Moseley’s coach says new trick ahead of its time
Raymond DeVre, coach of the Squaw Valley Freestyle team, said Jonny Moseley’s controversial “dinner roll” trick is forging the future of freestyle and International Ski Federation rules.
“It stole the show” DeVre said of Moseley’s horizontal spin trick during his final Olympic run Tuesday at Deer Valley, Utah. Moseley, who is the 1998 Olympic and World Cup moguls champ, finished fourth behind gold medalist Janne Lahtela of Finland, silver medalist Travis Mayer of the USA and Richard Gay of France in Tuesday’s event.
“Jonny’s been struggling with the judges all year because (the dinner roll) was really a new thing,” DeVre said.
DeVre, who is often hailed as the father of Far West freestyle skiing and has coached several skiers to world and national titles, including 2002 silver medalist Shannon Bahrke, said spectators and athletes in Park City are still talking about Moseley’s run. Many say he was robbed of higher standings. Others say his feet were higher than his head when performing the dinner roll, a situation that would have lead to disqualification.
But only gossip seems to be spinning over Moseley’s head.
DeVre said that when he saw Moseley on Tuesday night after his Olympic run he was very happy. “He was mainly concerned that he wouldn’t get a score,” he said.
With his fourth-place finish standing, only discussion of how his crowd-pleasing aerial maneuvers placed him behind the medal podium remains.
Freestyle moguls is scored on speed, quality of the turns, and form and difficulty of the aerial maneuvers.
Travis Cabral, the youngest member of the U.S. Ski Team and 1999 U.S. moguls champion, said Moseley’s final run was scored appropriately.
“I feel he got scored according to his run,” he said. “He was fourth, for his run that was good.”
Cabral said Lahtela, Mayer and Gay we’re going faster with cleaner air, which earned better scores from the judges. But he did say Moseley did “the best dinner rolls anyone has ever seen.”
DeVre suggested that Moseley skied conservatively because he wanted to “wow” the crowd and the judges with his final trick.
“He had to hold back a little bit in order to do the dinner roll,” he said.
SUBHEAD: Dinner roll ushers in freestyle future
Heralded as the future style of freestyle aerials, the dinner roll has opened a debate as to whether inverted tricks should be allowed in mogul competition. Many U.S. Ski Team competitors feel it is the future of the sport, and that banning potentially dangerous tricks stymies the progression of the sport.
“Everybody seeing this, they are going to want to do this,” DeVre said of the dinner roll. “Everybody is doing triple twisters and triple-twister spreads, and they are difficult, but everybody’s doing it.
“The big thing about Jonny’s jump is (the FIS) doesn’t want to see him do an invert. If you do it purposely, they give you a red card, and you can’t compete,” DeVre said.
But judging by the crowd’s reaction, DeVre said, the dinner roll was the trick that swept the crowd to its feet.
“At the bottom of the hill there was a big screen. Everybody was up the whole time screaming,” he said.
But the jump alone wasn’t strong enough to make the podium.
“I think Jonny was underscored for what he did,” said Chris Hernandez, a U.S. Ski Team member from Heavenly who was an Olympic candidate before a knee injury sidelined his season. “His bottom jump is far beyond what everyone else is doing. The dinner roll is so much harder than quad twisters, but the judges don’t see that.
“When you are a kid growing up learning freestyle the first thing you learn is twisters. It’s only gone to quad twisters so that’s what we do now. Jonny is pushing the sport,” he said.
DeVre said he feels the FIS should review its rules on inverted tricks.
“I think that what’s going to happen is they are going to start allowing this stuff to happen,” he said. “I don’t think they want to see inverts in moguls, but that’s the way I see the sport going.”
And he’s not the only one.