- Tess Johnson
World Cup Finals & US National Champion
The 2018 ski season is finally a wrap! As long and draining as it was, I had the most spectacular time traveling the world doing what I love. We finished the World Cup tour in Megeve, France last weekend with a duals contest. The course was a pump track and each athlete was skiing incredibly fast. The conditions were prime for a smoke show. I unfortunately did not finish my first dual as I crashed on the bottom air. I was several moguls behind the skier next to me, so to catch up I straight lined into the jump and gapped the entire bottom air landing! Although I fell badly, I have no regrets and was so relieved to walk away completely injury free.
The rest of the day was spent cheering on my teammates: Jaelin Kauf took the win, Brad Wilson took third and Casey Andringa claimed the Rookie of the Year award! Also, a huge congratulations to Jaelin, for claiming 2nd place overall on the World Cup Tour. She inspires me everyday, and I'm grateful to have her as a teammate. Words can't describe how much my teammates mean to me. This year we all grew especially close and I know they have my back through failure and triumph. They are my brothers and sisters, and although some of them are moving on from this sport, they will always hold a special place in my heart. I look forward to carrying on their legacy as best I can, and I know they'll still be around supporting USA moguls. After my poor performance in France, I was still overjoyed to finish 7th overall on the World Cup tour. This meant that I would qualify for the A team for next season, a long time dream of mine that formed when I first began this sport.
Directly after the World Cup tour came to a close, we were on a plane to Waterville, New Hampshire for US Nationals. This event is always so fun with sunny weather and slushy snow conditions. It's really great to see my Vail teammates and mogul friends from around the country whom I don't get to see very often anymore. On singles day, every girl in finals skied their very best. I was honored to finish in 5th position, but just to be apart of that final was very special. It's always rewarding to see women's mogul skiing progress, and to contribute to this progression is something I'm always aiming for. Duals day took a ton of motivation since, by this time in the season, I'm absolutely exhausted. Despite my tiredness, I took the win and became a National Champion! This was another one of my big goals and to achieve it is nothing short of spectacular.
Looking back on this season brings a whirlwind of emotions. The first World Cup in Ruka felt like years ago, yet at the same time, it went by in a flash. I accomplished so many of my skiing aspirations such as competing in the Olympics, skiing in multiple World Cup super finals, finishing on top of a World Cup podium for the first time, and becoming a National Champion. I'd like to think 9 year old me would be very proud, and I can't imagine the smile on her face if she knew her dreams were coming true. With that being said, this is just the beginning and I can't wait to show the world what else I have to give to this sport. I'm overwhelmed with all the support and encouragement I received this season; I could not have done it without all of you! Thank you thank you! Now it's time for some much needed R&R and then back to work for the 2019 season.