2009 FREESTYLE WORLD CUP AT LAKE PLACID
By Paul Maraschiello

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I was once again surprised by how fast the drive from the Albany Airport to Lake Placid, New York was. In less than 2 hours on the road, I was checking onto my hotel.

Accommodations
I was staying at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort on Main St. in Lake Placid. This is a large resort complex with very classy accommodations. I had a great one-bedroom suite with a flat-screen TV in the living room. The kitchen has a mid-size refrigerator, stove top, microwave, sink & coffee maker. My large bedroom had a king-size bed, desk and dresser with wall-mounted flat-screen TV. There was a marble bathroom with a fancy jacuzzi in addition to a marble shower. I had dinner at Charlie's Restaurant, located in the resort. They feature innovative American Cuisine, offering seasonal menus that included a tasty full-range chicken and game specialties. The resort boasts a cocktail bar and a nightclub called Roomers. They have a heated indoor pool with sauna, steam room & hot tub. In the summer you can relax on their private, white sand beach. Room rates range from $99 - $269 per night. For reservations call: (800) 582-5540 and tell them that the Ski Bum News recommended them.



The Competition
International aerial and ski cross stars, including two-time aerials Olympian Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson (Boise, ID) and X Games ski cross champ Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, CA), along with a host of international stars from Olympic Teams from around the works were on hand competing at the 2009 FIS Freestyle World Cup in Lake Placid, NY.


I arrived at Whiteface and got in a little skiing on Saturday before the competition got underway. On Saturday there was ski cross practice and they held a "meet the stars" where visitors to Whiteface Mountain could meet the stars of the US Ski Cross Team and have them autograph posters.

The Preliminaries were held on Sunday with the qualifying jumps in the afternoon and the finals for the aerials conducted under the lights at the Olympic Jumping Complex.

The competition took place under the lights with a live band warming up the crowd before the finals. Jeret "Speedy" Peterson secured his seventh World Cup victory by winning the 2009 aerials competition. Teammate Emily Cook joined Peterson on the podium finishing third.



On the podium for the Men, Jeret Peterson, scored 252.59, Kyle Nissen, was 2nd with 244.92 and Warren Shouldice from Canada, was 3rd with 243.03. Ryan St. Onge (Winter Park, CO) finished fifth.

Jeret "Speedy" Peterson executed a flawless landing to cinch the event after taking a year and a half off. This win did a lot to bring back his confidence. He made a full, double full, full (three flips including a full twist, double twist, full twist) for his first jump, then a double full, full, full (three flips including a double twist, a full twist and a full twist) for his second.

For the women, it was Alla Tsuper, Belarus in 1st place with a score of 189.98, Mengtao XU from China in 2nd with 186.11 and USA's Emily Cook in 3rd place with 184.70.

Cook landed a full, double full (two flips including a full twist and a double twist) and a double full, full (two flips including a double twist and a full twist) but was out-scored by Tsuper and XU.

This was her first time competing the double full, full full and she did it very.

On Monday, they held the finals of the ski cross. It was an exciting race with four skiers in the gate and down the coarse four at a time. There were jumps, bumps, banked turns and rollers on the course that made the race a very exciting one. The spectators enjoyed a thrilling set of races that were highlighted by crashes and lead changes as the competitors battled down the course. Nineteen ski cross' finest tested their metal on the newly built course at Whiteface Mountain. This was only the second ski cross World Cup in the USA and the first time this event has been conducted on the east coast.

For the Men, it was Lars Lewen from Sweden who came in 1st, Patrick Koller from Austria 2nd, and Tomas Kraus from Czech Republic in 3rd. Downhill great Daron Rahlves finished out of the money in 5th place. Two-time X Games gold medalist Casey Puckett placed 14th. It was Lewen's first win of the season.

On the podium for the Women it was France's Ophelie David in 1st, Australian Jenny Owens in 2nd and Meryl Boulangeat of France in 3rd.

NBC aired the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup ski cross competition Sunday, Jan. 25 at 1:30 p.m. ET and Versus aired the Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge aerials competition that same day at 2:00 p.m. ET as well as the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup ski cross show on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 3:00 p.m. ET. UniversalSports.com and TV will also carry coverage. Tune in if you've never seen a ski cross event, it is really thrilling.

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