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Patrick Deneen shredding his way to Sochi

PARK CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - U.S. moguls skier Patrick Deneen is poised to become the first American to win gold in this event since Johnny Moseley in 1998.
PARK CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - One of the challenging ski events at the Winter Olympics has to be moguls. Not only are the skiers flying around 3-foot-high bumps, but they are also launching into two gravity-defying jumps. Johnny Moseley is the only American to win gold in this event, but Deneen the next great U.S. moguls skier.

When you watch Patrick Daneen blast through the moguls, you can see how he got the nickname "the rocket."

"It was really just the feeling and how fast everything happens," Deneen said. "That's really what drew me into moguls skiing. I guess the quote everybody looks for is 'I'm a human shock absorber.' But really what so much of the sport is about is being in the right position."

In the right position to launch into two jaw-dropping jumps.

"Skiing is really my passion," he said. "That's the side of the sport that I really love. It's been so hard to get my airs going. I'm not that talented in the air, so I just have to work so much harder than everybody else does to get my airs to just average. Luckily for me, my skiing is so good, I just have to have average airs. Luckily in this sport. 75 percent is based on skiing."

75 percent is based on time and turns, and the other 25 percent on the jumps, making this downhill event somewhat subjective.

"That's the one thing about this sport I don't like is the judging side," said Deneen. "It's really cool that in alpine, cross-country or speedskating, all those timed events, you either won or you didn't."

Daneen is winning at an incredible rate. He is currently the leader in the World Cup standings, and after failing to make the podium in the 2010 Olympic Games, Daneen looks like one of the favorites to take home gold in Sochi.

"We have a really strong team right now," he said. "Last year we had six different guys that stood on a podium, which I don't know when the last time that happened. So, it's going to be tough just to qualify for the Olympics. That's going to be the biggest obstacle, and then once you get there, we'll be able just to concentrate on it and do it."

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