Freeskier has partnered with Vail Resorts to produce the Road to Sochi video series, following its Epic team members as they attempt to qualify for, and succeed at the 2014 Winter Olympics. We’re giving our audience exclusive cuts of each episode—each one gives an in-depth look at the athletes’ ups and downs on this road to the Olympic stage.
Our latest segment follows Keri Herman, Bobby Brown and David Wise as each competes in the 2013 Dew Tour at Breckenridge, Colorado. The Dew Tour was the first of five United States Olympic team qualifying events. Selection is based upon each athlete’s top two finishes at the various qualifying events, so the pressure was on as Wise, Brown and Herman all looked to solidify their chances of landing a spot on the US Team.
After qualifying third in slopestyle, Herman ended up with a fourth place finish, third amongst United States competitors, in finals. “I just missed the podium by a little bit and ended up in fourth. It’s a really good way to start the season, I really just wanted to have a smooth run, put it together,” said Herman after the competition.”You know sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn’t. Now it gives me something to work harder on for next contest.”
Keri Herman getting amped for slope finals. Photo by Henrik Lampert.
Bobby Brown qualified in fifth place for men’s slopestyle, and looked to up his score in the finals. Bobby managed to increase his score in the finals, but fell just short of a podium spot. Luckily for the Colorado native, he finished second, behind Nick Goepper, among Americans, thus giving him some momentum in his quest for Sochi. “That’s my first contest in almost a year. It feels good, I feel like I’m skiing the way that I always ski,” said Brown after the contest. “Now I just have to keep going, keep having fun, see how it goes and hopefully qualify for the Olympics.”
Bobby Brown awaits his score during slopestyle finals at the 2013 Dew Tour. Photo by Henrik Lampert.
David Wise had a disappointing (by his standards) qualifying run, ending up in fifth place. Wise came back with a vengeance during finals, scoring an 88.60 on his first run, and then a huge 92.60 on his second to earn him the first place finish, a huge boost in his journey to the Olympics in February. “I was able to refocus myself, woke up this morning and was like, ‘Hey, today’s another day.’ To have put down solid runs in finals tonight was amazing,” said Wise. “I’ve never started off a season this good. I’m just really happy to have put down solid runs tonight, the fact that I have a W under my belt is amazing, it takes a little bit of the pressure off of the Olympic qualification process.”
Following the Dew Tour at Breckenridge, athletes competed at the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain—the second of the five Olympic qualifiers here on North American soil. Next up, athletes return this week to Breckenridge for the next stop of the Grand Prix Tour—this third stop was originally slated to be held at Northstar, CA, but due to poor snow conditions, event organizers were forced to make a quick change. Following two Grand Prix events in Park City, UT, the United States Olympic teams will be announced on January 22.
Click here to watch our previous episode starring David Wise—additionally, keep your eyes peeled for a follow-up showcasing the trio’s experience at this year’s Grand Prix in Park City.