Tom Wallisch wins slopestyle gold at his first ever FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in Voss, Norway. (Voss 2013/Kristin Opsum)
VOSS, Norway (March 9) – Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh, PA) stole gold in his first ever FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships Saturday, his best finish all season. Wallisch threw down on the course’s massive features, scoring an impressive 94.8 during his winning second run. Also at his first World Champs, Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, IN) took the bronze. For the women, Grete Eliassen (Salt Lake City, UT) won bronze with her first run, her first slopestyle podium at the World Champs. Canadian Kaya Turski won gold for the women.
Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh, PA) won gold in his first ever FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships Saturday, his best finish this season.
Wallisch qualified 5th in his heat, was in the lead after his first run and, in typical Wallisch fashion, blew the doors off his second run with a score of 94.8.
He has been battling minor knee injury this season.
Great Britian’s James Woods took silver and Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, IN) bronze; it was also Goepper’s first appearance at World Champs.
Tight top three scores, 3.6 between first and second place, two points between second and third.
Reigning World Champ Alex Schlopy (Park City, UT) crashed in both runs.
Grete Eliassen (Salt Lake City, UT) took the bronze with her first run score, her first slopestyle podium at the World Champs and her best finish of the season.
Canadian Kaya Turski won gold for the women.
U.S. Freeskiing's rookie athlete Alexi Micinski (Meridian, ID) and Jamie Crane-Mauzy (Park City, UT) placed sixth and seventh at their World Champs debut.
The massive slopestyle course held some of the biggest features the athletes have ever seen or competed on, which made for a large amount of crashes.
QUOTES Tom Wallisch In the second run I was stoked, I was in first already and I was pretty happy with my first run so I just wanted to step it up and make it a little more difficult on the rails and switch up my grabs to make it more technical and smooth overall. It ended up working out. I was already so happy to be where I was so it was easy to put down a run - no pressure. Woodsy, Hatveit and Goepper with everyone coming after me it does make me nervous. In slopestyle anyone can win any day of the week so you always have to be worried when those guys are dropping in.
Grete Eliassen Getting first place in qualifiers was such a confidence booster for me going into finals. Ending up in third was perfect. I am coming off an injury. It's so nice to come back. At the U.S. Ski Team they've been backing me to get in the gym and training. It's amazing to ski again. I'm half Norwegian and half U.S. and I am riding for the U.S. It's exciting to be here in Norway especially because I learned how to ski here. It's fun to be back here and have a huge crowd cheering all of us on.
Nick Goepper It was an amazing World Championships with the energy of the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi being on everybody's minds. It was especially great to have two of the three podiums with the U.S. Olympic hopefuls standing on them, myself and Tom. Go USA!