Campbell will compete in slalom on Friday Local interest
Published: February 20, 2014
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Jasmine Campbell already broke the ice on her Winter Olympics experience when the lone Virgin Islands representative at the Sochi Games competed in the women's giant slalom alpine skiing event on Tuesday.
With one event already under her belt, the 22-year-old St. John native said the butterflies are now out of her system, and she is looking forward to competing against the world's best one more time before she leaves the Caucasus Mountains.
"I will definitely be more relaxed heading into the slalom," said Campbell, who will be among approximately 100 competitors in the women's slalom event Friday. "I have now familiarized myself with the environment, and I know what to expect."
Campbell was happy with her 56th-place result in the giant slalom Tuesday but is hoping to finish in the upper half of the world-class slalom field.
The cold and wet weather conditions played a big factor in Tuesday's action. Snow is in the forecast for Friday.
The slalom course is the shortest of all alpine disciplines. But with a vertical drop of between 140 and 200 meters, it is also quite steep. This also means that it has the quickest turns as slalom gates - there will be between 50-60 of them - are always less than 15 meters apart. "Slalom requires a great deal of focused aggression and resiliency," Campbell said. "You either beat the gates or suffer being beaten by them. I've taken a few slalom gates to the face and it's a miracle that my face doesn't look like a crude Picasso painting."
In both the slalom and the giant slalom, skiers must pass through alternate red and blue gates at a high speed as both events demand precise ski control. When comparing the two races, Campbell said she slightly prefers the giant slalom but her most recent results have shown strength in both disciplines.
While in China last November, Campbell became the first V.I. skier to finish in the top three at an international ski competition.
During consecutive International Ski Federation races in Beidahu, China, Campbell took second and third, respectively, in the giant slalom. But during that same two-day span, she just missed the podium twice with two fourth-place finishes in the slalom.
"Jasmine has plenty of potential in the slalom," VI Winter Sports Federation general secretary Yuri Gaspar said. "Her results were continually improving the last few months, and we're hoping for her performance to peak at the Olympics."
Throughout her entire experience in Sochi, Campbell has been humble when making performance predictions. Her goal of constant improvement has been at the forefront and nothing will change for the slalom event.
"I hope to finish once more in the slalom and ski to the best of my ability," she said. "Making it into the top 50 would be pretty cool, though."
Germany's Marie Hoefl-Riesch is the defending slalom champion and is considered a favorite for the gold medal along with giant slalom winner Tina Maze, of Slovenia. Maze finished ninth last year and will take aim at her third medal of these games.What: Women's Slalom downhill
Where: Rosa Khutor Alpine Center in Krasnodar Krai, Russia
When: 9:45 a.m. Friday
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com and NBC Live Extra; highlights will be tape delayed during NBC's 9 p.m. prime-time coverage.
More info: Jasmine Campbell, a 22-year-old St. John native, will take part in her second of two events at the 2014 Winter Olympics when she competes in the slalom on Friday.