VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Freestyle skier Aiko Uemura has promised to go for broke but knows a cool head will be crucial to her chances of success in the women’s moguls event at the Vancouver Olympics on Saturday.
“I don’t have any worries. If I can keep a cool head at the start and be confident, then there will be no problems,” Uemura said after practice at Cypress Mountain on Friday.
“I’m fired up and in my own world and now it is just a case of doing what I can. I want to be satisfied with my performance and I am going to go for broke to get high scores.
“I think I have improved as a skier in the last four years. I can’t make any promises about which position I will finish in here, but hopefully I can win,” added the world champion, who is competing in her fourth Olympics after finishing fifth in Turin in 2006.
Uemura finished the pre-Olympic World Cup tour in December and January without a win but Japanese officials are hoping a medal early in the Olympics can pave the way for the country’s ambitious target of 10 medals here.
The 30-year-old has been linking up her first air maneuver with sharp turns and looking solid in practice but says she needs to generate a little more speed.
“I just need to pick up more speed. I’ll save that for tomorrow (Saturday),” Uemura said.
In five events held in North America last month, Uemura, the 2007-08 overall World Cup moguls winner, finished 14th, second, fifth, failed to qualify in 24th, and placed sixth.
Aside from Uemura, Nagano Olympics moguls champion Tae Satoya, who has been suffering back problems, will be looking to make an impression in Vancouver along with Miki Ito and Olympic debutante Arisa Murata.