Freestyle Programs

Kearney Leads Sochi Qualifications

by
USSA
2014-02-06 10:15
 

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Feb. 6) – Women's moguls kicked off Thursday with the first round of Olympic qualifications. Defending Olympic champion Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) took the top spot and Eliza Outtrim (Hamden, CT) finished fourth, automatically advancing them to the semifinal round of 20. Kearney is gunning for her second gold medal and would be the only freestyle skier to ever win back-to-back gold. Thursday was the first time the new competition format was used in the Olympics as well as the first time the athletes used it this season. Women’s finals are set for Saturday Feb. 8, and men’s qualifications and finals are both scheduled for Monday Feb. 10.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Women's moguls kicked off Thursday with the first round of Olympic qualifications. Defending Olympic champion Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) took the top spot and Eliza Outtrim (Hamden, CT) took fourth, automatically advancing them to the semifinal round of 20.
  • Kearney is gunning for her second gold medal and would be the only freestyle skier to ever win back-to-back gold.
  • This is the first time the new format has been used in the Olympics as well as the first time the athletes have used it this season.
  • In the new format, all 30 athletes take one run and the top 10 automatically advance to semifinals. The remaining 20 take another run and the top 10 from that round make up the final 20 going into semifinals. The 20 then ski with the top 12 of that round advancing to finals. Then the top six from the final advance to the super final round to compete for the podium.
  • Athletes could take a total of five runs using this format, which favors the strongest, best-trained athletes that can endure the extended format.
  • Thursday was only the first round of qualifications, where Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT) laid down a solid run finishing 14th. She will have to ski an extra run and earn a top 10 spot on Saturday to advance to the top 20 semifinal round.
  • Team USA freestyle moguls skier Heidi Kloser (Vail, CO) is being treated for a right knee injury after crashing on the top jump during moguls qualifications training Thursday at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. She was transported from the hill to the nearby poly clinic in the athlete village for evaluation.
  • The qualification took place on a clear night under the lights while the sunset painted the surrounding peaks a bright shade of orange and pink.
  • Women’s finals are set for Saturday Feb. 8, and men’s qualifications and finals are both scheduled for Monday Feb. 10.

QUOTES
Hannah Kearney
It didn't feel like the Olympics until I was standing at the top watching Eliza at the gate and I took a second and looked at our Olympic bibs. Then it hit me that we're here.

I always ski better after I get the first one out of the way. I was a little frustrated that I didn't fully get my grab on the bottom air. I did in practice, which is frustrating that I didn't do it when it counted but also encouraging knowing I'm totally capable of getting it. 

The new format is good for us because I can say quite confidently that we are the most fit and the strongest team out there. If you've seen the Center of Excellence in Utah you'd know that it's the nicest training venue you could ask for. We're all ready to ski a lot of runs in a row.

RESULTS
Official Qualification Results

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