Robertson movin’ up in moguls
Cracking the top-10 against the world’s best moguls skiers is nothing new to Shelly Robertson. Squeezing between, and a head above, second- and third-place finishers on the podium is a different story.
After her first-ever World Cup win this past weekend ” a dual moguls event at Deer Valley Resort in Utah ” the former Squaw Valley Freestyle Team member hopes to establish similar results as a trend.
“That was awesome. I like winning,” Robertson said of her recent victory, her first top-3 finish in four years. “I was so excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the podium.”
Robertson, 28, who moved to Reno in third grade and joined the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team at 15, competed in her first World Cup event in 1999, finishing 30th. She placed third in a 2004 duals meet in Fernie, British Columbia, and has won three U.S. championships in dual moguls.
Last season, Robertson earned top-10 finishes in every World Cup event, and was ranked as high as seventh.
So far this season, she’s made the top-10 in three of four events ” the exception being a 15th place after landing on her head on a backflip attempt, she said.
Currently ranked fifth in the world with five events remaining, Robertson’s goal is to finish in the top-3 overall.
Her win this past weekend could play a significant role in achieving that goal.
“It definitely helps my confidence, and because it is a judged sport, it makes a difference what you do from week to week,” she said. “So it helps from a judging point of view.
“Personally, it gave me confidence just knowing I can do it. Knowing that makes it so much easier.”
Making Robertson’s first win even sweeter was the fact that she did it in front of a “huge crowd” of friends, family and sponsors.
“It was really cool to perform well in front of them,” she said. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I could hear them cheer the whole way down. I just kept telling myself ‘don’t crash, don’t crash.'”
Improvisation factored into the win, as Robertson opted to change one of her jumps, a 360, in the semifinal to a double-twister-spread. She said she was landing too far back on her 360 attempts, and that the trick sometimes throws her off because she sees her opponent while spinning.
The last-minute change of plans paid dividends, as Robertson edged Czech Nikola Sudova by a score of 18-17 in the semifinal, then went on to defeat Austrian Margarita Marbler 18-17 in the final round.
The next opportunity for Robertson to back her performance comes Saturday, when the FIS Freestyle World Cup tour stops at Cypress Mountain in Vancouver, B.C. ” the site of the 2010 Olympic freestyle venue.
“I’m just going to go out and ski the best I can and hopefully come out with a win,” Robertson said.
– 1st in dual moguls, Visa Freestyle International, ’08
– Worlds: 2003, ’07
– 8th in moguls at ’07 Worlds
– 2007: Seven World Cup top-10s (four in ’06)
– 2007: Third U.S. duals championship (also: ’05, ’04)
– Won ’05 NorAm duals meets at Killington, Fernie
– 3rd in 2004 World Cup duals meet (Fernie, BC)