SOELDEN, Austria — What started as a race with possibly too little snow nearly became a race with too much, as course crews worked through the nights leading up to the Soelden World Cup opener to provide a firm surface and the best possible conditions for all competitors in Saturday’s race for the ladies.
Despite a noticeably bumpy ride for all who tested the Rettenbach Glacier, 2014 overall champion Anna Fenninger overcame a .09 deficit after the first run to join slalom phenom and now giant slalom victor Mikaela Shiffrin in a tie for the win. Shiffrin, who secured her career first win in the discipline, broke up what very easily could have been an Austrian sweep if not for the lone American on the podium. Her first run indicated that conditions would challenge even the most technically sound skiers.
SOELDEN, Austria (Oct. 25) - Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) celebrated the 100 day mark to the World Championshps in her hometown by winning the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom of her career in Soelden. Shiffrin took a narrow .09 second margin over Austria's Anna Fenninger, then came from behind after losing ground mid-course, scorching the bottom flats in the second run to tie Fenninger for the win. Austria's Eva-Maria Brem was third.
SOELDEN, Austria (Oct. 25) - Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) skied a masterful bottom section of the first run to vault into the lead in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup opener in Soelden. Running number one to start the season, Shiffrin arced her way down the Rettenbach Glacier giant slalom, carrying good speed off the steeps and powering through the flats into the finish. Shiffrin, the World Cup slalom champion, is looking for her first giant slalom win. Second run is set for 12:45 p.m. local time, with Universal Sports providing live coverage beginning at 6:30 a.m. EDT.
VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Oct. 25) – As the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup was just hours away from kickoff, the official countdown clock dropped down to 100 days until the opening of the Feb. 2-15 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek. It will mark the third time the Championships have come to the Colorado resorts. Half a planet away in Soelden, Austria, hometown hero Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) and her U.S. Ski Team teammates were ready to open the 2014-15 World Cup campaign.
As Mikaela Shiffrin got ready to kick out of the start in the opening Audi FIS Alpine World Cup in Soelden, the countdown clock ticked down to 100 days until the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek.
SOELDEN, Austria (Oct. 23) - The rolling green fields above the Austrian mountain village of Soelden turned white overnight, with up to a meter of fresh snow blanketing the Rettenbach Glacier. Crews worked feverishly overnight to clear the alpine highway from Soelden to the glacier, with the piste opened for race and television support Thursday afternoon. U.S. Ski Team athletes relaxed at their hotel, cleared snow off the Team's Audis and played in the fresh falling snow. The women open Saturday, men on Sunday, with Universal Sports Network providing live coverage.
Nine U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Athletes Nominated for ESPY Awards
PARK CITY, UT (June 30) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association will be the most represented sports organization at the 2014 ESPY Awards with nine Olympic athletes nominated in five categories. Sochi gold medalists Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), David Wise (Reno, NV), Jamie Anderson (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) and Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) are each nominated for two awards with Shiffrin up for Best Female Athlete, the top women’s honor. Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT), Kaitlyn Farrington (Bellevue, ID), Joss Christensen (Park City, UT), Sage Kotsenburg (Park City, UT) and Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) also received nominations. Fans can submit their vote for the awards at http://espn.go.com/espys/2014/.
LOVELAND, CO (May 28) - The U.S. women’s technical team ushered in the “summer season” last week, wrapping up a two-week slalom and GS camp at Loveland Ski Area in Colorado.
On hand were Mikaela Shiffrin, Lila Lapanja and Paula Moltzan, as well as Head Technical Coach Roland Pfeifer, taking advantage of the late-spring, high-elevation training environment on the Continental Divide. The camp kicked off with full-blown winter conditions, including fresh snow, but sunshine and a hard surface closed out the training block.
BEAVER CREEK, CO - Having the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in your backyard has its benefits. Just ask Olympic slalom gold medalist and World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin. The Eagle-Vail local hopped on Raptor for a few days of super G training in April with speed skiers Stacey Cook, Leanne Smith, Laurenne Ross.
While it’s not yet determined if Shiffrin will race super G or super combined at the Feb. 2-15 big show, she and her teammates certainly benefitted from bonus time on the World Champs slope.
“The extra time was huge,” said Cook, a three-time Olympian, who also trained on the venue in April of 2013. “The conditions in April where more similar to what we’ll see in February and I left the camp with a good feeling. I know that I can ski that hill fast. I’m excited to go back there.”
PARK CITY, UT (May 19) – Olympic and World Champion slalom winner Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) was honored by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association with the 2014 Beck International Award, the organization’s highest athlete honor. The USSA also recognized former USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt with the Julius Blegen Award, its highest honor, for vision and service that led the USSA to become Best in the World. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail was named Club of the Year and also walked away with top honors in four individual sports. The awards were presented May 16 in Park City during the annual USSA Congress at the Park City Marriott.
VAIL, Colorado—The Vail Valley has come together to support their own Olympic champion, Mikaela Shiffrin, in a partnership that will see the 19-year-old Eagle-Vail resident help endorse her community and the 2015 World Championships over the course of the coming year.
“I was born and raised here,” offered Shiffrin. “I’m just so happy to be part of this group, part of the scene, and to be able to give back a little bit. And, I can’t wait for Vail/Beaver Creek 2015.”
The one-year partnership features a collaboration of funding partners that include the Town of Vail, the Town of Avon and the Vail Valley Foundation/2015 World Championships Organizing Committee.
“The Town of Vail couldn’t be more excited to be part of this partnership,” offered Andy Daly, Mayor of Vail. “We are so proud of Mikaela, not only for everything she has accomplished, but also for the way that she represents our valley day in and day out.”