Steamboat juniors earn podium spots at Junior World Freestyle skiing championships |

Steamboat juniors earn podium spots at Junior World Freestyle skiing championships

— Two mogul skiers from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s freestyle program stepped into the spotlight at the FIS Junior World Freestyle Skiing Championships in Valmalenco, Italy, this week.

“This is a really big accomplishment for these skiers,” said Bobby Aldighieri, SSWSC freestyle program director. “I think this is our best result at the Junior World Championships by far.”

On Wednesday, Steamboat Springs skiers Avital Shimko and Jaelin Kauf took two of the three podium spots in the women’s mogul competition. France’s Perrine Laffont won the event with a score of 83.36. Shimko was second at 75.40, and teammate Kauf was third at 74.37.

“The message is that if you do the work the results will come,” Aldighieri said. “These girls have worked really hard this season. I think they learned that if you followed the process from day to day then good things will come.”

Three-hundred of the world’s best juniors from 27 countries competed in moguls, dual moguls, aerials, slopestyle, halfpipe and skier cross at the world championships.

Shimko and Kauf represented the Winter Sports Club at the event. The two Steamboat skiers earned the top spots in Wednesday’s women’s single moguls. Both skiers were eliminated in the round of 16 in Thursday’s dual moguls event.

Aldighieri said the club was very proud of the girls results at the World Championships, but there is still work to do. The coach feels like both Shimko and Kauf are on a good track, and it’s a track he believes could lead them to top finishes at the World Championships some day.

“We still have a lot of work to do. Our goal isn’t just to wear the (Team USA) uniform,” Aldighieri said. “Our goal is to go up against the world’s best skiers and to win.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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