Freestyle

Wilson Returns With World Cup Win

by
USSA
2016-02-26 23:41
 

TAZAWAKO, Japan (Feb. 27, 2016) – In his first World Cup appearance since 2014, Brad Wilson (Butte, MT) made a triumphant return to competition, taking the win in moguls in Tazawako.

Wilson, a 2014 Olympian, suffered a knee injury at the World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland in December 2014. With the help of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team coaches and medical staff, he spent the last year rehabbing and preparing for his return to the World Cup circuit.

“I owe a lot of thanks to the doctors and therapists for sticking with me every step of the way and making sure I was getting stronger,” said Wilson. “We planned this summer to come back in Japan if I was ready, and if not we would just call it. The couple weeks leading up to Japan I was feeling really good, so we decided to send it. And here I am, I was able to put some good runs together.”

 

Brad Wilson wins the men's moguls competition in Tazawako.

Wilson was understandably nervous returning to competition, but he was able to stay strong mentally and physically to pull off the win ahead of Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury in second and Australia’s Matt Graham in third.

“To put down the first run to my feet and make the finals was a weight off my shoulders,” said Wilson. “My finals run was some of the best skiing I’ve ever done. It felt really, really good. I was on top of it, I was going fast. It feels so good to be back. This is what I love to do, and to be here with my friends skiing, it feels like I’m back at home.”

On the women’s side, Perrine Laffont of France captured her first career victory. Canada’s Chloe Dufour-LaPointe and Audrey Robichaud were second and third. Nessa Dziemian (East Hampstead, NH) was the top U.S. finisher in sixth. It was her second top-10 finish on the World Cup this season. Mikaela Matthews (Frisco, CO) earned her third top-10 of the season, finishing eighth.

Skiers will wrap up the weekend in Tazawako on Sunday, Feb. 28 with the men’s and women’s dual moguls competition.

“Everyone’s feeling pretty prepared for duals,” stated head moguls coach Matt Gnoza. “The course suits a lot of our skiers well and will allow for some fast skiing and big jumps. We’re more than capable of handling some of that.”

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • In his first competition back from injury, Brad Wilson took home the win in moguls.
  • It was his third career victory and ninth career World Cup podium.
  • The victory comes almost exactly two years after his last victory in Inawashiro, Japan in 2014.
  • Joe Discoe was the next highest American finisher in ninth. Jeremy Cota was 11th, Dylan Walczyk 15th, Tom Rowley 20th and Bryon Wilson 33rd. Troy Murphy did not start.
  • Nessa Dziemian lead the U.S. women, finishing sixth.
  • Mikaela Matthews was eighth, Keaton McCargo 12th, Ali Kariotis 18th and Jaelin Kauf 26th.
  • Competition in Tazawako continues on Sunday, Feb. 28 with dual moguls.

 

QUOTES

Brad Wilson
I didn’t get any sleep last night. I was almost more nervous than my very first World Cup back in 2011. To put down the first run to my feet and make the finals was a weight off my shoulders. Since I qualified 15th, I just laid it all out on the line and I was able to put it together.

My finals run was some of the best skiing I’ve ever done. It felt really, really good. I was on top of it, I was going fast. When I got up to the top for my super finals run, it got colder and overcast and made it a little slick. I was up at the top wondering if I should tone it down a little bit. But, I didn’t worry about it and decided to just let whatever happens, happen. I knew what I needed to do to keep my speed down if I needed to. After I hit my top air and nailed my back full, I just let it run. I kind of lost control for a second, but was able to bring it right back in.

I owe a lot of thanks to the advice I got to just take it easy. We planned this summer to come back in Japan if I was ready, and if not we would just call it. The couple weeks leading up to Japan I was feeling really good, so we decided to send it. And here I am, I was able to put some good runs together. I owe a lot of thanks to the doctors and therapists for sticking with me every step of the way and making sure I was getting stronger.

It feels so good to be back. This is what I love to do, and to be here with my friends skiing, it feels like I’m back at home.

Matt Gnoza, Head Moguls Coach
Brad’s win was very impressive for a rehab start. It says a lot about the physical therapy and strength and conditioning departments at the USSA’s Center of Excellence. He’s been diligently working down there to return to form. To have the fastest times of the day here after returning from his injury is unbelievable. He trusted his strength and technique, he hit hits jumps, it was sick.

The team is definitely making some steps forward. Leadership from some of the veterans is starting to come through. Having Brad back, we’re starting to see the team take shape. It was nice to see some of our women back in the finals. They all skied well.

Everyone’s feeling pretty prepared for duals. The course suits a lot of our skiers well and will allow for some fast skiing and big jumps. We’re more than capable of handling some of that.

 

RESULTS
Women’s Moguls
Men’s Moguls