For those who missed the World Cup freestyle event at Deer Valley last weekend, all is not lost.
The TV production will air three times this month -- on NBC Jan. 23 at 1:30 p.m. EST, and on Versus Jan. 24th at 5 p.m. EST and Jan. 31 at 4 and 5 p.m. EST.
Having covered so many skiing events over the years, I’ve found none have been better than those at Deer Valley, due in part, no doubt, to the fact that the resort held these same events in the 2002 Games. Practice makes perfect.
The athletes I talked with said, when asked, that the Deer Valley events were among their favorite, suggesting everything from food to organization to course preparation, all of which will no doubt be covered in the TV production.
Remember, now, those who competed in this event will very likely be the same skiers you can expect to see in the Vancouver Olympics starting in February.
It’s one thing to see mogul and aerial competition in person and another to see on TV. My choice has always been to stand at the base and watch in person. You get to see all the competitors, from the very best to those trying to break into the sport.
The TV production, though, will be fun to watch because it will give a pretty good preview of what can be expect in the Olympic competition.
Based on that, the United States should do well in women’s moguls. U.S. skier Heather McPhie tied with Canada’s Jennifer Heil on the first day. Shannon Bahrke of the U.S. was third. American skiers also took 6th, 7th and 8th.
In the men’s, the U.S. placed 4th, 6th, 8th and 9th.
On the second day of mogul skiing, McPhie set herself up as a definite gold contender with a 2nd. Heil won. Along with McPhie, the U.S. took 3rd through 5th.
The best the men could do was a 7th.
Aerials are a different picture. China dominated the women’s event winning 2nd through 6th. Lydia Lassila of Australia won the free-flying event. America’s best was 9th. The best the U.S. men could do was 6th and 12th.
For me, anyway, seeing events like this, either in person or on the screen, or both, puts a more familiar face on the Olympics. And, it good to see how TV covers Deer Valley.