Jaelin Kauf collects mogul skiing titles in Chinese World Cups
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs’ skier Jaelin Kauf was loving life last weekend in Thaiwoo, China, where she won both the singles and dual moguls competitions at the final FIS World Cup events before the holiday break.
“My love for the sport and for pushing the sport is what motivates me each week,” Kauf said after making the 13-hour trip from China back home. “It was amazing, and it was such a great way to leave off for our little (holiday) break. Having two wins puts me in a good standing for qualifying for the World Championships.”
Qualifying to ski in those events, which will take place the first week of February at Deer Valley Resort in Utah, is a season-long goal for the moguls skier who is a Steamboat Springs High School graduate and a longtime member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
The finishes also improved her chances of winning the overall title.
She placed fifth in the opening World Cup of the season, but last week’s finishes helped her rebound and has her sitting at the top of the women’s World Cup moguls standings.
“We had not competed in six months, so in that first event, I was just kind of trying to figure it out and put my skiing back together. I was really happy with the way I was skiing there, but I just had to clean it up a little bit,” Kauf said. “The biggest difference was just how much fun I was having in China. I was just skiing and doing my thing and having a ball doing it.”
During the first of two events in Thaiwoo, Kauf posted an 83.08 for the win to push past Australia’s Jakara Anthony, who finished with a mark of 82.42. French skier Perrine Laffont was third with a score of 81.23.
Kauf was fourth after qualifying, then climbed to second in the first of two final rounds before topping the championship round that included the top-six skiers.
On Sunday, the Steamboat skier picked up her second World Cup victory of the weekend in the dual moguls events where she topped Laffont in a head-to-head dual. Kazakhstan’s Yulia Galysheva beat Hinako Tomitaka in the consolation dual to take third place.
It was a good weekend for Kauf who added to her list of World Cup wins — five since December 2017. The list includes the two last weekend in addition to wins in Tazawako, Japan; Megeve, France; Deer Valley; and another win in Thaiwoo. She now has 10 World Cup podiums.
“The World Championships at Deer Valley is the big thing this year, “Kauf said. “My eyes are set on that as well as the overall. My goal has always been to be the best in the world, so I’m shooting for that and pushing myself to get there.”
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