Vernon’s Justin Dorey opened his freestyle ski season with a gold medal at the Dew Tour Superpipe final last weekend in Breckenridge, Colo.
Dorey, 23, counted a 93.50 in the first of two runs to take the title ahead of New Zealand’s Byron Wells and national teammate Mike Riddle of Sherwood Park, Alta.
Dorey, who popped his shoulder out during his second run and didn’t finish it, said the Olympic qualifying made him ski a little more tentative.
“I usually go for broke every run,” said the Silver Star Freestyle Club grad. “Sometimes it works but it’s a gamble. I knew I needed a podium for the Olympic qualifying so I was a little more reserved. That helped me focus.”
National coach Trennon Paynter was pleased with the results after a change last summer in the team’s training methods.
“The approach we took in training was to really train the way we intend to compete,” he said.
“Some people…. save their big move for competition. We had them training as if competing and that’s what we saw (Friday).”
Dorey was a little bit of an exception to that new approach. His final trick on his first run in the pipe was one he hadn’t been training this year.
“But he probably did it 100 times over the summer so it wasn’t a big gamble,” said Paynter. “The rest of his run was flawless.”
The trick was a right side double cork 1260 that Dorey reversed after successfully hitting it from the normal side earlier in his run. He admitted he hadn’t worked on the reverse much because he was working on a new trick but didn’t feel it would be a gamble on Friday.
“Our whole sport is a gamble. You have to take calculated risks.”
Dorey took about seven training runs on the course because he didn’t want to overtrain. He also made some minor changes on a couple of those runs and found it wasn’t what he wanted.
“But I felt if I do it in competition I could clean up a couple of things. And I did.”