January 10, 2014, Deer Valley, UTAH (ISN) – After a night of mishap and mayhem, Travis Gerrits of Milton, Ontario jumped in front of 8,000-plus fans and finished his first World Cup of 2014 in 8th position. Sabrina Guerin of Laval, Quebec finished in 27th.
Running the event in the Championship Format (the field is narrowed down to 12, then 8, then 4 for the final runoff) Gerrits was originally told he had placed 13th. He had almost reached his hotel when the phone rang. There had been a mistake in the scoring, he was in 12th position and he had to return for the next round. Protests ensued from various nations and eventually, the decision was made to run 14 in the next round. Gerrits made it through that round, but missed the third final after slightly touching his back to the ground.
Just before Gerrits took off for his first jump, his teammate and friend of ten years Montreal’s Jean-Christophe Andre missed his landing and broke his femur. Andre is currently recovering from surgery in a Utah hospital. Ranked 19th in the overall standings, he is not expected to return this season.
“Today was a rollercoaster of a day,” said Gerrits, “I really had to dissociate myself from what happened to JC. Then, we were almost back at the hotel when we got the call to come back to the mountain. I knew I just had to get over what I had to get over. I had to come up with a couple of good jumps. And, I think I managed to do fairly decently, but I’m leaving here today wishing I had stepped on the podium.”
“This is not the place to peak,” said coach Dennis Capicik, “Travis is still learning. There is lots of work to do. We need him to peak in February at the Games. And, I think under the circumstances, given the chaos of the day, he did great.”
Gerrits is currently in second place overall in the World Cup Aerial rankings.