Double gold at Calgary Moguls World Cup
29 January 2017
MOGULS: The Australian Mogul Skiing team had its most successful day ever making history this morning, when Britt Cox won gold at the world cup in Canada immediately followed by Matt Graham who won the Men’s World Cup.
Cox is now a triple world cup winner, having won three of the four world cups so far since the season opened mid-December in Ruka, Finland. She backed up the opening win with another gold in Lake Placid a month later, securing the yellow bib for the world number one ranking. Last weekend Cox had to settle for fifth in Val St Come, Canada but retained her lead in the ranking.
This morning in Calgary, 22-year-old Cox led the field in the qualifying round by over three points (78.22), went up a notch in the first final to lead scoring 81.11 and then had more for the medal round, taking gold with 82.11 points.
“Last week in Val St Come was a good learning event. This week in Calgary I stayed really focussed on the process," Cox said.
“The course in Calgary is very technical because the pitch changes midway and becomes steeper. In previous years, I’ve found the course to be challenging, but now I can attack it more aggressively.
“I wanted to be lofty in the jumps and also snappy, aggressive and fast."
Cox was satisfied with her three runs on the way to the win.
“I felt I did a clean run in the qualifying with room for improvement, because the level rises for the finals and I was able to lift all day. Each time I win, it’s more and more motivating.”
Retaining the yellow bib had a special significance for Cox this week.
“Our first day of training here was Australia Day. I was able to wear my green jacket and yellow bib. That was pretty exciting.”
The historic win puts the dual-Olympian into rare company as a multiple world cup winner in one season with seven world cups to come before the World Championships in early March in Spain.
Matt Graham scored an impressive win over the five-time overall World Cup Champion Mikael Kingsbury from Canada, who is widely regarded as the most successful world cup mogul skier ever.
Graham has been steady throughout the season so far, scoring silver behind Kingsbury in the first world cup and fourth last week in Val St. Come, Canada.
After qualifying in fourth, Graham was relaxed saying, “I knew I had more in the tank.”
In the first final, he took the top position for the medal run: a space he hasn’t occupied before.
“The course here is very technical. There’s not many courses like this in the world. The second half is much harder.
“It was pretty bizarre being the last to go and up there by myself. It was windy with a cross tail wind. There was the sound of the wind and I just got in a good head space,” he said of the time waiting.
“I executed well, putting all the pieces together with two clean jumps and landings and good turns with no breaks in form or leg splits.”
Arriving at the finish Graham’s first reaction was how he could have done better.
“To be honest – I know I made a few mistakes and I wasn’t super confident (of winning). I couldn’t hear anything up the top. Then the score and placing came up and I was stoked – super excited.”
Overhauling Kingsbury is major win for the 22-year-old who also had a surprise victory over the Canadian last year.
Britt Cox was just as excited for her team mate. “It feels unreal to share the top spot on the podium with Matt. We train together all year round and I’m stoked to see his hard work paying off.”
Watch Cox and Graham's winning run in the video below (article continues after video).
The superb Sunday morning of winter sport also delivered a world cup bronze by slopestyle skier Russ Henshaw in Seiser Alm, Italy.
Having recovered from four years of continuing injury, Henshaw is “stoked” to be back on the podium.
“I feel like I’m back to myself. This medal is a hurdle having spent time in rehab and training.
"To get back on the podium is a dream. I’m stoked. The hard work was worthwhile. I did a lot of road biking which gave me time to think.
“Every course at every event is different and in slopestyle there are no rules about what you can or cannot do. There are tricks I’m thinking about and want time to train for – not risk chucking myself at one trick.
“Then there’s Korea to think about,” Henshaw said about the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games.