Butte freestyle skier Brad Wilson will need to try again on Saturday to qualify for that day’s finals in the men’s moguls event at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
He was unable to finish the course after veering violently through the moguls field during qualifying held on Thursday. Skiing in his third Olympics, the 29-year-old Wilson needed to place in the top 10 of Thursday’s competition to advance directly to the Saturday finals.
The 20 men who did not qualify Thursday for the finals will go through another qualifying run on Saturday prior to the finals. Ten more berths are at stake in the Saturday qualifying to fill the 20-man finals field later in the day.
Wilson looked to have landed a high-scoring jump on his first aerial off the upper trick ramp and the landing seemed strong and steady. As he picked up speed, however, going downhill and into the moguls field, he seemed to start to lose control of his skis and bumped out of his groove, veering way to his right while trying to maintain balance and remain upright.
“Yikes. That hat was a little ,” Wilson sent out in a Tweet immediately after the run.
The competition was televised live on the USA Network.
“The sharp moguls are getting him,” described TV analyst, Hannah Kearney, a former women’s moguls Gold and Bronze medalist, while Wilson battled to regain his course line.
She called Wilson one of the fastest skiers in the world who is always skiing on the edge.
Wilson competed in the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics and is the first American man to qualify for three Olympics in skiing. His older brother, Bryon, was the Bronze Medalist in the sport at the 2010 Winter Olympics and is now with Team USA as moguls coach. He is also at the Olympic site.
Reigning Olympic Gold Medalist Mikael Kingsbury led the qualifying while Walter Wallberg of Sweden was second and Benjamin Cavet of France third to stamp themselves as lead contenders for the medals. Two Team USA skiers – Cole McDonald and Dylan Walczyk – qualfied in the fifth and 10th positions and will advance to the finals. Wilson and another American, Nick Page, are among those sent to the Saturday qualifying round. So was Australian Matt Graham, the 2018 Silver Medalist, who also did not finish the course in Thursday’s round.
Wilson’s girlfriend, Jaelin Kauf, of Alta, Wyoming, qualified third in the women’s moguls Thursday, making her the lead U.S. qualifier and is one of three Team USA women to reach the finals through Thursday’s qualifying. Olivia Giaccio qualified fourth and Hannah Soar seventh. Kai Owens did not ski in the qualifying and may have been injured during pre-race training, social media sources said.
Jakara Anthony of Australia led the women’s qualifying with Perrine Laffont of France second.
— Compiled by Bruce Sayler for buttesports.com