Rochon, St. Pierre, Bradley win medals in moguls; Bauer golden in aerials
It was a good weekend for the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team as the athletes brought home four out of 12 medals from the World Cup in Fernie last weekend.
In the dual moguls contest on Saturday, three Canadians collected medals. For the first time ever in a World Cup moguls event, two of those medals went to Canadian women.
Stephanie St. Pierre of Victoriaville, Quebec surprised the competition as she skied her way to the final round on Saturday, where she faced teammate Tami Bradley. The 17-year-old freestyle phenom was fast out of the start on the shorter course, and fluid all the way to the bottom to take the gold medal.
"Im really shocked, I cant believe Im here," she said of her podium performance.
Although she is younger and less experienced than the other competitors, she said she got over an attack of nerves early in the day and gained confidence with each of her five runs.
"Im not nervous at all and I just want to ski my best," she said.
On her way to the gold, she bested Laurel Shanley of the U.S., teammate Sylvia Kerfoot of Vancouver and Maria Despas of Australia. In the semi-finals she defeated Margarita Marbler of Austria to face Bradley.
For Bradley, who divides her time between Whistler and Vancouver, it was a relief to be back on top of her game after two bad weeks at competitions.
"I was skiing well in training all week, and I was really confident and feeling good going into the contest. I talked to (husband) Andy (Capicik) the night before and he can always tell if Im going to do well just by talking to me, and he was right again," said Bradley, 32.
After getting a bye in the first round, Bradleys confidence was shaken a little in the morning when she found out that she would be racing against Olympic silver medallist Shannon Bahrke in the second round. After getting by Bahrke it was Margarita Marbler of Austria, who is ranked third in the world, then Russian skier Daria Serova.
"Usually you expect to face the top skiers later on, not right off the bat like that. But I just said to myself that today was the day I was going to beat them," Bradley said.
Bradley beat Bahrke, Marbler, and Marina Cherkasova of Russia to make it into the semi-finals, where she faced Ingrid Berntsen of Norway. She was up in the gates when she learned that St. Pierre had won her semi-final match-up against Marbler. Marbler went on to win the consolation final and finish third.