Skier gets bumped out by Olympic medallist
Skiing: Davis Clement makes sweet 16 at nationals
Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 10:53 am
A 16-year-old Millarville skier knew he was in for a rocky ride when he looked to his side and saw he was up against an Olympic medallist at the national championships in late March.
Millarville’s Davis Clement had to duel against 2014 Olympic silver medallist Mikael Kingsbury in the dual mogul event at the Senior National championships at Apex Mountain in Penticton.
“It was cool — I didn’t have any real goals against him, I just wanted to get to the bottom and have much fun as possible,” Clement said about racing Kingsbury, who won the silver in single moguls at Sochi. “I knew I wasn’t going to get to the next round, so I thought it was a great time to push myself and see what I can do.”
The dual meet has skiers in side-by-side lanes going down a field of bumps. There are two jumps on the course. The skiers are judged on their speed, turns and control.
Clement threw caution to the wind — barreling down the hill with his knees popping up-and-down between the bumps like moles in Whack-a-mole.
Control might have been an afterthought for Clement against the silver medallist.
“It was definitely a crowd-pleaser,” Clement said with a laugh. “I didn’t really have a barrier of speed or anything, I wanted to get down as fast as possible, to see if I can beat him in some way, shape or form.”
Clement actually beat Kingsbury to the bottom, however, he took a minor detour.
“I made it to the bottom quicker but I didn’t hit the bottom jump,” Clement said. “I could have hit it, but I chose not to because I would have just exploded.”
He has to be spot on for his jumps, as they are at the world class-level.
Clement does a back-full flip (a straight-over back-flip while adding a 360 rotation and the second jump is a cork-1080 — three revolutions while twisting his body like a corkscrew.)
Clement would finish in the top 16 in both the singles and the dual event — not bad considering most skiers at the nationals were over the age of 18.
He got there thanks to being a member of Team Alberta.
“A lot of the skiers are over 18, but the guys who are on the provincial teams, some of them are under 18,” Clement said. “But I think I was the youngest guy to make it to the finals (the top 16).”
Clement, a student at National Sports School in Calgary, was 15th in duals, which was won by Kingsbury. The Millarville skier was 16th in the singles, which was won by Olympic gold medallist Alex Bilodeau.
Clement may have lost the race to Kingsbury, but it was one of the rare losses all year.
He won both the singles and dual titles at the Alberta freestyle championships for his age groups at Marmot Basin in Jasper on April 5 and April 7, respectively.
In singles he was the overall champion for all ages.
Clement has competed against the world’s best, he is putting any thoughts of the Olympics on the backburner for now.
“We will see, if I can get on the national team, we will see what happens,” Clement said. “Our program plan is to make it in two years… I would be thinking of the Olympics in 2022, if I chose to go that route.”