Steamboat Springs skier Eric Belshaw, who has spent countless hours on the hill over the years perfecting his craft, competed in his first World Cup race Dec. 16-18 in Engelberg, Switzerland.
It was an emotional experience for 18-year-old Belshaw, who didn’t know what to expect this weekend.
“I was really excited, of course I was, but I wasn’t really expecting much,” Belshaw said. “I thought it would be a good experience to help me in the future, so I wasn’t too excited because I didn’t have too many expectations.”
After a strong showing on Saturday, December 17, Belshaw really stepped it up the next day, jumping to 26th place and earning a spot in the second round, where his jump of 117.5 meters finished 24th overall.
Belshaw was the youngest athlete in the competition and the youngest 30 athlete for more than two years. His performance exceeded all his expectations.
“It was a big deal,” Belshaw said. “It was more than I expected, so I was very pleased with that.”
Other rowing athletes competing at the World Cups that weekend include Nordics Jasper Hood and Grant Andrews, who are ranked 45th and 50th respectively, and on Friday in Ramsau, Austria. Andrews finished 44th the next day.
Also in Austria, Annika Malacinski had two strong performances in the women’s Nordic team race, jumping to 23rd on day one, racing up to 20th and finishing 21st overall on day two.
Mick Dierdorf advanced to the grand final of the snowboard cross event in Cervinia, Italy on the first day, finishing fourth overall. He did not have a strong performance the following day, finishing fourth in the Final Eight. This puts him in 25th place.
Jaelyn Kauf and Olivia Giaccio continued to make waves among the moguls, with both women advancing to the final round on Friday in France. Kauf finished sixth, while Giaccio finished 16th.
Skiing Belshaw in Switzerland was Steamboat’s 100th Olympian Decker Dean. Dean jumped to 47th and 49th over the weekend, but contributed even more by mentoring Belshaw.
It was comforting for Belshaw to have Dean cheering him on and keeping him calm before the jump.
“Having Decker there was amazing,” Belshaw said. “He was very supportive and really happy. He’s a great person to have there because he’s been in the top 30 before and he’s helped me a lot with that as well, so it’s great to have him there.
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email [email protected]