This article was originally published on the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association website.
A total of 23 male and 16 female aerialists arrived in Moscow, Russia over the last week to compete in the next 2015 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup.
Among them are Canadians Olivier Rochon (Montreal, QC), Travis Gerrits (Milton, ON) and Sabrina Guérin (Laval, QC) suiting up on Saturday, February 23 with qualifiers starting at 6:05 a.m. EST.
For Rochon, this season has been a comeback from a near two-year layoff due to injuries. At the last World Cup in Lake Placid, Rochon finished a season-best fourth.
“My confidence went up a level after Lake Placid,” said Rochon. “I jumped like I wanted to and my results really motivated me. I missed the podium by just a couple points and I know I can do better. So coming into this World Cup, I am confident that I can do a better and I will be aiming for a podium.”
Having performed well in Moscow in the past and finishing third at this location back in 2012, Rochon cites this stop of the season to be one of his favourites.
“There is always a big crowd with lots of energy to motivate me,” added Rochon. “I am looking forward to this competition with great anticipation. I have built some good momentum since Lake Placid. We’ve had some great training since too.”
For Gerrits, Moscow will also be an opportunity to work on perfecting his jumps.
“This week in Moscow, I am looking to increase my landing percentage on my bigger and more difficult tricks,” said Gerrits. “With just two training days left before the event, I am hoping to quickly build up my confidence and jump the way I know I can. My goals this weekend and for the two remaining events of the season are to land my jumps when it counts.”
Guérin will be the lone female representative for the Canadians. The veteran last competed in Moscow in 2011 and finished sixth.
Absent from competition this week is Mélissa Corbo (Blainville, QC). Corbo, who does not compete full-time with the World Cup team, finished third in Lake Placid for her first career World Cup podium.
“The coaches decided to follow the original plan entering the season,” said Marc-André Moreau, High Performance Director. “The plan was to give her a few World Cup opportunities and keep working on the technical aspect of her jumping at the Nor-Am level. She had a great result in Lake Placid, but we want to develop her at her full potential. To be able to do that, we have to take a step back and work on the key technical elements that will make her stronger.”
A full World Cup schedule can be accessed here.