Steamboat moguls skier juggles busy schedule to prepare for World Cup season
U.S. Ski Team moguls skier Landon Wendler spent his summer waking up prior to the sun and beginning his day with aerial practice at the water ramps by 7 a.m.
The remainder of his day would be spent working out at the gym, taking online classes at LA Film School, and working at a local pizza restaurant in Park City, Utah from 4-10 p.m. each night. He had just four days to spend with friends and family in Steamboat Springs, his hometown, this summer.
Wendler closed last winter season with the best World Cup result of his career, placing sixth and seventh at an event in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Through that performance, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club product managed to requalify for the U.S. Ski Team this year for his third non-sequential season as a moguls skier for the U.S.
Wendler began his offseason with a focus on turns down the moguls course, then graduated to take on new aerial training for the remainder of the summer. His focus has been on upper body positioning and keeping quiet hands on his runs.
“As always, we are working on having a higher degree of difficulty on jumps so I am still training my cork 10s and a couple other tricks currently, but also the consistency of having every run be at a higher standard,” Wendler said.
Wendler was able to put his training to the test last weekend with the first moguls World Cup event of the winter in Ruka, Finland on Saturday. Wendler said he was proud of his first World Cup run of the season and earned solid points for his turns and time, but had a small mistake on his bottom air landing which gave him his biggest deductions.
Wendler placed 19th overall in the event, missing the finals run for top 16 by just half a point. He said it was a promising start to the season despite missing the finals, and it was especially nice to be back competing against the world’s best.
“It is great to see all my friends again and be around all these people skiing at such a high level and having fun with what we are doing,” Wendler said.
For the majority of the winter, Wendler will live out of his suitcase traveling from one World Cup to the next. He is currently in Idre, Sweden preparing for his second World Cup event of the winter on Friday and Saturday.
Wendler looks to put down a clean run this weekend and hopes to make the finals, and even get into the top six for a potential podium. That will be his goal at every World Cup this season.
“I want to perform so I am proud of myself and the run I put down,” Wendler said. “You hope that lands you in the top 16 and a lot of times that will, and then you just want to keep repeating that to make it all the way to the podium.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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