Kuhn Fourth, Lillis Fifth in Ruka World Cup
The U.S. Aerials Ski Team has a strong showing at the first FIS Freestyle World Cup aerials event of the season in Ruka, Finland. Kaila Kuhn was the top American woman, finishing just off the podium in fourth place, while Olympic gold medalist Chris Lillis was the top man in fifth place.
The women’s team jumped well on a classic cold and clear evening in Finland, with all four women qualifying for finals. Both Kuhn and Winter Vinecki made it to the super finals, and Kuhn put down a strong jump to just miss the podium by less than 2 points. Winter Vinecki had a little trouble on her landing which bumped her down to sixth place. Olympic bronze medalist Megan Nick was seventh and Dani Loeb was 12th.
On the men’s side, Olympic champions Justin Schoenefeld and Lillis qualified for finals with Lillis moving to super finals. Lillis pushed the degree of difficulty throughout the night, but couldn’t quite find the podium to finish in fifth. Schoenefeld was eighth. In his first World Cup, 18-year-old Ian Schoenwald just missed qualifying for finals, finishing in 13th place. Connor Curran, Quinn Dehlinger and Derek Krueger also competed and did not qualify for finals.
Next, the aerials team heads back to the states for training and doesn’t compete again till the end of January. The moguls team heads over to Idre Fjall, Sweden on Monday for a moguls and dual moguls competition. The team has had success at the venue, including four podiums in 2021.
Several Top 10 Results in Ruka
The U.S. Freestyle Moguls Team had six athletes in the top 10 at the debut World Cup of the season in Ruka, Finland.
Olivia Giaccio led the women's team in fourth, with teammate Jaelin Kauf right behind in fifth place. Elizabeth Lemley, an up-and-coming talent on the team, finished in seventh.
For the men, Nick Page led the way with a fourth-place finish with teammates Dylan Walczyk and Cole McDonald in seventh and eighth.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Extends Partnership with Intermountain Healthcare Through the 2022-23 Season
U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced the extension of its partnership with Intermountain Healthcare (to be known as Intermountain Health in 2023) as its official medical provider through the 2022-23 season. Intermountain Healthcare will also serve as the title partner of the Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort on Feb. 2-4, 2023.
“We are excited to extend our partnership and to continue this great relationship with Intermountain,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, President and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “They have an exceptional reputation for their patient care and have played an important role in our organization for years by ensuring that athletes, coaches and staff are physically and mentally healthy on and off the snow.”
As the official medical provider of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, Intermountain Healthcare will continue to provide high-quality services including sports medicine, strength and conditioning, nutrition and psychology to athletes, coaches and staff. On and off the hill, the providers at Intermountain Healthcare will continue to work with our athletes both on the national and club levels and help them in their quest to become the best in the world, including at Intermountain’s Park City Hospital next door to U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s USANA Center of Excellence headquarters.
Intermountain Healthcare will also return as the title sponsor for the premier domestic freestyle event: the Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle (to be known as Intermountain Health in 2023) International at Deer Valley. As the title sponsor, all aerials, moguls and dual moguls athletes will again have the Intermountain Healthcare logo on their bibs throughout the competition that brings the world’s best freestyle athletes to Park City, Utah. The FIS Freestyle World Cup will once again be under the lights at night and thousands of fans are expected to attend.
ABOUT U.S. SKI & SNOWBOARD
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the USA, based in Park City, Utah. Tracing its roots directly back to 1905, the organization represents nearly 200 elite skiers and snowboarders in 2022, competing in seven teams; alpine, cross country, freeski, freestyle, snowboard, nordic combined, and ski jumping. In addition to the fully-funded elite teams, U.S. Ski & Snowboard also provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders across the USA, encouraging and supporting them in achieving excellence. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers, and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success, and the value of team. For more information, visit www.usskiandsnowboard.org.
Freestyle Jump Qualifications
2022-23 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Announced
U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced today a 26-athlete roster making up the 2022-23 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team. This season will see freestyle compete in 37 World Cup events across eight countries, including the 2023 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in Bakuriani, Georgia in February. This is Georgia’s first FIS World Championships and marks the first time freestyle skiers will compete in the country.
