Gold for Danielle Scott and silver for the Flying Kangaroos at Secret Garden
Danielle Scott has won gold at the Aerial Skiing World Cup, redeeming herself in the best way possible after placing 22nd on her first day on the hill at China’s Secret Garden, aerials location for the 2022 Olympic Games.
Indeed, there was nothing that could wipe the smile off the faces of the Flying Kangaroos on Sunday who were not only thrilled at their teammate’s excellent result but also overjoyed after claiming silver in the team aerials event.
“Yesterday was a bit of a sad day for me, I got blown off the hill so didn’t really have much of a chance,” Scott said.
“Good to come out and have a bit of a redemption today, it was still really tricky conditions. I did exactly what I needed to do and broke the 100 points which is what I’ve been aiming for this season, just trying to get those little goals.”
The Flying Kangaroos went into the nail-biting final round of the team event against China and Russia with the pressure on once again for the team who earned bronze last year to pull out their biggest tricks.
As Scott pointed out, with the Aussies having just two women on the double “it makes it a little bit more difficult for us to produce higher scores”.
“Last year we came third which was pretty exciting because we have a big disadvantage having two girls and one guy compared to two guys and one girl,” Morris added.
“These two ladies really to have to pull their biggest skills and we can’t really can’t make any mistakes if we want to make it through the rounds and we did that today which is very exciting.
“[We] ended up one spot higher than last year so we’ve progressed a little bit which is excellent and it was pretty fun. Thought we had it there for a minute, we saw China go down and I got a little too excited too early and then they beat us by a very small margin but a fantastic result for the day and everyone jumped like champs.”
“We’ll one up it next year,” Scott laughed, “pressure is on!”
Morris, a two-time Olympian, finished ninth on Day Two and said that the team competition had been “a good little confidence boost that we’ll take into the next competition”.
“Ninth today, a bit better than yesterday,” he joked.
“Nearly the same score, I think I beat it by one whole point which was a little sad because it was a way straighter jump but very happy with ninth.”
Samantha Wells also improved on the second day of the World Cup, placing fifth despite far from ideal conditions.
“Maybe a bit warmer [today] if anything and I put three full double fulls down one after the other in all different ranges and I was really, really pleased with myself,” she said.
“We were really happy to come to this event and jump in some difficult conditions and bring out our higher degree of difficulty in the opening event. We’re really pleased to be walking away from this event with a silver medal as a team and it’s a great way to open the season for us.
“We’ve got a big training camp coming up before [the next competition] so I think we’ll be probably be a bit more prepared with a few more jumps under our belts and a few more landings under our belts and it’ll be a good chance to knock them out of the park.”
Sochi Olympian Laura Peel finished 13th on the second day of the World Cup and currently sits 12th
on the World Cup Standings while teammates Scott and Wells now sit 3rd and 5th respectively.
Watching from the judges stand, five-time Olympian and World Champion Jacqui Cooper described the “quite special moment” she had watching the three girls she recruited into aerial skiing as teenagers compete at a World Cup.
“My career ended as theirs started,” she said.
“To come back and see them all, that was fantastic. I was even getting pins and needles in my hands and in my feet. Obviously yesterday was a bit of a tough day but I was happy, Sam and I had some bonding time before the competition. To see Danni come out today and win it’s really nice to have moments with these athletes that I’ll always have a strong connection with.
“The win is the bonus; the medals are the bonuses but at the moment our team wouldn’t be focused on trying to win every event. It’s about getting competition experience for the rest of the season … We are heading in the right direction.”
The next World Cup for the aerial skiers will be from the 10-12 January at Deer Valley, USA.