Aerialist Steve Omischl to coach Canadian mogul squadTweet
The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association has hired veteran aerialist Steve Omischl as its air mogul coach in the lead up to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
A three time Olympian who won 40 FIS World Cup medals; four World Championship podiums, including a win in 2005; and, four overall titles (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009) in his 11-year tenure with the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team, Omischl will be working with members of the mogul squad to improve their acrobatic skills.
The two mandatory jumps in a mogul course are worth 25 per cent of the total score, making jumping technique a vital component to success in the bumps.
Omischl had a trial run with the men’s team a few weeks ago. FIS World Cup Mogul Champion Mikael Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, Que.), who has a reputation on the circuit as a great jumper, said it was “pretty awesome” to work with the retired aerialist.
“Steve is a winner, and he knows how to train like a winner. The two of us had an instant connection. He’s the best coach we could have for jumping, I can’t believe we got such a great coach, we’re lucky to have him,” said Kingsbury.
CFSA High Performance Program Director David Mirota added, “Steve is a very detail-oriented guy and brings the acrobatic knowledge that we need. Obviously those attributes are a huge benefit to our team; and, as a bonus, his competitive experience will be invaluable to our young athletes as many of them head towards their first Olympic qualifying season in 2013.”
Mogul skiing is a new arena for Omischl who said, “I’m bringing a new set of eyes to a very strong existing program. It’s for sure a different environment for me.
“In aerials we spend our whole summer jumping at the water ramps, but with the mogul guys and girls we have to balance their acrobatic training on water and snow; and between jumping and working on their skiing technique. What’s more, in aerials most athletes come with some kind of gymnastic background so they usually have a good natural air sense — that’s not necessarily the case with mogul skiers. So, I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the coaches to manage all those demands, it will be a challenge, but that’s one of the main reasons I took the job.”
Omischl plans to spend his energy over the coming months getting to know his team and earning their confidence. He’ll be working to help them perfect their technique and, in some cases, upping the degree of difficulty of their jumps to increase their scoring chances. Over the winter he’ll work with mogul coach Adrian Taggart on the NorAm circuit.
Omischl retired after the 2010 Olympics. Last season he coached the Australian aerials squad. He officially starts with the Canadian team on July 1.