Moseley healthy, ready to bump
Disappointment barely described how low Jonny Moseley felt when a back injury took him out of the Heavenly World Cup in January.
But his moguls competitors won’t have such luck on Friday afternoon when the 23-year-old makes his Bumps and Jumps debut on Heavenly’s Gunbarrel Run.
“It’s gonna be fun … freestyle … yahoo,” said Moseley in his personable way. “I’m psyched up to finally be able to compete in these events after not being allowed to compete in it in the past.”
American amateur rules prevented Moseley and other U.S. Ski Team members from competing with the pros in the past. But Moseley and his 1998 gold medal in Nagano, Japan, has helped bring down some of those barriers.
Moseley holds a one-point lead over 1998 Olympic teammate Evan Dybvig, 26 to 25, through two of the series’ three events. Canadian John Smart is also within striking range with 24 points.
The $150,000 series’ overall winner receives a Chevy Blazer.
Other prominent names expected to compete are 1994 gold medalist Jean-Luc Brassard, Ryan Johnson, Nelson Carmichael, Alex Wilson, Stephan Rochon, Martin Gauthier, Christian Marcoux, Shane Szocs, Ean Smith, Marc McDonnel and Curtis Tischler.
Qualifying begins at 10 a.m., with the top 16 individuals advancing for 1 p.m. elimination duals.
Although a regular on the slopes, Moseley has reduced his competitive schedule in 1999. The 1998 World Cup moguls champion ignored the World Cup circuit completely. In addition to Bumps and Jumps contests in Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Lake Placid, N.Y., Moseley has only participated in his own Jonny Moseley invitational and the Winter X Games.
“I was kind of sore the first couple of days (training at Heavenly), but I’m getting it back,” Moseley said. “I don’t feel like I did a week before the Olympics, but I feel pretty good.
“I need to finish in the top 5, for sure.”
Buoyed by a first-place finish at Steamboat and runner-up at Lake Placid, Nicolas Fontaine is in control of the overall aerials title. Fontaine has a four-point lead over 1998 Olympic gold medalist Eric Bergoust. Matt Chojnacki, Kris Feddersen and Britt Swartley are a distant seven points back.
Since only 10 aerialists are entered, the 10-point scoring system awards 10 to the winner, nine for second … and one for last place. Consequently, Fontaine can clinch the overall title with a fourth-place finish.
Aerial training begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the finals scheduled for 1 p.m. next to Gunbarrel Run.
Admission is free.
The two-day competition will be televised by FOX at 3 p.m. Sunday.
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