Steamboat Springs It was a day of firsts for the reigning Papa John's Bumps & Jumps aerial champion Dmitri Daschinski and Canadian Steve Omischl at the Park Smalley Freestyle Complex on Saturday.
The two World Cup freestyle skiers had advanced to the championship round and then finished in a tie with a combined score of 131.72 which is almost unheard of in the world of freestyle aerials.
"I couldn't believe it. This is the first time in my freestyle skiing career that I've had to jump in a tie-breaker," Daschinski said. Daschinski had reservations about heading back to the top of the hill for his fourth official jump of the day. He said training didn't go that well and he really didn't want to do it.
But as he made his way up the rope tow, Daschinski decided it was best to take a relaxed attitude into his final jump.
"There wasn't a lot of pressure because I knew that I would finish in first or second," Daschinski said. "Either way I would earn some money."
His opponent in the one-jump showdown, Omischl was also caught off guard by the tie-breaking situation.
It was the first time in his jumping career he had ever headed to an extra round to decide the winner.
"Lets do it again," the Canadian yelled to Daschinski as he headed up the hill for the tie-breaker. While both athletes put forth strong efforts in the final jump of the day it was Daschinski who narrowly edged the young jumper from Canada with a full-double-full-full.
"It was one of the best jumps of my skiing career," Daschinski said after the jump. "It was very close, but I'm just happy to get the win."
Omischl performed the same jump but received a slightly lower score from the judges and finished with the second-place pay check.
"No way am I disappointed," Omischl said after the jump. "It was one of my best scores ever it just wasn't enough today."
Dashinski, who won a World Cup event in Steamboat a few years ago, topped the field of 15 elite skiers on Saturday after beating Omischal in the tie-breaker. American Joe Pack was third with a score of 126.82. Eric Bergoust was fourth at 109.02. Canadian Nicolas Fontaine was fifth with a score
Steamboat was the first stop in the three event Papa John's Bumps & Jumps Tour.
The Steamboat events will be televised in a one-hour special on CBS, Dec. 24 at 2:30 p.m.