US Olympic moguls skiers feeling good despite falls
Morse, Deneen enjoying their Olympic experience
Whistler, British Columbia — Mike Morse and Pat Deneen were each disappointed in their performance at the men’s moguls finals a week ago, but they couldn’t be happier with the rest of the Olympic experience.
Morse, who trains and lives in Steamboat, and Deneen, who joined the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in January, each made the finals but struggled in their runs.
Morse finished 15th, and Deneen crashed on the final air.
“I’m not happy with the way I skied,” Morse said. “Somehow, I put together the worst two runs of the year at the Olympics. That’s not what you want. It’s pretty frustrating.”
Morse said he felt good between the training runs and thought he had a good shot at the podium.
But a misguided pole plant before his top air dictated the rest of his run.
“That threw me off, and in turn, threw off the jump,” he said.
For Deneen, the reigning world champion, his run looked like it had medal written all over it.
The Cle Elum, Wash., native, who joined the Winter Sports Club to train with Timmy Meagher, was flying down his run and looked primed for a medal.
But he got a little too far left on the bottom air and crashed.
“I didn’t want to pick up the silver medal,” he said. “I was going for the win. With the jump, I came in and just went a little left. If I land two feet to the right, it’s a whole different story.”
Outside of the competition, the two have been enjoying Vancouver and the Athletes’ Village. In addition to taking in as many events as they can, each walked in the Opening Ceremonies.
“That was great,” Morse said. “It was such a big thing, it seemed like. There were a lot of people.”
Morse plans to stay in Vancouver until Feb. 28 and walk in the Closing Ceremonies. Deneen is heading home soon to see friends and family.
Both will leave March 1 to continue skiing in the World Cup in Japan.
Morse, 28, said he was unsure what his future holds. He plans to ski the rest of the World Cup season and then reassess his situation.
Deneen, 21, said he’s looking to finish the season strong and said this is definitely not the last go for him.
“Oh, I plan on being in Russia,” he said about the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. “My career is really just starting out. I’m going for another Olympics and maybe two.”
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