PARK CITY — For Bradley Wilson, there was no better place to earn his first podium of the season than at the ski resort that’s supported him since he made the U.S. team.
“For me, it’s the best place to get a podium, by far,” Wilson said of earning the bronze medal at the Freestyle World Cup at Deer Valley Wednesday night with a score of 82.61. “I love this place so much. This is my home mountain. …They’ve just always been backing me, so it’s incredible to do it here and represent Deer Valley at the same time.” Wilson’s bronze was special for several reasons. First, he needs two podiums to objectively make his second Olympic team. Second, he’s been working hard to refine his skiing and Wednesday was one of his most consistent performances.
And third, he earned a spot on the podium on a historic night for one of his close friends and the sport of mogul skiing as Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury earned a record 12th consecutive victory and the 47th of his career with a score of 87.33. Only U.S. skier and two-time medalist Hannah Kearney has more consecutive victories with 16.
“I haven’t won 12 (times),” Wilson said of what Kingsbury’s record means to the sport. “The consistency is insane. The amount of different courses and conditions and crap that we have to deal with. …A lot of people shine in different moments, but Mik is able to come out and nail his run, no matter what the conditions are, and it’s just impressive.”
Wilson and Kingsbury are close friends, and they spend a couple of weeks each year in Sweden teaching skiing to young children.
“He’s the man, and he deserves the crap out of this,” Wilson said, as television cameras crowded around Kingsbury. “He’s such a good dude.”
While none of the U.S. men have locked up a spot on the Olympic team, one of the U.S. women did that with her third podium of the season.
Jaelin Kauf earned a silver medal with a score of 79.57 which not only guaranteed her a spot on the 2018 Olympic team, it earned her the yellow bib indicating the overall World Cup leader.
“My confidence is definitely up there,” said the 21-year-old native of Vail, Colorado. “So it feels really good going into tomorrow with the third podium pretty much guaranteeing my Olympic spot and most likely wearing the yellow bib.”
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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News