This article was originally published on the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association website.
Canadians Travis Gerrits (Milton, ON) and Olivier Rochon (Montreal, QC) finished just off the podium today coming in at fourth and fifth, respectively, in the aerial competition at the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup in Moscow, Russia.
“We’ve been building to this all year,” said Aerial Head Coach Dennis Capicik. “Things are really starting to come along. We had a great training camp in Lake Placid. They’re more prepared and have more of a rhythm when jumping. I’m very happy. Travis was so close to the podium. Him and Olivier were doing big jumps. You have to be happy whenever your athletes make the top-six super final. I’m proud of both of those guys today. They’re starting to become the aerialists I know that they are.”
For Gerrits, the fourth place finish marks his best finish to date this season as he looks to regain his form from previous years.
“I felt like I was getting better and better with each training jump and landing here,” said Gerrits, who scored 118.55 on his final jump. “I’m definitely stepping in the right direction here this week. I’m super stoked now that I’m jumping the way that I know I can. After Lake Placid, I really took the time to take a step back from competing and focus on the mental aspect of the sport. It’s huge in aerials. I really focused on the process. It’s a great feeling being in the super finals with Oli.”
Capicik thinks the best is yet to come as they continue to work towards the end of the season.
“He was fourth today and he can jump even better than that,” added the head coach. “This is why I’ve always believed in Travis so much. I know what he’s capable of. He was more consistent and his landings are becoming better.”
Rochon was right behind Gerrits with a score of 105.43. The competition was won by American Mac Bohonnon (123.08). Coming in second place was Russian Ilya Burov (122.62). With a score of 120.36, Maxim Gustik of Belarus rounded out the top-three.
“I really felt in the zone today,” said Rochon. “I landed all my jumps except for the last one in the super final. I’m getting close, but I’m happy with my consistency. Even with a new jump. I landed it in training, so things are going well. We are proud of finishing fourth and fifth here. It was a great competition with a massive crowd watching us. I’ve always loved coming here because the atmosphere is incredible.”
Aerialist Sabrina Guérin (Laval, QC) finished in 14th place in the women’s competition with a score of 64.57. Aussie Danielle Scott won with a score of 94.82. American teammates Ashley Caldwell (93.15) and Kiley McKinnon (90.59) finished second and third, respectively.
“Sabrina’s been doing great stuff in training,” said Capicik. “She hasn’t been able to put it all together for competition. It must be frustrating for her. I know how well she trained in the summer. She was doing great work and progressing. I was very happy with her. It’s not quite there on snow just yet.”
Full results can be accessed here.
All three Canadians compete again on Sunday, March 1, in Minsk, Belarus. A full schedule can be accessed here.
Photo: Evan Spinosa