When the parents and about 100 friends of U-S Olympic Skier Jaelin Kauf gathered at the Tetonia Club in Alta, Wyoming, well before dawn Sunday morning to watch her compete in China, they clung to one simple phrase : “Deliver the love.” Kauf delivered.
Ranked 19th in the world in Freestyle Moguls, the 25-year old Kauf came through and won the silver medal. She finished 7th at the Winter Games in Korea 4 years ago.
Although Kauf raced Saturday night in Beijing, time zones and the International Date line meant the live broadcast started at 4:30 AM in Alta, but no one at the club seemed tired as she had the competition of her life.
Moguls uses a 257-yard course with a slope of about 28 degrees, bumps or moguls about every 12 feet, and jumps at both ends to execute midair acrobatics.
The field is trimmed from 30 to 20, then to 12, 6, and finally a round with the top 3 to determine their medal order. Scoring is 60% mogul turn technique, 20% speed, and 20% jump quality.
Kauf grew up racing moguls because her family has set the standard in the event over decades.
Her father Scott is a 5-time Pro Mogul Tour champion while her mother Patti Kauf-Melehes won the Pro Mogul Tour twice and claimed bronze 3 times in ski cross at the Winter X games.
Kauf’s brother Skyler also competed in moguls at the national level in the early 2010s while also playing college football at Ithaca, a small NCAA Division III school in upstate New York.