DEER VALLEY, USA, 31 JAN 2013 – It was a huge day for American mogulists on home soil at the opening night of the three-day celebration of skiing known as the Deer Valley FIS Freestyle World Cup. By taking four out of a possible six podium spots, including a full sweep of the women's podium, the host nation's athletes gave the thousands of gathered spectators plenty to cheer about.
In the ladies' event, it was the masterful Hannah Kearney (USA) bouncing back from a disappointing 5th place finish in last week's event in Calgary, CAN, to claim her second win in three races this season since returning from injury in mid-January. Kearney was followed up by teammate Heather McPhie, herself bouncing back from even greater disappointment, as the American was coming off back-to-back results outside the top 25 in the last two races after posting back-to-back dual moguls wins in Ruka, FIN, and Kreischberg, AUT, to start the season.
Rounding out the American sweep of the ladies' podium was Eliza Outtrim, who seems to be coming into mid-season form nicely, posting two 3rd places in a row after some decent early-season results.
Speaking of masterful, Mikael Kingsbury continues to absolutely dominate the men's moguls World Cup tour. The 20 year old Canadian came into Thursday's event running a podium streak of 18 straight, with three wins in four events so far this season. By the time the post-race fireworks began last night, he had racked his numbers up to 19 straight podiums, four wins out of five races on the season, and now a three event win streak that suggests the young man from Quebec is only getting stronger as the season goes on.
Kingsbury's win didn't go without a challenge, however. Both his countryman and reigning Olympic champion Alexander Bilodeau, and 3rd place finisher and former world champion Patrick Deneen (USA) finished less than a point behind him, with Bilodeau scoring a 25.60 and Deneen a 25.07 to Kingsbury's 25.78.
It was a fantastic start to what is one of the biggest events on the World Cup calender. Action from Deer Valley continues on Friday night with aerials under the lights.
Stay tuned to FIS Freestyle's channels for all the news and highlights!