It was a very eventful weekend for Steve in Buck Hill, Minnesota, where he won the first North-American Cup of his career on Sunday 12/20! Steve was scheduled to race in 2 separate FIS Nor-Am Cup events, back to back Parallel Slaloms, on Saturday and Sunday. Out of 40 male competitors representing 5 different countries, Steve achieved first place on Sunday, and even placed sixth on Saturday despite equipment failure. Check out his descriptions of each day below:
Saturday was off to a great start as I was the fastest qualifier on one of my 2 qualifying runs. I went head to head against Christian De Oliviera of Australia in the first round of the finals. I beat him to move on to the top 8. At the start of the top 8, I realized I had broken a very important part on my boot. Without the part working, the boot would not work and I would not be able to continue. Luckily I had a teammate that had not qualified for finals give me his boot to use for the top 8 run against Yuya Suzuki of Japan. Suzuki beat me by .05 of a second to move on to the finals even though I was on someone else's boot that really did not feel right. He moved on to the top 4 heats and I ended the day 6th because of how the brackets worked out. I immediately went to the shop to repair my boot and got it back to good as new to prepare for Sunday's competition.
I was feeling really good all day and was ready to win the whole thing. I qualified 2nd for the top 16 finals of head to head bracket competition. I went up against a top 17 year old junior rider named Dylan Udolf (USA), and beat him by well over a second to move on to the top 8 of the finals bracket. In the top 8, I competed against Olivier Vachon, a Canadian rider that is currently 4th in the points list for Canada. I beat him by 1.2 seconds to move on to the top 4 of the finals bracket. In the top 4 I went up against Takumi Miyazawa, who is a top Japanese rider that traveled all the way from Japan for the competition with his team. I beat Takumi by .2 of a second to move on to the top 2 of the finals bracket. I went up against Michael Trapp, who is a teammate and long time friend. "Trappy" is a top rider in the world and one of my biggest competitors for the 2018 Olympics US Team. I beat him by .10 of a second for the WIN!! I was so excited! My first ever North-American Cup win! The points earned are significant to Olympic qualification and hold a lot of significance! I am really excited to compete close to home in Steamboat next for another North-American Cup. I am hoping to start a win streak!
Great job Steve! Stay up to date with the latest Speedy Steve race results by visiting our Speedy Steve page or by checking WARDJet's Facebook page!