Val St. Come and Lake Placid sister cities of freestyle this week
VAL ST COME/LAKE PLACID, CAN/USA – After a quick turnaround, it's right back to work for the men and ladies of the World Cup moguls and aerials tours.
In something of a cross-border event, moguls and aerials athletes will take turns competing at Canada's Val St. Come resort and the USA's Lake Placid resort, with aerials action happening at Val St. Come on Tuesday and moguls at Lake Place on Wednesday, followed by aerials at Lake Placid on Saturday and moguls from Val St. Come on Saturday.
These will be the last aerials and moguls events before the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. While several of the top competitors are comfortably locked in to spots, there is still much to be decided across the field when it comes to deciding who get a shot to represent their country in Sochi.
1980 Olympic Winter Games venue Lake Placid now serves as the home of the Olympic Ski Jumping complex, one of the top freestyle training grounds in the USA, while Val St. Come is home to the Freestyle Excellence Centre, training grounds for the incomparable Canadian moguls squad. As two of the finer freestyle development facilities in the world, you can expect top-notch venues that will allow top-notch skiing when the respective tours come to town.
Hannah Kearney (USA) will go into this week's events as one of the hottest skiers in moguls, with back-to-back wins at the massive Deer Valley Freestyle World Cup held this past weekend. The reigning Olympic gold medallist appears to be ramping up her game in approach of Sochi, and should be tough to beat. The other big story coming out of the ladies' side is the recent success of Maxime Dufour-Lapointe, who, with her 3rd place finish on Saturday at Deer Valley, is very near to joining her sisters Justine and Chloe on the Canadian Olympic team, to potentially make a triumvirate of Dufour-Lapointe sisters in attendance at Sochi.
For the men's side, the Canadian team looks stronger every day, with Alex Bilodeau winning Saturday's event after teammate Mikael Kingsbury took victory in the season's first three World Cups. Fellow Canadian Marc-Antoine Gagnon took 3rd on Thursday and 5th on Saturday at Deer Valley, while young Simon Lemieux placed 7th on Saturday in only his 5th ever World Cup start.
Alexandr Smyshlyaev (RUS) placed 3rd on Saturday for his first podium in nearly a year, and the big-jumping skier represents the home country's best hopes in moguls competition come games time.
Ladies' World Cup leader board can be viewed HERE
Men's World Cup leader board can be viewed HERE
More info from the Val St. Come aerials and moguls World Cups HERE
More info on the Lake Placid aerials and moguls World Cups HERE