Freestyle

World Cup Season Kicks Off in Ruka

by
Caitlin Furin
2015-12-10 13:29
 

RUKA, Finland (Dec. 10, 2015) – The U.S. Freestyle Moguls Ski Team returns to competition this Saturday as the 2015-16 FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup kicks offs in Ruka, Finland. Athletes will have two days of official training before the Dec. 12 dual moguls event. Twelve athletes from the U.S. team will go head-to-head against a stacked international field.

Nestled just below the article circle, Ruka is a snowy, dark winter wonderland. Athletes only see the sun for a few hours per day, which means the majority of their training takes place under the lights.


Jeremy Cota trains under the lights in Ruka ahead of the World Cup opener. 

“Despite not having much sunlight, Ruka is a great place to train and compete,” said Bruce Perry Jr. (Winter Park, CO), who is starting in his first international World Cup in Ruka. “With this being my first competition of the season, I'm hoping to go out there and just simply ski my run. The course is steep and it has some difficult sections, which I prefer. I couldn't ask for a better place to participate in my first international World Cup. I'm excited to compete under the lights and put down my best runs for my friends and family back home.”

After mogul queen Hannah Kearney’s retirement last season, athletes and fans are interested to see which athletes step into the top spots this season. At last year’s opener, Yulia Galysheva of Kazakstan took the win for the women and Canada’s Philippe Marquis was in the top spot for the men. Both Galysheva and Marquis will be competing on Saturday, along with top Canadian contenders Mikael Kingsbury and the Dufour-Lapointe sisters.

 

 

With a mix of World Cup rookies and veterans, the U.S. team has a lot of talent to go around. Fans will see a mix of new and familiar faces, including Heidi Kloser (Vail, CO), who is returning to the World Cup circuit following an injury and recovery period last season. Kloser is no stranger to the steep Ruka course. She’s had four World Cup starts there, finishing in the top 15 at each.

“I am really excited to be traveling and competing again,” said Kloser. “Ruka has always been a really fun first event because of the atmosphere. It really brings you straight in to the heart of winter. For my first event back, I am just looking to have fun and ski how I want to ski. It’s been a while since I’ve competed, and I’m just happy to be here.”

Dual moguls finals will begin at 4 p.m. local time on Dec. 12. Live timing for the event is available via FIS Live Timing.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • U.S. Freestyle Moguls Ski Team returns to competition on Saturday, Dec. 12 at the dual moguls World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland.
  • 12 athletes will be competing for the U.S.
  • Recovering from injury, Troy Murphy (Bethel, ME), Tom Rowley (Long Beach, NY)  and Brad Wilson (Butte, MT) will miss the World Cup opener, but are expected to return to the World Cup tour later this season.
  • Live timing for the event is available via FIS Live Timing.

 

QUOTES

Bruce Perry Jr.
Despite not having much sunlight, Ruka is a great place to train and compete. With this being my first competition of the season, I'm hoping to go out there and just simply ski my run. I've put in a lot of hard work this summer and I mostly want to prove that I'm capable of being here. Of course there will be jitters, since I'm still new to the World Cup scene, but I want to have fun with it and show them what I got.

It's a dual event, so I'll be pushing my speed but I'll also be focusing on the fundamentals that I've been working so hard on. The course is steep and it has some difficult sections, which I prefer. I couldn't ask for a better place to participate in my first international World cup. I'm excited to compete under the lights and put down my best runs for my friends and family back home.

Heidi Kloser
I am really excited to be traveling and competing again. Ruka has always been a really fun first event because of the atmosphere. It really brings you straight in to the heart of winter. I really like competing under the lights because the lighting is so consistent. Competing at night is also fun because so many more people come out to watch the event. I also like the pitch of the course. It is really fun to ski a long steep course, and Ruka has that.

For my first event back, I am just looking to have fun and ski how I want to ski. It’s been a while since I’ve competed, and I’m just happy to be here.

 

U.S. Freestyle Moguls Team Starters – Ruka

Men
Jeremy Cota (Carabassett Valley, ME; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA)
Bruce Perry Jr. (Winter Park, CO; Winter Park Competition Center)
Dylan Walczyk (Rochester, NY; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail)
Bryon Wilson (Butte, MT; Wasatch Freestyle, Deer Valley Resort) 

Women
Nessa Dziemian (East Hampstead, NH; Carrabassett Valley Academy)
Ali Kariotis (Tiburon, CA; Squaw Valley Freestyle Team)
Heidi Kloser (Vail, CO; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail)
Mikaela Matthews (Frisco, CO; Team Summit)
Keaton McCargo (Telluride, CO; Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club)
K.C. Oakley (Piedmont, CA; Park City Freestyle Team)
Sophia Schwartz (Sun Valley, ID; Steamboat Spring Winter Sports Club)

 

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