Accessibility links

Finland Captures Men's Moguls - 2002-02-13

Finnish skier Janne Lahtela has won the men's freestyle skiing moguls gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Deer Valley, Utah. Mr. Lahtela beat out American Travis Mayer and Frenchman Richard Gay to take the Olympic championship.

With thousands of horn-blowing, cowbell-ringing fans looking on, Janne Lahtela of Finland improved on his silver medal performance from four years ago in Nagano, Japan by capturing the gold medal in the men's moguls skiing. Lahtela, a three-time Olympian and second on the World Cup circuit, ended with a total of 27.97 points

After the event, Mr. Lahtela said that he relaxed and skied his best, not thinking about the competition or the crowds. "I knew what I had to do I did not really look at other skiers runs and I did not really think about their runs or what they were doing," he said. "I really had to focus on the airs [jumps off the slope] and I made it really good today so that made it [winning] possible."

Travis Mayer of the United States, who was on the developmental squad just a month ago, took the silver medal. Mr. Mayer said that he was amazed to be in the Olympics, let alone to win a medal. "I was just hoping to come out and have a good time," he said. "But to come out, put it down, do close to my best and end up second behind one of the greatest moguls skiers ever, it was the ultimate Olympic experience."

Frenchman Richard Gay won the bronze medal. Jonny Moseley, the 1998 gold medallist finished out of the medals in fourth place, even though he completed his controversial "dinner roll" jump, a twisting move that pushes the boundaries of the rules. World Cup points leader Jeremy Bloom of the United States finished ninth.