Updated Jan. 19: With his busy schedule it took John Teller a few days to get back to us, but here’s what he had to say about winning the race:
“It was pretty fun. I had the fastest time in training by .66 of a second, so I was skiing that course well from the beginning. We almost didn’t have the race because of snow and bad visibility. They wanted to do the race all in one day, but luckily the sun came out and we raced. I worked a lot on starts when I was home for Christmas and New Years. I think this training helped a lot because I have had good starts after the new year. I was really trying to just have fun and not put too much pressure on myself. That’s why I love skiing. Because it’s fun.” -John Teller
Mammoth’s John Teller got a big boost to his ski cross season this year, topping the podium and taking a Gold medal in the Audi FIS Freestyle ski cross World Cup in Megève, France this week. During Wednesday’s finals, Teller bested Finland’s Jouni Pelican (2nd), Switzerland’s Armin Niederer (3rd) and Russia’s Egor Korotkov (4th) for the event championship.
Teller’s fellow U.S. Ski Cross Teammate Joe Swensson took 7th in Megeve, soliciting congratulations from the gold medalist. “Good doing battle with you, buddy,” Teller wrote via Facebook.
Mountain weather is unpredictable on the best of days, and on Tuesday in Megève it certainly wasn’t the best of days. Organizers and officials spent the better part of a week tracking a snowstorm that all the best sources promised would hit on Wednesday, Jan. 16, and the decision was made to shift the race from Wednesday to Tuesday, and have both qualifications and finals on the same day.
Unfortunately, once that decision had been made the forecasts changed, the storm moved in one day early. Tuesday at Megève turned into a day of challenges, delays, reprogramming, and, above all, snow, as Teller and the other athletes had to deal with rearranging their competition schedule, not to mention change their mindsets.
Despite the consistent, heavily falling snow, qualifications were successfully completed in Megève on Tuesday, but heavy snowfall and built-up snow on course would not allow for four-on-course racing organizers were able to complete men’s and ladies’ qualifiers. When it became clear conditions would be too hazardous for four-on-course racing, a jury decision was made to postpone the finals until Wednesday.
As one FIS official put it, “Our sport is one that is consistently at the mercy of the weather. Without snow, we couldn’t ski. And on the flip side, sometimes with too much snow we can’t ski either.”
For the first time this season, both men’s and ladies’ finals ran with 32 competitors, beginning with the ‘eight-final’ showcasing eight heats of four skiers. –Source: FIS
(Photo courtesy John Teller)