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Freestyle skiing profiles

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Eric Bergoust

The defending gold medalist wanted to perform five twists this winter but decided instead to try to perfect his quad-twisting triple in hopes of repeating his 1998 gold medal performance in his hometown this winter. Originally from Montana, Bergoust wanted to be a stunt man or a fighter pilot. Instead, he saw the 1985 World Cup broadcast and was hooked. In addition to his gold medal, the 32-year-old reigning World Cup champ holds the three highest aerial scores, was the 1999 world champion and won the first World Cup competition of this season in September.

Joe Pack

This Oregon native started his career on snow as a ski jumper. He changed sports at age 12 and in 1996 won the Junior National championship. He was the U.S. champ in 1999 and last season but finished second in World Cup points to teammate Eric Bergoust. He won the bronze in the World Championships in 1999 and 2001. Now a resident of Park City, this 23-year-old enjoys golf, camping and dirt-bike riding.

Jerry Grossi

A former diver, this 27-year-old Chicago native opened last season with a second-place finish in Australia. He was in the top 10 in World Cup competitions four more times and sixth in the 2001 World Championships. But his season ended early after he broke his right femur riding a dirt bike. He was back in the splash pool this summer, and the now Park City resident is looking to win in front of a home crowd.

Emily Cook

The reigning U.S. champion earned her first World Cup podium in Deer Valley last season. She went on to have five top-10 finishes in World Cup competition. The Boston native, who now calls Belmont, Mass., home, believes the U.S. women will "surprise" some people at the Olympics in February. Cook started skiing at age 4 and also spent time competing as a diver and gymnast. Her mother was killed by a drunken driver when she was just 2, and she has been raised by her father, Don, who saw her earn her first podium in Deer Valley last year.

Brenda Petzold

She is looking to have a stellar season after losing the end of last season to a broken collarbone. She started the 2000-01 season with her best finish — a fourth place in Australia. She's had five more top-10 finishes and a bronze medal in the Goodwill Games in 2000. She also won a bronze in the 1992 Olympics when it was a demonstration sport. She began skiing at age 2 in New Hampshire and began competing at age 6. She's a self-described television junkie and certified scuba diver.


Jacqui Cooper

In 85 World Cup competitions, this Australian has been on the podium 23 times, and 10 of those have been wins. She won the first competition of this season in her home country and has been the World Cup champion for the past three years. This 28-year-old didn't even know how to ski when someone saw her performing tricks on a trampoline and told a ski coach about her. Always up for a thrill, she agreed to try and was among the first women to perform a triple twist. She will be the woman to beat at the Olympics.

Evelyn Leu

This Swiss woman is an electrical engineer by training. She won the aerials competition with a triple twist at Deer Valley last year. It was her only win, but she has been on the podium four other times in her 39 World Cup competitions. She's finished in the top 10 18 other times. Like Cooper, Leu was among the first women to perform a triple twist in competition.

Nicolas Fontaine

At age 31, this Quebec native has a silver Olympic medal (from 1992 when aerials was a demonstration sport) but hopes to win his first gold by making his jumps much more difficult this year. He's got 12 World Cup wins, including one at Deer Valley last season. He was the aerials world champion in 1997 and won the World Cup overall in 1999. He won won a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics and answers to the nickname "Nico."

Andy Capicik

Another talented Canadian aerialist. The 28-year-old from Vancouver, British Columbia, has finished first in World Cup competitions three times. His last win was in 1997, but he's finished in the top 10 41 times in his career. He's been in the top three 12 times, with his best score coming at Mount Tremblant in 1999, and that was 243.28.

Christian Rijavec

An Austrian soldier, musician and accomplished skier, this 29-year-old is hoping for his first Olympic medal. He's acquired eight wins in World Cup competition, including a gold in 1996 in Lake Placid, N.Y. His highest finish last season was a third place in Himos.


Jonny Moseley

The defending gold medalist, but he took two years off after winning and is now a member of the U.S. Ski Team's B Team. He grew up in Squaw Valley and turned to freestyle after becoming bored with alpine skiing. He won the junior national titles in moguls in 1991 and 1992. Now 26, he's had 17 World Cup wins since starting on the tour in 1994. Many of the younger skiers say Moseley is helping them deal with the stress of the competitions and upcoming Olympics.

Toby Dawson

He won his first World Cup in March and was promoted to the A team this season. He was born in South Korea, but he and his younger brother were adopted by a couple in Vail, Colo. This is his fourth year on the U.S. ski team. He's been in the top 10 in World Cup competitions six times.

