The offseason has kept the mogul-skiing Wilson brothers on the go pretty much non-stop. Now, they’ll get to the busy part of their schedules.
“Now, we’re just waiting for some snow,” said Brad Wilson, 20, as he looked forward to the World Cup circuit, which launches its 2012-2013 tour on Dec. 12-13 in Finland.
Brad Wilson was the World Cup Rookie of the Year in men’s freestyle skiing moguls competition last year with his final No. 8 ranking in the world. His older brother, Bryon, won the bronze medal in the sport at the 2010 Winter Olympics, tore an ACL during the 2011 campaign and healed quickly enough to ski the tail-end of the World Cup campaign last winter.
The brothers are Butte natives and hope to land on the podium at some meets this season as Team USA teammates, though they debate as to what the order on the podium might be in terms of which block each will stand upon.
This fall, snow, or lack of it, has been a bit of a problem in Utah where the Wilson’s train. Hopes were by the weekend they would be able to ski, jump and fly down the Snowbird resort slopes and stay fairly near their Park City bases. Rain during a somewhat unusually warm autumn had hampered attempts to gain training runs.
This weekend, they will be packing and traveling. Brad Wilson said he and Bryon, 24, will fly to Finland on Dec. 4 and take part in a week of training before the competition begins.
“Everybody is healthy and we’re ready to go,” Brad Wilson said in a phone call from Utah. “We’ve been working all summer and we’re ready to get going again.”
They will make their first trip to Austria the week after the World Cup in Finland. The Austrian stop, at a site in the Alps, is on the World Cup loop this season for the first time since either Wilson qualified for a berth on the tour. Later circuit dates include meets at Lake Placid, N.Y., and at Deer Valley resort near Park City (Utah) for the United States portion of the slate.
The Butte men are anxious.
“We’re ready for it to start,” Brad Wilson said, noting that neither of the brothers is very good at sitting around and resting with such a challenge approaching.
They don’t have a lot of experience with just sitting. The summer saw them train in Oregon, at Mt. Batchelor and then at the Mount Hood training camp, as well as in Chile where, being south of the equator, it was winter in the Andes. Plus, they worked with the team and trained at Park City, Utah, at the Olympic Park in the summer. During time in warmer months at home, the Wilson’s spend hours working on their techniques at the water ramps located at the Olympic facility.
“Skiing in Chile was cool,” Brad Wilson said. “Now, though, training’s done, pretty much. “
The season will end in March with the last World Cup date and the World Championships.
Brad Wilson said the Utah World Cup meet is the one that’s a little different from the others and is definitely a favorite of the competitors, particularly those wearing the red, white and blue uniforms.
“We had really good crowds at Deer Valley last year,” he said. “So many people showed up. And so many of them were from Butte. It was definitely the best week. Another thing that makes it the most fun is that they hold that one at night and we ski under the lights.”
Each Wilson is working on a new trick to add to his array for competition. Both are known for their fearless aerials thrown off the two jumps on the moguls course. Their aerial routines rank among the very best of the very best on the planet. So, to add more spice to the concoction will likely concern their competitors.
“Hopefully, Bryon and I can get on the podium together,” Brad Wilson said, “that would be awesome.”
The constant activity of competing on the world stage at such a high level is not a curse by any means, Brad Wilson said. The opportunity is welcome, especially to a family that stays pretty busy anyway.
“There’s not really any time off during the year,” Brad Wilson said. “When we get time off, we just get bored, so it’s good to keep going.
“And it snowed some the other day at Snowbird and our folks (Bryon Sr. and Jeanette) went skiing for the first time this season. So, our folks our happy people. If they can’t fish or ski, then they’re not happy people.”
Their folks will probably be happy people about the brothers’ efforts and performances over the nearing World Cup moguls season, too.