The 23-year-old Australian’s bronze medal result in today’s final, which was also part of the New Zealand Winter Games, was achieved in a field boasting the top four slopestyle skiers in world rankings.
The event, the first ski slopestyle World Cup of the 2013 / 2014 season, was won by American Nicholas Goepper, ahead of Great Britain’s James Woods in second.
Henshaw went into today’s final, consisting of the top 16 athletes from the qualification round, with the determination to lift his level from two days ago, when he finished second in his heat.
Henshaw said finishing third in a high-calibre field has provided a confidence boost in his quest to appear in his first Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, next February.
“There were so many good riders here today. Even riders I have never really heard of were skiing so well, so it was good,” Henshaw said.
“A medal at Sochi is definitely the goal but I want to make sure I do everything right in the lead up to get that.”
He added that he has a list of things he wants to achieve over the coming months in order to maximise his opportunities in Sochi, including introducing a higher degree of difficulty with some of his tricks.
The next stage of his Sochi preparation will be done at NSW’s Perisher resort during the next few weeks.
At that point he will finalise which of the three World Cup events that precede the Winter Olympic Games he will enter.
As he has already acquired enough points to qualify for Sochi, Federation of International Ski points are not his driving reason with his competition plans this season.
Without the need to secure points, he is weighing up the possibility of missing one or two events to allow him to spend more time training and honing his tricks.
“The only reason I did this event was to practice competing in an event. I wanted to practice being in competition mode and dealing with pressure. I would say it kind of paid off.”
Australia’s other ski slopestyle medal prospect, Australian Institute of Sport rider Anna Segal, elected not compete in Cardrona