Former Steamboat skier snaps U.S. moguls podium drought at World Championships

Other Steamboat athletes dazzle in championship events around the world

Jaelin Kauf holds two silver medals she won in moguls and dual moguls at a World Championship event in Bakuriani, Georgia, on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. Kauf's first medal, which she won on Saturday, Feb. 25, marked the first U.S. moguls podium placement at a World Championship event in eight years.
Patti Kauf/Courtesy photo

Editor’s Note: This story was updated Sunday, Feb. 26, with details on Jaelin Kauf’s second silver medal.

Competing on the world’s biggest stage, 14 athletes with ties to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club have begun competing in their respective World Championship events. 

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club alumni Jaelin Kauf and Olivia Giaccio have put up top results all season long on moguls courses. The pair traveled to Bakuriani, Georgia, where they are competing in various events through March 5. 

On Saturday, Feb. 25, Kauf made history, earning the first U.S. moguls medal at a World Championships in eight years with silver. Kauf went on to take another silver in dual moguls on Sunday, Feb. 26.

As usual, Kauf had the fastest time down the hill in moguls on Saturday and earned a score of 83.56 on her final run for second place. Prior to Kauf’s incredible performance on Saturday, the U.S. was in the middle of its longest podium drought in moguls at the World Championships. 

Reaching the first final, Giaccio was not far behind Kauf and took 12th overall on a 71.31 run score. 

Joining the girls in Georgia is snowboarder Cody Winters who competed in the men’s parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom events on Sunday, Feb. 19, and Tuesday, Feb. 21, respectively. 

Winters was the top-finishing American in both events while taking 24th on Sunday and 21st on Tuesday.

Annika Belshaw lays out over her skis while competing in the USA Nordic Junior Championships special jumping team event in March 2021. Belshaw qualified for the 2023 ski jumping World Championships, taking 31st place in the HS100 competition on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Six former SSWSC Nordic athletes and one currently with the club traveled to Planica, Slovenia for their World Championship events. 

Representing the U.S. men on the HS100 ski jump was Erik Belshaw and Decker Dean on Saturday as well as Annika Belshaw for the women on Thursday, Feb. 23. 

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Erik and Dean took jumps of 92 and 90 meters respectively, earning 42nd and 45th place of 50. Annika’s 85-meter jump earned her 95.2 points, falling one place short of the cutoff for a second jump in 31st. 

In women’s Nordic combined, Annika Malacinski jumped to 25th and raced her way up three spots to 22nd. Alexa Brabec also made up a few places in the cross country race where she jumped to 31st and finished 28th overall.

For the Nordic combined men, Niklas Malacinski’s 91-meter jump put him in 27th, but he lost four places in the cross country race to finish 31st. 

World Championship events continue for these SSWSC athletes through the first week of March, giving more chances to produce great results for their country. 

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