Chelsea Henitiuk is in Austria this week, encouraged by a top-eight finish during the World Cup moguls opener and looking to roll the momentum over into her next event.
Eddie Hicks is in Canada this week, hoping for good news as he prepares to recover from another injury setback.
Whistler’s two skiers on the Canadian moguls team had polar opposite weeks at Ruka, Finland, as Henitiuk reached the quarter-finals of the women’s duals event, while Hicks was unable to start.
Henitiuk was disappointed to qualify for finals in the 16th and final position, due to a bobble skiing out of her new back layout on the top air, but made up for it by getting past teammate Chloe Dufour-Lapointe handily in the opening round.
“I had two really strong starts in my duals,” Henitiuk said in an email. “I won the first and just narrowly lost the second by drifting in my front flip on the bottom air.”
Czech skier Nikola Sudova eliminated Henitiuk in the quarter-finals. American Heather McPhie beat Canada’s Justine Dufour-Lapointe in the final, while Penticton’s Andi Naude finished fifth in just her second World Cup start.
There’s another duals event going Saturday (Dec. 22) at Kreischberg, Austria, and Henitiuk is excited to build off last week’s result.
“I am so happy to be sitting in eighth after the first event, it is very motivating heading into the next event,” she said. “The competition has definitely gotten stronger this season from what I saw in the first event. No room for mistakes this year.”
Hicks could be on the shelf for several weeks or more following an awful-looking crash in training. He appeared to lose his balance halfway down from the top air and slammed hard into the ground a couple of times.
He was scheduled to meet with doctors in Vancouver on Wednesday (Dec. 19) for a second opinion after X-rays of his ankle raised concerns. It’s also believed that Hicks dislocated his shoulder and cracked his humerus in the crash. He spent most of last season battling back pain while skiing, but was mostly back to full health for the upcoming winter.
The first men’s event played out just like Hicks had predicted in preseason, with Canadian teammates Mikael Kingsbury and Alex Bilodeau battling it out in the final. Kingsbury took this round over the Olympic champ. Five Canadians in all reached the quarter-finals, with Marc-Antoine Gagnon finishing fourth, Cedric Rochon placing seventh and Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh taking eighth spot.