Evan Dybvig

Finished second on the Olympic course at Deer Valley last season and was a member of the 1998 Olympic team. He has never won a World Cup event but has placed second five times since beginning World Cup competition eight years ago. He began competing at age 10. He recently had his first child. He missed the World Cup in Steamboat Springs, Colo., with a knee injury but should be ready to go in a few weeks. He is one of the few competitors to perform 720s.

Jeremy Bloom

This 19-year-old Colorado native passed up a football scholarship at Colorado State to train for the Olympics this season. It seems it was the right decision as he's been on the podium, in third place, in both of this season's competitions. Just a C team member, Bloom leads a group of young American skiers who have surprised even themselves this season.

Hannah Hardaway

In her sixth year on the U.S. ski team, Hardaway had her first two World Cup wins. She was on the podium four times and is the reigning U.S. moguls champ. Just 23, Hardaway's biggest win was probably on the Olympic course at Deer Valley last season. She beat the reigning world champion, Kari Traa, for her first gold medal in World Cup competition. She also enjoys hiking, biking and surfing.

Donna Weinbrecht

Another former Olympic gold medalist who came out of retirement last season. She was the first-ever women's moguls Olympic gold medalist in Albertville, France, in 1992. She's been the world champion (1991), won silver medals in 1989 and 1997 and has five World Cup titles among her accomplishments. She was fourth in the Nagano Olympics and seventh in Lillehammer, Norway. She started out as an figure skater but took up skiing when her mom complained about the costs of skating and the commute.

Ann Battelle

She, Weinbrecht and Justine Van Houte are the "old ladies" of the U.S. ski team, as they're the only ones born in the '60s. This native of Yonkers, N.Y., calls Steamboat Springs, Colo., home and is a two-time World Cup champion. She's been on the Olympic team three times, with her best finish in Lillehammer in eighth place. She owns six U.S. moguls titles and has won the gold and silver at the Goodwill Games. She's also a soccer and softball player and now enjoys hanging with her husband, playing with their kittens and eating brownie sundaes.


Mikko Ronkainen

He is the reigning moguls world champion and won on the Olympic course at Deer Valley last season. At 23, he is one of the most exciting skiers to watch ski bumps. This native of Finland was the overall World Cup champ in 2001 and the event champion. His highest score is an impressive 28.07.

Janne Lahtela

This 27-year-old was the moguls world champion in 1999. He's a member of one of the deepest freestyle teams in the world, not to mention fast. When he gets on the podium, it's usually a win, as he's been first 13 times. His highest score is an astounding 28.23, and he earned that in 2000. He finished second in dual moguls in Steamboat Springs, Colo., in the most recent World Cup.

Jean-Luc Brassard

An Olympic gold medalist in 1994, this Canadian leads one of the fastest teams in the world. He suffered a severe knee injury in March 2000 but says he's totally healthy. He's a three-time Canadian Olympic team member and three-time overall World Cup single moguls champ. He raises money for a Canadian division of the Children's Miracle Network and carried the flag for Canada in the opening ceremonies of the 1998 Olympics.

Stephane Rochon

Until two weeks ago, this dynamic Canadian hadn't won a gold medal in moguls since 1996, when he won three times. In 91 World Cup starts, he's been on the podium 23 times. He's been in the top 10 in moguls and dual moguls 60 times in his career. He calls Quebec home and said he loves skiing the course in Deer Valley. He was a member of the 1998 Canadian Olympic team and says his first love is water-skiing. He competed in the Canadian wakeboarding championships last summer.

Kari Traa

This 27-year-old Norwegian skier is the reigning world champion in both moguls and dual moguls. The latter isn't an Olympic sport, so many top athletes opt not to compete in the events in World Cup competitions to save their knees the wear and tear. In 88 World Cup starts, she's been on the podium 27 times, and 15 of those were wins. She was second on the Olympic course at Deer Valley last season and said she planned to train even harder this summer for the Olympics. An injury, however, kept her from jumping until October. Despite the late start, she's won both World Cup mogul competitions this year. In addition to skiing the bumps, Traa loves making things, like jewelry and hand-carved frames.

Tae Satoya

This Japanese mogul skier hopes to defend the Olympic gold medal she won in Nagano in 1998. She has just two wins in World Cup competition but another 30 finishes in the top 10. Her best finish in Deer Valley is fifth, and that was in 2000.