Alli Macuga competes on one of mogul skiing's biggest stages
Alli Macuga is taking the skiing world by storm as she competes in her first ever World Cup events.
Nineteen-year-old Alli Macuga has been skiing moguls competitively for years. Growing up in Park City, she started in elementary school in the Youth Sports Alliance’s Get Out and Play program, where she loved being able to fly in the air and ski the bumps.
Alli is also one of three Macugas who are on a U.S. Team. Her sister Lauren is on the U.S. Alpine team and her sister Sam is a ski jumper.
Macuga said the community plays a big part in her love for mogul skiing.
“I love meeting all the people here, all the coaches, everyone's so amazing, and I have so much fun and the idea of being able to have the air, which is super fun, you can do different kinds of tricks and have the speed play a part into it as well," Macuga said. "And the bumps, I think it just really was the most interesting to me. And I also found it challenging in a way in which I can push myself in the sport.”
Macuga competed in her first World Cup event in Ruka, Finland, Dec. 3. She came in 12th with a score of 70.07.
She said the experience was a thrill.
“Oh, it was quite something. Very much enjoyed it. And just like, since I've been dreaming of really being in a World Cup, since I started competing around when I was 8 years old, it really just brought it all into perspective, how much I've worked for it and just being around all the other people I've idolized," Macuga said. "And now I got to compete alongside them and to just be in such a cool place. It really was quite the experience and went better than I could have imagined.”
Macuga said one of the perks of mogul skiing is the number of friends she is making from other countries.
“I have lots of friends that I've been competing with. And, like, I went to junior worlds in April and I made a bunch of friends there," she said. "So just to see some of them who are also now at the World Cup level is super exciting to see them again and compete with them again.”
Macuga is competing this week in moguls and dual moguls at Alpe d'Huez in Huez, France.
After the holidays she will be back on the slopes at the U.S. Selections competition in Winter Park, Colorado, Jan. 9 to Jan.12. That event determines who will compete in the World Cup events at Deer Valley in February.
Macuga believes she will have enough points to automatically qualify for Deer Valley and that it would be a dream come true.
“I've been going to the World Cups there and watching the US Ski Team for many, many years," she said. "There's always such a huge crowd and just being under the lights at night. Like it would be a dream come true.”
As a host country, the U.S. gets a few extra spots in the Deer Valley races.