Freestyle

Podium for Wilson in World Cup Finale

by
USSA
2017-02-26 01:04
 

CHONGLI, China (Feb. 26, 2017) – Brad Wilson (Butte, MT) closed out the FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup season on the podium with a third place finish at Thaiwoo Ski Resort on Sunday.

After missing finals in the singles competition on Saturday, Wilson put it all on the line on Sunday, battling through multiple close duals and advance to the small final. He went up against Canada’s Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh for the podium and, while the two were neck and neck after the top air, Wilson stayed solid in the middle section and laid down some fast turns to ski away with the win.

“I played it a little conservative yesterday, but today I was just skiing my run and posting some of the fastest times out there,” said Wilson. “It feels good to end the season on a high note. This season was definitely a little tough for me - I had some inconsistencies in my skiing. But in the end, it was nice to put everything together and get the podium.”

Wilson was joined in the final rounds by teammate Dylan Walczyk, who finished sixth. Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury closed out the season with another win, bringing his victory total to 41. Switzerland’s Marco Tade was second.

The U.S. women once again had a strong contingent of skiers in the finals, with K.C. Oakley (Piedmont, CA), Olivia Giaccio (Redding, CT), Tess Johnson (Vail, CO) and Keaton McCargo (Telluride, CO) advancing to the round of 16. McCargo ended up being the top U.S. finisher in eighth. Australia’s Britt Cox ended the season exactly how she started it, on top of the podium. France’s Perinne Laffont was second and Canada’s Justine Dufour-LaPointe third.

Kingsbury and Cox both walked away with the moguls World Cup titles and crystal globes. In addition to the World Cup crystal globes, 16-year-old Giaccio was awarded the women’s FIS Rookie of the Year trophy. In her first full season on the World Cup, Giaccio was able to land six top-15 finishes as well as her first career podium, a third in duals at Tazawako, Japan.


Olivia Giaccio proudly shows off her FIS Rookie of the Year trophy. (U.S. Ski Team - Lance Field)

“It’s a huge honor to be given this award,” said Giaccio. “I’m super happy with how my season went. There were definitely ups and down, but I’m happy to end the season on a high note. Making it on the World Cup tour was a goal of mine for this year, and I’m glad I followed through with it.”

“It’s outstanding to have Olivia recognized as FIS rookie of the year,” said head moguls coach Matt Gnoza. “It’s very well-deserved. She’s a hard worker. She been determined ever since day one, and it’s awesome to see her hard work pay off.”

Four U.S. athletes finished the season ranked in the top 10, including Jaelin Kauf (Alta, WY) in sixth, McCargo in seventh, Troy Murphy (Bethel, ME) sixth and Wilson ninth. Strong skiing in the latter half of the season has allowed the U.S. team to build some good momentum heading into the 2017 World Championships and lay a solid foundation for next season.

“I’m really happy with the way the second half of the season went,” stated Gnoza. “We saw a ton of movement with all of our athletes, making those steps up the ladder. The team has lined itself up very nicely going into Worlds, and even more nicely going into next year’s Olympic season. We are very much looking forward to doing the work that’s necessary to take these athletes from great skiers to podium-level skiers.”

With another World Cup season in the books, focus now turns to the 2017 FIS Freestyle World Championships, taking place March 7 - 19 in Sierra Nevada, Spain. The U.S. Ski Team’s moguls and aerials rosters for Worlds will be announced after the final aerials competition of the season on March 4.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Brad Wilson closed out the 2016-17 World Cup season with a third place podium finish.
  • Olivia Giaccio was awarded the 2017 FIS Rookie of the Year Award.
  • Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) and Britt Cox (AUS) won the events and took home the moguls crystal globes.
  • The U.S. team had four athletes finish in the top 10 in the final World Cup rankings: Jaelin Kauf, Keaton McCargo, Troy Murphy and Brad Wilson.
  • Focus now shifts to the 2017 FIS Freestyle World Championships, taking place March 7 - 19 in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
  • The U.S. Ski Team’s moguls and aerials roster for Worlds will be announced after March 4.

 

 

QUOTES

Brad Wilson
I played it a little conservative yesterday, but today I was just skiing my run and posting some of the fastest times out there. It feels good to end the season on a high note. This season was definitely a little tough for me - I had some inconsistencies in my skiing. Looking back on how much I’ve learned, this has been one of the most progressive seasons I’ve had as far as getting things done and learning new things. But in the end, it was nice to put everything together and get the podium.

Olivia Giaccio, 2017 FIS Rookie of the Year
It’s a huge honor to be given this award. I’m super happy with how my season went. There were definitely ups and down, but I’m happy to end the season on a high note. Making it on the World Cup tour was a goal of mine for this year, and I’m glad I followed through with it.

Matt Gnoza, Head Moguls Coach
[on Olivia’s Rookie of the Year award]
It’s outstanding to have Olivia recognized as FIS rookie of the year. It’s very well-deserved. She’s a hard worker. She been determined ever since day one, and it’s awesome to see her hard work pay off.

[on the team’s performance during the last World Cups of the season]
I’m really happy with the way the second half of the season went. We saw a ton of movement with all of our athletes, making those steps up the ladder. The team has lined itself up very nicely going into Worlds, and even more nicely going into next year’s Olympic season. We are very much looking forward to doing the work that’s necessary to take these athletes from great skiers to podium-level skiers.

 

RESULTS
Men’s Results
Women’s Results
Men’s Final World Cup Standings
Women’s Final World Cup Standings