December 17, 1999
Olympic gold-medal host Moseley will compete with 15 other skiers selected from a Freeze magazine popularity contest (the top six from last year's competition were automatically invited back, but they made this year's reader's poll anyway.) Old-style judging will determine the winner of the hefty $20,000 grand prize based on overall impression. Hot-dog skiing king Glen Plake, along with Jim Moran, back from an injury last season, will judge the event in an open format.
The participants are: Shane Anderson, JP Auclair, JF Cusson, Vincent Dorian, Mike Douglas, Curtis Tischler, JT Holmes, CR Johnson, Kent Krietler, Shane McConkey, Seth Morrison, Jonny Moseley, Evan Rapps, Shane Szocs, and last year's champion, Evan Dybvig. Brad Holmes, who was slated to participate, will take a seat with the judges, having recently strained his calf. We hope they give him a microphone. Competition alternates will also round out the the panel of judges.
What about cross-over athlete Shaun Palmer? Moseley said he called him and joked that he should take out an ad in the paper to get Palmer to come. "If he shows up, I'll be psyched. He's always a good representative of alternative athletics."
And what about female participants? Moseley admits there are a lot of awesome female skiers out there, but they're making it work with the guys right now.
Though it hasn't been snowing a ton in Squaw so far, locals reported that they've been blowing and shoveling snow like crazy. And the beauty of jib events is that you don't need a ton of snow the organizers make the kickers. Moseley said he's excited about this year's venue. "There's just something about Squaw, about the snow there. It's where I grew up," he said. Almost half of the talent at this event is from the Lake Tahoe area. "Thereís something in the water in South Lake [Tahoe]," he added.
Moseley, who has also competed in the X Games, has recently been leaning more toward freeskiing events than the freestyle World Cups. Though he plans to compete in 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT, he is currently taking time off from the US Ski Team to spend more time out on the snow and less time in the gate. "I got into freestyle because I don't like to race," he said. "Iím fired up to build big kickers in the Tahoe backcountry, go up to Alaska for filming, and sit in Squaw for a week or two and just ski and not always having to get ready for a competition. I'm looking forward to settling into a rhythm and improving my skills."
The #1 ranked World Cup Moguls skier is planning to compete in a couple freestyle events this winter and plans to return to the US Ski Team next June to prepare for Salt Lake in 2002. "Iíll be looking forward to the World Cup moguls just as much for next year," he said. So what's the difference between freestyle and freeskiing? According to Moseley, freestyle consists primarily of aerial and mogul competitions. In fact, the two disciplines are starting to separate more and more.
"Freeskiing is the rebellion to freestyle, as freestyle was to alpine," said Moseley.
Anybody could win this weekend's competition. One thing is for sure, though. While these guys do push each other to the max of their abilities, the ultimate goal is to hang out and have fun. Whoever ends up winning the $20k prize will surely have to buy rounds for the runners up (as long as theyíre of drinking age).
Here's the schedule of events:
Saturday, Dec. 18
Sunday, Dec. 19
Michelle Quigley, in awe of her surroundings for MountainZone.com