with a moguls event Jan. 12 in WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Rearing to get back in the gates, the Americans were looking sharp and on point during Thursday’s training.
“I’m really excited to get back into the swing of things. I love the North American part of the tour and am really stoked this year to compete with my family supporting me here in Calgary!” said Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.) who coming off back-to-back podiums from Thaiwoo, China, dons the yellow bib for the women.
The Calgary course is a “skiers’ course,” says Moguls World Cup Coach Caleb Martin. “The teardrop profile is classic. Halfway down the course the pitch drops to about 34 degrees leading into the bottom airs and across the finish line. It takes tremendous precision to slow down for the bottom air.”
The course is set and thanks to an abundance of man-made snow, the profile is consistent. The snow in Calgary has been dry and chalky, with skier traffic it loosens up nicely.
“I’m pretty excited for this contest. Calgary is always pretty challenging and, generally, the more technical skiers shine, which I think is cool,” said Hunter Bailey (Vail, Colo.). Bailey gave Ikuma Horishima (Japan) a run for his money during the Duals competition in Thaiwoo and has been skiing consistently well.
Other men to watch are Brad Wilson (Butte, Mont.) and Casey Andringa (Boulder, Colo.), who finished 6th and 7th in Calgary last season. “Casey Andringa is ready to pop, Calgary could be just what the doctor ordered,” said Martin.
Leading the women is Kauf, who's first in the FIS rankings by just five points over Perrine Laffont (France) and Yuliya Galysheva (Kazakhstan). Fellow American Tess Johnson(Vail, Colo.), currently ranked fifth in FIS standings, has the skiing to perform well on this kind of pitch. Kauf and Johnson hope to stand together on the podium this season, and Calgary could be where the magic happens.