The 2022-23 team boasts breadth and depth of talent, including five 2022 Olympic medalists: Ashley Caldwell (gold, mixed team aerials), Jaelin Kauf (silver, women’s moguls), Chris Lillis (gold, mixed team aerials), Megan Nick (bronze, women’s aerials) and Justin Schoenefeld (gold, mixed team aerials). Three new faces join the freestyle ranks, including Derek Kreuger (aerials), Charlie Mickel (moguls D) and Sami Worthington (moguls D).
“Freestyle is heading into 2022-23 with a lot of well-earned momentum,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Freestyle Director Matt Gnoza. “We brought home five Olympic medals and had five each moguls athletes and aerials athletes finish in the top 10 in Beijing. The 2021-22 season was incredibly challenging and I am proud of the team and the team behind the team for persevering and coming out on top. Both teams have been hard at work this prep period. Our veteran athletes are training with confidence and the new blood we have keeps things fresh for morale. I look forward to seeing what 2022-23 has in store.”
The 2022-23 season will see the return of the Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International under the lights at Deer Valley, February 2-4. American freestyle fans will have much to celebrate watching their hometown Olympians lay it all on the snow at the storied 2002 Olympic venue.
The freestyle season kicks off December 3-4 with Aerials and Moguls FIS World Cup Openers in Ruka, Finland.
2022-23 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team
(Hometown; Club; Birthdate)
U.S. Aerial Ski Team
- Quinn Dehlinger (Cincinnati, Ohio; Elite Aerial Development Program; 6/8/02)
- Chris Lillis (Pittsford, N.Y.; Bristol Mountain Freestyle Team; 10/4/98)
- Eric Loughran (Pelham, N.H.; Loon Mountain Freestyle; 12/4/95)
- Derek Kreuger (Cleveland, Ohio; Park City Ski & Snowboard; 6/2/03)
- Justin Schoenefeld (Lawrenceburg, Ind.; Elite Aerial Development Program; 8/13/98)
- Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, Va.; Elite Aerial Development Program; 9/14/93)
- Karenna Elliott (Cincinnati, Ohio; Park City Ski and Snowboard, 5/24/00)
- Kaila Kuhn (Boyne City, Mich.; Park City Ski and Snowboard; 4/8/03)
- Dani Loeb (Pintlala, Ala.; Park City Ski and Snowboard; 8/10/01)
- Megan Nick (Shelburne, Vt.; Elite Aerial Development Program; 7/9/96)
- Megan Smallhouse (Reno, Nev.; Park City Ski and Snowboard; 1/16/01)
- Tasia Tanner (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard; 7/26/02)
- Winter Vinecki (Gaylord, Mich.; Park City Ski and Snowboard; 12/18/98)
Coaches and Staff
- Aerials Head Coach: Vladimir Lebedev
- Aerials World Cup Assistant Coach: Stanislav Kravchuk
- Aerials Assistant Coach: Matt DePeters
- Aerials Physical Therapist: Peter Toohey
U.S. Moguls Ski Team
- Cole McDonald (Park City, Utah; Wasatch Freestyle; 3/6/03)
- Nick Page (Park City, Utah; Wasatch Freestyle Foundation; 8/1/02)
- Olivia Giaccio (Redding, Conn.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club; 8/15/00)
- Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 6/19/00)
- Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club; 9/26/96)
- Elizabeth Lemley (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 1/22/06)
- Kai Owens (Vail, Colo.; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail; 8/16/04)
- Hannah Soar (Somers, Conn.; Killington Mountain School; 6/4/99)
- Kasey Hogg (Park City, Utah; Wasatch Freestyle Foundation; 1/8/03)
- Ali Macuga (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski & Snowboard; 9/24/03)
- Dylan Marcellini (Walnut Creek, Calif.; Wasatch Freestyle; 9/29/02)
- Charlie Mickel (Durango, Colo.: Durango Winter Sports Club, Wasatch Freestyle; 7/06/04)
- Sami Worthington (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski & Snowboard, Wasatch Freestyle; 6/15/04)
Coaches and Staff
- Moguls Head Coach: Bryon Wilson
- Moguls World Cup Assistant Coach: Caleb Martin
- Moguls D Team Coach: Josh Krober
- Moguls Physical Therapist: Jill Radzinski
U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Staff
- Freestyle Program Director: Matt Gnoza
- Freestyle High Performance Coach: Maddison Beck
- Freestyle Sport Psychologist: Alex Cohen
- Freestyle Team Manager: Tami Strong
- Freestyle Sport Development Coordinator: Erin McNeely
- Freestyle Regional Coordinator: Deb Newson
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