Xu and Rochon take aerial victories in Calgary
Canada's Olivier Rochon won his first FIS World Cup competition at the aerials event at the Canada Post Grand Prix.
Conditions were extremely challenging on the jump site at Canada Olympic Park, with warm temperatures melting the kickers and variable wind conditions affecting the athletes’ ability to guage their speed coming into the jumps.
Rochon, whose goal at the beginning of the season was to win one World Cup podium this year – a feat he already managed three weeks ago with a 2nd place in Quebec -- managed to hold his focus through the shifting weather conditions and landed himself on top of the podium. The former gymnast said, “It was such a tough day, the sun was coming in and out which was changing the speed on the course.
“When it was my turn to go I stepped down because the sun was behind a cloud, but I still got way more air than I expected,” he said explaining, “I went so huge in the air that I landed three-quarters of the way down the landing hill. But, I landed perfectly so it was all good.”
Rochon, who now has a firm grip on the FIS yellow leader’s bib, bested Guangpu Qi and Zhongqing Liu of China, they finished in second and third
On the ladies' side China’s Mengtao Xu took first ahead of teammate Shuang Cheng and Olga Volkova of the Ukraine who earned the third place. Xu also leads the ladies' season rankings with three victories.
The FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup continues next week in Deer Valley, UT and Blue Mountain (CAN)