The podium finish marks his return to better form, having recovered from four years of continuing injury. Understandably Henshaw is “stoked” to be back on the podium.
“I feel like I’m back to myself. This medal is a hurdle - having spent time in rehab and training”
“To get back on the podium is a dream. I’m stoked. The hard work was worthwhile. I did a lot of road biking which gave me time to think,” Henshaw said.
Following his bronze medal run, the NSWIS skier high-tailed it to Munich to make it onto an early morning flight for the next World Cup in Mammoth, USA, but took the time to share a ‘rail by rail’ account of his event.
Slopestyle Skiing is a sport where rails really aren’t rails as the casual observer might know them and every World Cup course has different set features for the skier to navigate.
The Seiser Alm course in Italy course was set with six features. The skiers have two runs in World Cup events with the best score of the two counted. Russ’s medal came off his first run, which scored 83.40.
“In the first feature, the stair set had three rails. I hit the middle down rail with an ‘unnatural lip slide 270’,” Russ said. “That was my only bobble in the whole run – the rest of the run was smooth.”
For the uninitiated, the remaining five features went thus;
“The second was a ‘backside 450 off the pole jam’ which worked out fine, then another down rail I hit with a switch tails 270.”
“For the fourth, I did a ‘left double cork 1260 with a tail grab’ – and it was a leading tail grab.”
“The last two features were a ‘switch double cork 900 (with a double Japan grab) and finally a ‘right side double cork 1260 with a mute grab’.”
Interestingly, after a few viewings of these lengthily-named manoeuvers, a casual observer is able to see the difference.
“Some moves I don’t understand myself,” Russ admitted. “The sport is advancing terribly fast and there is so much that hasn’t, as yet, been done.”
“It’s a sport that has no boundaries, is very free and liberating.”
“For this World Cup, I’d say that my run was complex from top to bottom, rather than one stand-out feature, and that delivered a bronze.”
“In Slopestyle there are no rules about what you can or cannot do. There are tricks I’m thinking about and want time to train for but I don’t want to risk chucking myself at one trick.”
“Then there’s Korea to think about,” Henshaw said about the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games.