Giaccio Fourth in Idre Fjäll Dual Moguls
Olivia Giaccio led the Americans with a fourth-place finish in the FIS Dual Moguls World Cup in Idre Fjäll, Sweden. Giaccio met Australia’s Jakara Anthony in the Small Final and the two had a tight duel the whole way down the course, with Giaccio skiing a fierce middle section. Giaccio pushed her speed into the bottom air to get that extra boost but ended up on her heels in the landing and Anthony took the advantage.
“The whole day I focused on attacking out of the gate and top air especially,” said Giaccio. “For advancing through the rounds I was just trying to attack as much as I could and focused on the little cues that are working well for me. My coaches and I were pretty strategic in how we approached the day. The highest seed for each qualifying round got to choose the line and I definitely used that to my advantage.”
“Olivia skied the middle really well [in Small Final]. She got on her heels in the landing, which subjects you to let your feet accelerate and is difficult to stay on top of. But another great step for Olivia in today’s competition,” said Head Mogul Coach Matt Gnoza.
France’s Perrine Laffont won, Japan’s Rino Yanagimoto took second and Anthony rounded out the podium in third.
Five women qualified Friday for the Round of 16 Sunday. The U.S. pulled a tough draw with two friendly fires right from the start, with another on deck for the Round of Eight.
Jaelin Kauf met Tess Johnson for an all-out drag race, and the two pushed each other to the end. Kauf went big on the bottom air but didn’t stick the landing, and Johnson took the advantage to move to the Round of Eight. Hannah Soar met Giaccio and the two were neck-in-neck the entire run, both posting impressive run times. Giaccio stepped on the gas in the bottom air for the advantage to move onto the Round of Eight. “That was fast, holy moly,” Giaccio said in the finish area. Kai Owens met Australia’s Britteny Cox, Cox blew out and Owens moved to the Round of Eight.
Giaccio met Johnson in the Round of Eight, with Johnson having a slight advantage on speed. Johnson sustained a nasty crash, losing contact and both skis in her tumble, but fortunately is okay and was able to slide down the course. “Some of the fastest skiing of the day were those runs against my teammates,” Giaccio said. Owens met Anthony and pushed her speed down the course, but her feet got away from her in the bottom air and Anthony took the advantage.
Owens finished sixth, Johnson eighth, Soar 10th, and Kauf 12th. Madison Hogg finished 30th and Morgan Schild 42nd.
On the men’s side, two Americans qualified for the Round of 16: Brad Wilson and Dylan Walczyk.
Wilson met Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury in a duel that came down to inches. Wilson kept Kingsbury on his toes the entire way down, but landed in a tough spot in the bottom air and Kingsbury took the advantage. “Brad skied a hell of a run against Mik, Mik was able to just get him there in the end,” said Gnoza. Wilson finished the day in eighth
Kingsbury won the event for the men, Japan’s Ikuma Horishima came in second and Sweden’s Ludvig Fjallstrom came in third.
Walczyk finished in sixth, Cole McDonald in 20th, and Nick Page 33rd.
Sunday marks the final day in Scandinavia for the Moguls crew. Everyone is looking forward to a change of scenery and some sunshine.
“I’ll be focusing on continuing to compete the best that I can,” said Giaccio. “Being really precise in my skiing and jump execution. Continuing to use parts of my run that has been working really well and make adjustments to make my run the best it can possibly be. I am really grateful to have the opportunity to be able to perform on World Cup. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings."
Moguls heads next to Alpe d’Huez, France, for another double event weekend. “We have a really quick turnaround time, we start training again in France on Tuesday,” said Gnoza. “We’re motivated to continue this push and excited to see the course in Alpe d’Huez, and the sun.”