INAWASHIRO, Japan – Each of Butte’s Wilson brothers now has a World Cup victory this season on the men’s freestyle skiing moguls circuit.
Brad Wilson mined his gold on Saturday night by triumphing in the dual moguls competition at the Inawashiro World Cup stop in Japan. His victory follows on the heels of the second –place feat he accomplished on Friday night at the same course, but in single moguls competition.
“To earn my first World Cup win in Inawashiro is pretty unbelievable,” Wilson said. “It’s a legendary course. And to have this win dueling agains the two best skiers on the World Cup circuit makes it that much more rewarding.”
His win on Saturday night saw him beat Canadian star Alex Bilodeau in the head-to-head championship final. Wilson was last season’s World Cup Rookie of the Year in moguls and his older brother, Bryon, captured the Bronze Medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Bryon Wilson placed seventh on Saturday night in the duals, meaning both brothers tallied top 10 finishes in the same meet. Bryon Wilson won a World Cup meet in Austria in December during the second stop of this season’s circuit.
The Saturday night duals marked a good competition for Team USA members. Along with the win by the 20-year-old Brad Wilson, and the seventh by Bryon Wilson, the team got a third-place finish from Joe Discoe. The women’s run saw Miki Ito of Japan win the event, followed by Americans Mikaela Mathews in second place and Hannah Kearney in third. Bozeman’s Heather McPhie placed 10th. All 13 U.S. entries qualified for the finals in their respective men’s and women’s disciplines.
“I came into this season with a lot of pressure that I put in myself, and it seems like the event that I just go out and have a good time with I do the best,” Brad Wilson said. “That’s what I did here this weekend. I remembered what freestyle skiing is all about and just really enjoyed myself and enjoyed getting to ski on this unbelievable course. Everyone who came over here qualified for finals today. That just proves how strong our team is. To have so many U.S. athletes on the podium only pushes us all more and make it that much more fun.”
Photos and results are available on the U.S. Ski Team web site.