Park City resident Heather McPhie won her first Freestyle World Cup medal, a gold, in the women's moguls event during the first day of the VISA International Freestyle World Cup in Deer Valley Thursday. McPhie's flawless run and soaring back layout put her in first place. In an unusual scoring situation that defied tie-breaking formulas, McPhie, a former gymnast originally from Montana, shared first place with Canada's Jennifer Heil. American Shannon Bahrke finished third. Bahrke, a Salt Lake City resident from Tahoe City, California, is a University of Utah graduate and owner of SLC-based Silver Bean Coffee.
McPhie wept as she described the emotion of winning her first World Cup medal at home in front of her parents, family and friends. "I've believed in myself for a long time, but there's so many things out of your control, so many variables. I really wanted to go out there and give it all I had, and I did. I left everything out there."
In the men's moguls competition, Dale Begg-Smith of Austria was first, Guilbaut Colas of France was second and Dmitry Reiherd of Kazakhstan came in third. The highest finisher among the U.S. men was Patrick Deneen in fourth place.
There are still two more days of competition to go at Deer Valley, including the men's and women's ski aerials. Events are free and open to the public.
Photo by Jamie Squire, Getty Images