The Grand Prix – Copper

Dew Tour was the first of five Olympic Qualifiers to happen at the start of the winter season. Following Dew Tour Finals on Sunday the  15th, The second of the Olympic Qualifiers began the very next day over at Copper Mountain Resort.

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Copper has always been an interesting resort to go compete at for me. Every year for the last few years I’ve found away to always do at least one contest there. Some years go better than others, nevertheless it always turns out to be an interesting experience. This year the course for the contest featured so many different rails along with some of the biggest jumps I’ve ever hit in a contest.  It took a couple days of practice to fully get used to them, especially since in the days leading up to the contest they would keep on changing things up.

Photo by: David Malacrida 

Photo by: David Malacrida 

The day before the contest I had one of the worst days of practice I’ve ever taken part of. I lacked motivation, and just wasn’t in the zone. So I did the only thing I could and try to focus on a run that I wanted to land. It took me awhile, but I was finally able to figure out my run. The next morning I was a bit foolish by not realizing that the first two heats of the contest trained together, and started together. Since there was around 120 people competing they try to run through the contest as fast as they can. What this meant for me is that my practice started at 8:30, which is the exact time I left my house. 

Rushing over to Copper, I got dropped off and was on the Chairlift by 9:00 AM with only 20 minutes of practice left. My first run through the park I just it all the features to make sure the speed was the same. My second run through I threw almost every trick I was doing for my run except for my second feature and the final jump. I tried to rush back up quickly for my third practice run, but had just missed it.

 Photo of Evan McEachran by David Malacrida

 Photo of Evan McEachran by David Malacrida

So I just waited and started preparing myself for the run. Mentally going through every inch of my run many times until it was time for me to drop. Thankfully I landed my entire run, and was given a score of 82. My second run I decided to try and improve my degree of difficulty by throwing a double flip on each of the jumps. I landed my run, but had a couple bobbles in the landings and wasn’t able to improve on my score.

After finishing up the contest for me I just sat back and watched the rest of qualifiers happen. While it was going on I came to a realization of how crazy skiing as progressed. This is the first time I’ve ever done a qualifier where 40-50 skiers were all throwing both way double flips, along with many of them doing a double flip on every jump. It’s really amazing how fast people keep on progressing and pushing the sport.

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When it was all said and done, I had finished 7th in my heat and 25th overall for the day. So happy to of landed both of my runs. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that, especially with how difficult the runs have been getting. 

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Currently i'm back in Breckenridge starting up the next Olympic Qualifier Grand Prix. I'll be sure to update my blog much sooner than I did for this last post. Hope everyone has a great rest of there week.