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Begg-Smith crashes out of Moguls

11 February 2014

FREESTYLE-MOGULS: Australian Moguls sensation Dale Begg-Smith has ended his sporting career with an unfortunate night at the Sochi Olympics.

The 29-year-old failed to qualify for the finals, after a spectacular crash on his second run, in soft snow conditions.

Begg-Smith was 19th after his first run and caught the chairlift back up for a second chance to progress.

The 2006 Olympic Champion and 2010 runner-up, didn’t have his usual great turns in the first qualifying run but his jumps were solid. In the second qualifying run he executed his D Spin 720 well on the top jump and looked to have his legendary good turns back only to run out of time for a clean landing off his Back X bottom air, sending him face first into the ski out.

The mistake was out of character for Begg-Smith who previously hadn’t missed a final in 64 starts, the last back in 2005.

The disappointment was evident as he realised his Olympic comeback was over but he gave a wave to the camera and was then in an upbeat mood when he spoke to journalists.

“I just wasn’t feeling it today. I got really sore. I haven’t skied in the soft snow for four years. You’ve got to train in Australia if you want to get some of that,” he said.

“I was feeling a little bit off, couldn’t get centred and then in a desperate move tried changing lines and moving things around, ‘cause I knew the line I was in wasn’t working for me. It is what it is and there wasn’t much I could do when I was on my face.”

Begg-Smith confirmed he’s retiring from the sport, but says he’s happy he came to Sochi 2014 and was able to go out on his own terms.

“It was kind of a desperate move coming back this year. My body wasn’t there. If you don’t ski for three years you’re kind of hoping for a miraculous performance and there were a few good ones along the way but it just didn’t work out here. If you’d been training you’d be ready for all the different conditions and you’d be changing with them.”

As for his future... the internet entrepreneur told the media he’ll become an “international man of mystery”, adding “I’ve got to keep you guys guessing”.

Begg-Smith, the mentor, stayed on at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park to support his proteges Matt Graham and Brodie Summers, who finished 7th and 13th in the finals.

“I tried to pass any energy I had to them,” he said.

In the super-final, Alex Bilodeau successfully defended his Olympic crown, with his Canadian teammate and world champion Mikael Kingsbury taking Silver and Russia winning its first Freestyle medal at Sochi 2014, a Bronze to Alexandr Smyshlyaev.

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