By Geena Krueger
Whitney McClintock kicked the 2012 season off strong. She dominated at the first pro tournament of the year, Moomba Masters, in slalom (4½ at 38 off) and tricks (9,010 points), and secured the overall title as well. With a great slalom performance at U.S. Masters, ½ at 39 off, she was bested by current world-record holder Regina Jaquess, who skied the course record that day, 1 at 39 off. McClintock’s high point of the season came when she tied the women’s slalom world record on Easter morning, April 8, running 2 at 41 off in Winter Garden, Florida. From there, though, it all seemed to have gone downhill. I called Whitney up, and together we looked back at her 2012 season, the feeling of tying a world record, and how the hunt to break it took her off track.
After such a great 2011 season (being slalom world champion and winning five pro titles), what were your goals going into the new season? My goal was to run 3 at 41 off. I had other goals too, but that was my number one goal: to break the world record.
You tied the world record!? I tied the world record. Then I chased the world record. I entered pretty much every record tournament that I could to try and beat it. I just started chasing my tail, and I got off track. That’s where I got lost.
So tying the world record wasn’t enough? Did the feeling even come close to winning a world-champion title like you achieved in 2011 and 2009? Winning the worlds to me is the most special feeling. It’s 10 times better! Nothing has compared yet. Moomba came close because that’s about as good as I could’ve expected to ski in a tournament. Tying the world record was crazy awesome in the moment. A week later, it was just a hunt. It wasn’t enough. I knew I just wanted to break the world record. It was actually not a great feeling for me in the long run. When I break the world record, I think I’ll finally get past that barrier and feel that sense of accomplishment.