Winter Park’s Seemann takes 10th at Moscow World Cup as Olympics near | SierraSun.com

Winter Park’s Seemann takes 10th at Moscow World Cup as Olympics near

Sawyer D’Argonne
sdargonne@skyhinews.com

Nik Seemann stands atop the jump at the Moscow World Cup in Russia. Seemann finished 10th in the competition, and top among all Americans present.

The competition is heating up for Olympic hopeful and Winter Park native Nik Seemann, who has taken home two Top 10 finishes in a season checkered by injury.

The 20-year-old freestyle aerial skier hit the gates early for his first competition this season, taking on an expert field at the Europa Cup in Ruka, Finland, on Dec. 1. Seemann, the only American present, took ninth place in the first day of the competition.

"The weather was good, the start was good," said Seemann. "All the big guns were there. It was pretty much World Cup caliber competition jumpers there. I was able to put down a couple jumps and it ended up working out well."

During a training run, however, Seemann accidently kneed himself in the face, splitting his chin open. He was unable to compete in the second day of the Europa Cup.

Disaster struck again just days later when he crashed attempting a quintuple-twisting triple backflip. The resulting concussion was enough to keep Seemann out of the Secret Garden World Cup in China.

"I gave it a shot, and unfortunately got a little tail-wind going into the jump, so I had a little too much air," Seemann recalled. "I hit my head pretty hard, and I was pretty jumbled up after that. I earned my spot to get to that, and to not be able to go out was definitely a bummer for sure."

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The injury didn't keep Seemann down for long.

He returned for the season's second World Cup competition in Moscow last week, taking home 10th place. He was the only American man to qualify for the final.

"That was my first World Cup competition of the year, so it was really awesome to get a good result like that coming back from an injury," he said.

There are three more Olympic qualifiers coming up for Seemann ahead of the Winter Olympics, which commence Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Up next for Seemann is the Jan. 12 Deer Valley World Cup in Utah. He'll then head over to the Lake Placid World Cup for a double header on Jan. 19 and 20.

"I'm just training hard and getting ready for this next event," he said. "I'm trying to go big, stick it and get to the Games. That's the goal."

Before the Games: Up next for Nik Seemann

Winter Park native Nik Seemann has had a busy competition season, which is quickly coming to a close with the ultimate goal to qualify for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team at the 2018 Winter Olympics. But first, he has three more qualifiers.

Jan. 12: FIS World Cup Deer Valley, Utah

Jan. 19: FIS World Cup Lake Placid, N.Y.

Jan. 20: FIS World Cup Lake Placid, N.Y.

Follow Sky-Hi News in print and online for the latest news and updates as several Grand County athletes compete in qualifying events for the 2018 Winter Olympics.