A strong qualification result in Austria before Christmas has Whistler’s Chelsea Henitiuk believing she’s close to her first World Cup moguls podium.
Henitiuk finished ninth in the dual moguls event held Dec. 22 at Kreischberg, Austria, earning a second-straight top-10 finish to start the season.
Although she was edged by Norway’s Hedvig Wessel in the round of 16, Henitiuk was excited to qualify in third position for the duals bracket.
“It was a huge step for me, breaking into the top three. It makes that podium seem within reach,” she said in an email. “I was much happier with my skiing in Austria; everything is starting to come together. My jump scores were right where I wanted them to be and I had one of the fastest times in qualifications.”
Justine Dufour-Lapointe won a bronze for the Canadian women, while Alex Bilodeau and Mikael Kingsbury earned silver and bronze for the men’s team.
The World Cup tour resumes Jan. 17 at Lake Placid, the start of a three-event swing through North America, with each competition counting for Olympic qualification.
Henitiuk’s best results last season came at Canadian and American stops, so she said she’s “pretty excited” to see what she can do this year.
“There will definitely be some added pressure now that we are officially competing for Olympic spots,” she said. “I’m just going to keep the same mindset I had for the first two events and continue to fine-tune my run. I am really looking forward to January — it is always so much fun to compete in Canada with familiar faces in the crowd.”