SOCHI, Russia - #Boom.
Canadian Chris Del Bosco, who grew up in Eagle-Vail, likes to post some variation of this on his Facebook or Twitter feeds.
And with good reason. Having been on the shelf with a shoulder injury since before the ski-cross season started, Del Bosco returned to World Cup action Tuesday, finishing second in Sochi, Russia, the site of next year's Winter Olympics.
"I'm so competitive - I want to win - but I feel great to be back on the podium," Del Bosco said. "I made a couple of tactical errors in the final but these are the first couple of rounds of skiing in traffic that I've had since March."
Yes, Del Bosco wanted World Cup win No. 7, but, as he noted, a podium in his first race since he injured his shoulder in training before the season-opening event Nakiska, Alberta, back in December, isn't too bad considering the calendar ahead.
Del Bosco left Sochi Tuesday after his silver to head to Harrachov, Czech Republic, for a another race Saturday and Sunday. Of greater import is the stop after that, Voss-Myrkdalen, Norway, the site of the World Freestyle Ski Championships, where Del Bosco will be defending his 2011 Worlds gold on March 10.
"I felt really good," said Del Bosco, who said his shoulder stood up well to the challenge of pulling out of the start gate, as well as head-to-head racing. "I'm 100 percent - I'm stoked."
And looking ahead, doing well in the test event for next year's Olympics probably doesn't hurt either. Ironically, Del Bosco has a pretty good record in Olympic test events. He picked up his first World Cup win on Feb. 6, 2009, at Cypress Mountain, British Columbia, the 2010 site of Olympic ski cross.
Del Bosco finished third in the qualification round, and he won his round of 32 heat with ease. It was a different story in Del Bosco's quarterfinal as he found himself in third place before he got huge air off the final jump to edge a photo finish at the line and advance to the semifinal.
"In the (quarter-final) I made a tactical error on the last turn and left the door wide open," Del Bosco said. "I was passed so I jumped back in and drafted. The last jump was one of the opportunities we had to pass. I definitely launched a little further than I wanted but it worked out."
Del Bosco made a smooth pass to win his semifinal before a slow start in the final saw him once again sitting third. He moved up to second thanks to a slick pass and then put it all on the line in a desperate attempt to win gold.
Swede Victor Oehling Norberg won the event.