VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA – Two-time Winter Olympics medalist Dale Begg-Smith returned to World Cup moguls skiing for the first time in three years in the hopes of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014. The World Cup took place in Ruka, Finland, which was also the scene of his last World Cup competition in December 2010. Prior to the competition national moguls coach Steve Desovich gave little away about the 28-year-old athlete’s form. “He is getting back nice and slowly,” Desovich said. “We’ll see how it goes.” Joining Begg-Smith at the Ruka season-starter were fellow Australian athletes Britt Cox, Nicole Parks, Matt Graham, Brodie Summers, Sam Hall and Taylah-Paige O’Neill. Overall the Australia’s mogul ski squad had close to a best ever start to a World Cup season with three athletes narrowly missing a podium. Australia’s most successful Olympian Dale Begg-Smith made an excellent return to international competition after a three year break with a fifth place.
Begg-Smith described his result as better than he expected. “It was probably a little higher than I was expecting having not skied for three years,” Begg-Smith said. “To be honest I wasn’t sure I would ski here. I was really here for training. I was happy with my turns and happy with the feedback from my coach. Turns have been my area of specialty. What is his forecast for this season? “I don’t have expectations. I try to focus on technical things we work on. We always take it day by day. Each competition is taken as they come. I always worked on technical things that I wanted to work on and the results will take care of themselves.”
Looking at his successful history, Begg-Smith’s approach seems to be working. After all, Dale can claim no less than four World Cup Season Victories his. In order to win a world cup season victory, an athlete must have the top overall ranking score over the entire world cup season. Dale won World Cup Season Victories in 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, and 2009-2010, as well as a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, which made him the greatest freestyle mogul skier of all times. The last World Cup competition Begg-Smith contested was in late 2010. He is now following through with his plans to re-enter competition for the 2013/14 World Cup season to prepare for a third Olympic Games.
Dale Begg-Smith made his first impact as a moguls skier in January 2001, skiing for Canada at the age of 16. After several years off the circuit, Dale and his older brother Jason, took Australian citizenship and resumed their World Cup careers under the guidance of Steve Desovich. With an Olympic gold and silver medal to his name, Dale is Australia’s most successful winter Olympian. At the 2006 Torino Olympic Winter Games, Dale became the youngest mogul skier in Olympic history to win gold. In total, Dale has had an outstanding career, winning two Olympic medals, three World Championship medals and 29 World Cup medals. Another record that leads many to consider Dale the greatest mogul skier of all time is his current streak of 60 consecutive finals appearances, which surpasses all of his peers.