Is it surprising that the East produces so many great bump skiers? Not at all. Kearney looks forward to a new chapter, and offers a couple tips on how to rip in moguls.
Quaint, tiny Norwich, Vt., has put more than its share of athletes in the Olympics, but none more successful than Hannah Kearney. She won gold at the Vancouver Games, bronze at Sochi, and at times was unbeatable on the World Cup circuit. She won her first World Cup event in 2004 at the age of 17, then went on to collect eight World Cup season titles, including three overall freestyle globes. In 2011-12 she put together a record-setting streak of 16 straight wins.
As skin-tight speed suits attest, it’s not how good you look but how fast you go that wins you Olympic medals in the alpine disciplines. But in freestyle, style counts too.
Moguls Moguls competition, an Olympic event since 1992 (Albertville), rewards technical execution, artistic expression and speed. Competitors pinball down a steep bump field that’s interrupted by two kickers, one near the top and one near the bottom. Five judges award points for precise turns—knees together, skis in constant contact with the snow, shoulders parallel to the finish line—and two judges score the aerial maneuvers for difficulty, amplitude, execution and landing.