Rough landing for Canucks in aerials

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency


Canada's Steve Omischl and Warren Shouldice hug at the bottom of the hill during the men's aerials final at Cypress Mountain Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (STEPHANIE LAMY/QMI AGENCY)

WEST VANCOUVER — A bumpy landing knocked Kyle Nissen out of a sure podium spot and into fifth place in Olympic freestyle aerials at Cypress Mountain Thursday night.

The 30-year-old Calgarian was first overall after the first round and had one last jump. He landed a back-front-double-full-twist and ended up fifth, which was also his result four years ago at the Turin Games.

"It was a hot heat to be in. I was a little forward on my take-off. I had to fill it in on my third flip and had a sloppy landing,” Nissen said. "If I need to put down a 116 (point score) to win the Olympics, that should be something I can do."

Steve Omischl of North Bay, Ont. ended his Olympic career in eighth. Omischl, 31, was hoping to do better than the 20th he recorded in Turin and the 11th from Salt Lake in 2002.

Omischl, who now lives in Kelowna, B.C., was the winner of world cup stops at Cypress Mountain in 2008 and 2009 in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. But when the Games came, he was unable to remain king of the mountain.

“I’ve tried to build a career on not really gambling and that means you have to do easier jumps really, really nice,” Omischl said. “It’s a tough way to finish, but I can’t do any more than that.”

Warren Shouldice of Calgary was the third Canadian in the field of 12 and finished 10th. The 26-year-old was sixth in Turin.

"The first jump I was half a kilometre fast and didn't pick up on it until it was too late,” Shouldice said. “Obviously, I'm pretty devastated and stunned."

Alexei Grishin of Belarus, the Salt Lake 2002 bronze medallist, won gold, beating Jeret Peterson of the United States. The medal was redemption for “Speedy” Peterson, who was sent home from Turin after he finished seventh, got drunk and punched a friend in the face. The controversial freestyler overcame drugs, booze and depression and landed his signature move, "the Hurricane,” to briefly take first at Cypress. Liu Zongqing of China took the bronze.


bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca

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