Getting Close to Freestyle Champions

I’m a social media ghostwriter, which means I write articles for entrepreneurs. But every now and then, I get a ridiculously plum assignment. This week, the resort gave me a press pass so I could hang out and blog about the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup.

This being Deer Valley, I was repeatedly reminded to visit the VIP tent and indulge in the feast inside. Not wanting to offend, I obliged.
FIS desert2
Woven into the offerings were many of Stein Eriksen’s favorite foods. Earlier in the day the resort held a celebration of the late Director of Skiing’s life. On Thursday evening, a spotlight created Stein’s figure in the powder adjacent to the mogul run; it looked like Stein was skiing perfectly – as always – down the side of the mountain.

The moguls competition took place on the Champion ski run, which ends perhaps four hundred yards above the Snow Park Lodge at the base of the resort. This run was created specifically to host the mogul competition at the 2002 Olympics.

Champion is one of the best, and toughest, mogul runs you will find anywhere.

If you’ve never been to one of these World Cup events, add it to your bucket list. Even without a press pass, you’ll get to rub shoulders with world-class athletes, something that seldom happens in other sporting events. During the competition and the training runs that preceded it, Big Stick, the ski run right next to Champion, remained open. I spent some time watching the competitors check out the jumps. They repeatedly slid slowly onto the jump, getting a sense of the incline but not actually jumping

Here’s Jae-Woo Choi of Korea doing exactly what I just described.

Men training moguls

Back in the spectator area, it was especially fun to watch the Dufour-Lapointe sisters: Justine, Chloe and Maxime. Last week in Quebec they made history by finishing 1,2 and 3, respectively, in the World Cup event there. This may be the only time that three siblings have swept the top three positions in any world class athletic event.

During qualifying, the sisters regrouped right after their runs to watch themselves on video. The three sisters were just hanging out, with spectators all around them. These are serious athletes who don’t take themselves too seriously.

sisters

That’s Chloe in the yellow vest, which means she is the current overall World Cup leader in the moguls event.

Their strategy is working incredibly well. In the finals here, Justine took first, Chloe third, and Maxime ended up in fourth.

In between events at the World Cup, there’s plenty of time to ski. After the qualifying event, I managed to find both soft bumps and powder. Yes, three days after the last storm, there’s still plenty of fresh lines in the woods; that’s what I love about Deer Valley. Here, most people ski the groomed trails, leaving immense amounts of pristine woods available to anyone with the desire to check them out.

I don’t mean to exaggerate, but I skied a bit better after watching the world’s best mogul skiers.

The two lessons I took away were:

1. Always point your upper body downhill. It’s the only way to be ready for the next turn.

2. Don’t waste motion. The mogul competitors keep their bodies incredibly quiet, which is why they are able to absorb so many bumps so fast. In contrast, a typical skier moves so much that he or she needs a lot of time to prepare for the next turn.

Gotta run now. It’s Friday morning and a full day of Aerial competition lies ahead.

Author profile: Bruce Kasanoff
Bruce Kasanoff DVblog

Bruce Kasanoff is a ghostwriter, LinkedIn Influencer and Forbes contributor, which basically means he writes a lot, and skis when he’s not writing. Before shifting west, he coached six to eight-year-old skiers in the seasonal program at Stratton Mountain.

Bruce is the author of numerous books including How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk, a little book about doing well by doing good. He conducts regular online workshops about Growing Your Career with Social Media.

Whenever possible, Bruce heads into the woods at Deer Valley, in both summer and winter.

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