The moguls and ski cross World Cup tours close with competitions in Europe;
Sierra Nevada sees crystal globes distributed BY ERIC WILLIAMS
As much of a crescendo as the Vancouver Games were, the music of the
freestyle World Cup played on into March.
The moguls folks headed to Japan where they nearly got skunked by the
weather. Are, Sweden, was kinder — especially to the Americans. The ski
cross crowd raced in Branas, Sweden, before heading to Switzerland for back-to-back events in the neighboring towns of Meiringen-Hasliberg and Grindelwald at the Coop Ski Cross Week. Their paths crossed in Sierra Nevada,
Spain, where both World Cup tours ended and the crystal globes headed to
their new homes.
The final few events of the moguls World Cup season were, in a word,
unique. Weather cancelled three of four events in Japan and the Americans
got it going in Sweden to warm up the podium for a first timer to take the
win at a first-time host location in Sierra Nevada. All this while an American veteran ended her career with a huge bang. A wild end to a wild season,
but that’s the bumps for ya.
Following the Vancouver Games, the world’s best moguls skiers boarded
planes to the site of last season’s World Championships — Inawashiro, Japan
— for the moguls and dual moguls scheduled for March 6 and 7. Long story
short, it was foggy. So foggy, officials cancelled all but one competition — the
women’s singles contest — while the men ate sushi and called the trip a wash
after organizers halted their contest half way through the start list.
Home was again good to Japan’s Aiko Uemura, however. The 30-year-old
double-gold medalist at last year’s Worlds and five-time World Cup podium
finisher on the hill racked up the stop’s only win. With the exception of Uemura in for the still-celebrating Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney, the
podium looked just as it did at the Games with World Cup leader Jennifer