Bermuda’s Matt Leseur, 18, indeed, grew in a short space in time as he took on the World Cup in the sport of Freestyle Moguls Skiing.
Leseur is a West Vail resident and 2017 graduate of Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy.
Leseur competes for Bermuda as he has dual citizenship and with the next bit of news Bermuda no doubt feels lucky to have a single athlete make the minimum criteria of a top 30 World Cup finish.
On Saturday, Dec. 9th, that athlete was Leseur, as his 29th-place finish turned his Olympic website status to green from red, he said, sounding a bit in disbelief.
"It says I'm eligible in Olympic Mogul Skiing for Bermuda," he said in a phone call from Finland. "We are waiting for some sort of confirmation of the sort, but it's looking green in all areas, so technically I've made it … I guess today was the day I technically qualified for the Olympics."
Leseur credited coach Riley Campbell for formulating a plan of attack, or lack thereof.
A World Cup Moguls course, in addition to Moguls, has two big jumps, or "airs," as the athletes call them. Watching the competition unfold, Campbell and Leseur noticed a lot of athletes not performing well on the first jump.
"We decided we would take it down and take a step back in the top air," Leseur said. "Instead of charging hard in the top air we would take it back and slow everything down … ski smarter, not harder."
Campbell said the Olympic spot was well earned as Leseur had to outperform a number of top competitors on Saturday.
"Matty beat five of the six U.S. Team males," Leseur said. "He beat Matt Graham, who is number three in the world … so it proves that he was absolutely deserving of that spot."