Olympic gold medalist lands at ski area
December 28, 2007
Steamboat SpringsSteamboat Springs — His 360-degree mute grab earned him a gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and his famous “dinner roll” trick filled the appetite of freestyle skiing fans four years later in Salt Lake City. — His 360-degree mute grab earned him a gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and his famous “dinner roll” trick filled the appetite of freestyle skiing fans four years later in Salt Lake City.
Steamboat Springs — His 360-degree mute grab earned him a gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and his famous “dinner roll” trick filled the appetite of freestyle skiing fans four years later in Salt Lake City.
Now, it appears that Jonny Moseley, and his legendary skiing exploits, will land on the slopes of Mount Werner in his new role as a representative of the Steamboat Ski Area.
“Everybody I know is here,” Moseley said Thursday. “I’ve always loved coming to Steamboat Springs, so when this opportunity came around, it just seemed right.”
On Thursday, the Steamboat Ski Area announced that the two-time Olympian has accepted a new role with the resort. Moseley will ski with the public, represent the ski area at special events, make public appearances and participate in media events throughout the season. Moseley currently is in Steamboat Springs and will be Billy Kidd’s special guest for a run this afternoon that starts at the top of the gondola. Skiers wishing to ski with Moseley should meet at 1 p.m. at the top of the gondola by the Billy Kidd sign. Moseley also is skiing at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Moseley seemed thrilled to be in Steamboat Springs and to represent the resort. He said he has been coming to Steamboat since 1993 to compete and train.
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“I have been fortunate to ski and work with many of the legends of freestyle skiing from Steamboat, and look forward to this unique opportunity to help promote Steamboat across the United States as well as around the world,” he said.
In the past, Moseley has trained with Steamboat coaches Copper Schell, Jeff Good and Park Smalley. He also has been a regular at competitive events in Steamboat, including World Cups. He spent the weeks leading up to the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games training on the Voo Doo mogul course, which was designed to mimic the one the Olympic athletes competed on in Park City.
Andy Wirth, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. and chief marketing officer for Intrawest, said he was thrilled when Moseley called a few months ago looking to take on a new role in skiing.
“We’ve had a long-time relationship with Jonny, so I knew right away that he would be a good fit,” Wirth said. “To be able to have Jonny working alongside freestyle legends Nelson Carmichael, Travis Mayer, Ann Battelle, Bobby Aldighieri, Kris “Fuzz” Feddersen, as well as skiing icon Billy Kidd, will truly elevate Steamboat to a totally new level.”
During his career, Moseley earned 17 World Cup victories and captured the World Cup’s overall title in 1995 and 1996. In 1998, he skied to the World Cup mogul and U.S. National titles, before earning the first gold medal for the United States in freestyle moguls at the Olympics in Nagano. A year later, he won the professional mogul tour, Sprint Bumps & Jumps and also placed second in the X Games. He still is the only skier to hold both Olympic and X Game medals. He has also served as a television commentator covering skiing, appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, and hosted Saturday Night Live. He emerged as a very popular MTV host and has starred in Warren Miller ski movies.
But Moseley is much more than just a skiing celebrity. He also is seen as an innovator in the sport of freestyle skiing and has never backed down from his desire to see the sport progress and thrive.
In 1999, Moseley challenged the International Skiing Federation to change its policy and to allow athletes to participate in professional events, such as ESPN’s Winter X Games. He followed that up with his most dramatic statement in Salt Lake City in 2002, when he pushed the limits of the FIS rule that did not allow inverted aerial maneuvers in the mogul event with his “Dinner Roll” – a 720-degree, off-axis rotation.
There was no question that the new trick pushed the FIS rules to the brink on the Olympic stage. Judges awarded Moseley a fourth-place finish based on the difficulty points that were awarded for the trick and later dropped the rule banning inverted tricks on the mogul course.
Today, Moseley views the move with mixed emotions.
“My goal was to move the sport forward, but I didn’t think I would sacrifice a medal for it,” Moseley said. “I felt like I could win with the Dinner Roll and that’s why I did it.”
Today, Moseley lives in Tiburon, Calif., with his wife Malia, and has one child. He recently finished his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, and hosts a weekly radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio. He will split his time this winter between California and Steamboat.