World level freestyle
By Dmitry Komarov
This year, everyone has been following the performances of Belarusian athletes with anticipation, since they have regularly delighted us with awards in previous years. They aren’t disappointing us, bringing good news again from the World Championship in US Deer Valley.
Over the past two years, Anton Kushnir has transformed from a shy newcomer to a world freestyle leader. This season, our team is lacking Olympic champion Alexey Grishin (on holiday) and Dmitry Dashchinsky (recovering from injury) so Kushnir, the 2010 Crystal Globe winner, is the favourite. “The World Championship gave me a chance to make up for my failure at the Olympic Games, where I fell during the qualification round. Unexpectedly for everyone, I was left without a medal and even without a ticket to the finals,” notes Mr. Kushnir. His opportunity to avenge his misfortune was a success.
Despite Anton having failed to repeat last year’s result, when he won a World Cup round at Deer Valley, his bronze is the first medal brought from a World Championship by this young, yet successful, freestyle skier. Warren Shouldice of Canada won gold and Qi Guangpu of China was awarded silver; both belong to the category of athletes to whom it is no shame to lose. Both freestyle skiers are now in Minsk, where Anton Kushnir is likely to take beautiful revenge in front of his home fans.