Cabral in no hurry to grow up
Seldom can you watch the U.S. national moguls skiing champion at a World Cup-qualifying event. But 16-year-old Travis Cabral is in no rush to give up his growing teen-age memories for the frenetic lifestyle of full-time World Cup skiing.
Consequently, the South Tahoe High junior will open his 1999-2000 season in the U.S. Selection Event – a World Cup qualifier – today through Friday at the familiar bumps and turns of Squaw Valley USA.
“Actually, it’s a decision made by my dad (Dale) and I,” Cabral said. “It’s pretty much the thought that I need to stay at home and train. It’s a lot better because of my age. I’ll get to sleep in my own bed, rather than traveling around the world and trying to compete for weeks and weeks.
“I’d like to be in school more than I have, and it’s really tough on my friends and family when I’m gone.”
A unique blend of talent and work ethic, Cabral set the freestyle nationals on fire with two sensational runs last spring at Deer Valley, Utah.
“He had one of the best runs I’ve ever seen on a freestyle course at last year’s nationals,” said Lou Basile, a spectator that day and the Far West Division chairman who has been instrumental in organizing this week’s selection event at Squaw Valley USA. “He just put out 100 percent on what he had to do, and he did it twice. I don’t know how you could get more consistent than he was.”
Cabral hasn’t let his day of fame go to his head. He used some of the $10,000 in first-prize money to purchase a 1999 Dodge Ram truck, but has been focused on working hard for the coming season.
“I wouldn’t say I’m trying to prove anything to anybody,” Cabral said. “I know who I’m competing against, and even though I beat them once, I can’t beat them all the time.
“I definitely don’t have too much pressure on me as I have a lot of training ahead of me.”
The large cash prizes and prestige, however, aren’t the best perks to come out of winning nationals, according to Cabral.
“A lot of good things came out of it, but nothing really spectacular,” he said. “The best thing to come out of it will be to compete in the World Cup in my hometown.”
That perk pays off Jan. 21-23 at Heavenly Ski Resort. Cabral also will compete in the other World Cup stops in North America.
Cabral’s sometimes twice daily visits to Time Out Health Spa & Fitness have enabled him to feel physically ready for this week’s grueling schedule of two single moguls and two dual moguls competitions.
“I’m working on a few different tricks,” Cabral said. “I’m trying to get everything tuned up for World Cup.”
If Cabral picks up where he left off last spring, his fellow bumpers are going to be bumming.
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