ARE, Sweden (Dec. 19) - Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) skied a brilliant bottom section to finish 14th in Wednesday's Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom held under the lights in Are. Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) had also made the final with the 17th fastest opening run, but hooked a gate with her right shoulder and was bounced off course. German Olympic GS champion Viktoria Rebensburg halted the four-race discipline win streak of Slovenia's Tina Maze with her first victory of the season. Maze finished third behind Anna Fenninger of Austria.
Mikaela Shiffrin began turning heads almost instantly when she finished top 15 of her first two NorAm Cup races. And ski fans (and coaches) went cross eyed when she landed a World Cup podium during her rookie season – at age 16. During her official World Cup "rookie" year, she took a slalom podium with third just after Christmas, giant slalom points in February and a trip to the elite top-25 World Cup Finals. She ended the season ranked 17th in the world in slalom – as a 17-year-old. Her peers took notice and voted her "World Cup Rookie of the Year." This year, Shiffrin has already found her place on the podium in Levi, Finland, and has made her best-ever placement in giant slalom. Her commitment to working on fundamental skiing exercises has aided her success and makes her a perfect ambassador athlete for the new SkillsQuest program.
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Dec. 9) - Slovenia's Tina Maze made a bold statement in her quest to win the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall and giant slalom title by capturing her third straight race in the discipline. Defending overall champion Lindsey Vonn was fifth after the opening run and up nearly a full second in the final when she saved a mid race crash to finish 27th. Julia Mancuso battled high winds during her final run to lead the U.S. Ski Team with 21st and young gun Mikaela Shiffrin qualified for the final, but did not finish the second run.
ASPEN, CO (Nov. 25) - U.S. Ski Team rising star Mikaela Shiffrin scored the seventh top 10 of her career with a strong second run in the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational, finshing seventh. Austria's Kathrin Zettel took the win. The finish boosted Shiffrin to fifth in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall and slalom standings. The race was broadcast live on NBC Sports Network. Lindsey Vonn opted to skip the race in favor of flying to Lake Louise a day early to prep for the season opening speed series on Canada.
ASPEN, CO (Nov. 24) - The U.S. Ski Team's Mikaela Shiffrin put together two solid runs, coming out of the 42nd start position to finish ninth - a career best giant slalom - at the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational. Slovenia's Tina Maze picked up the win to remain undefeated in GS as the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup began a two weekend swing in the USA. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) was 15th while a still ailing Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) was 21st. NBC will broadcast the GS from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Sunday followed by live coverage of the slalom on the NBC Sports Network from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
ASPEN, CO (Nov. 21) – All eyes will be watching Mikaela Shiffrin, Julia Mancuso and potentially Lindsey Vonn when the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational takes over the historic Colorado ski town Thanksgiving weekend with a pair of Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tech races. Vonn, who was walloped last week with a stomach illness, returned to gate training on Nov. 18, but remains day-to-day on whether she'll start in Aspen. Mancuso has been training in Colorado since early Nov. and was third in the Aspen giant slalom last season. Shiffrin carries momentum from a third place slalom finish two weeks ago in Finland. The event also marks the World Cup return of Resi Stiegler, who tore her ACL at the March World Cup Finals. NBC and NBC Sports Network will carry TV coverage from Aspen beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 25 with the second run of slalom airing live on NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m. ET.
LEVI, Finland (Nov. 10) – Seventeen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin converted a trip to the Arctic Circle into the second Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom podium of her career after finishing third in Levi. While she doesn't yet have a driver's license or a high school diploma – she graduates from Burke Mountain Academy next spring – the podium came in only the 12th World Cup slalom start of her young career. Olympic slalom champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won with Finn local Tanja Poutianen in second as wind and challenging light drifted in and out of both runs. Universal Sports will air the race at 10 a.m. ET. The World Cup tour now swings to North America for the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational Nov. 24-25 in Aspen, CO.
LEVI, Finland (Nov. 7) – Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will carry the U.S. Ski Team torch to the Arctic Circle this weekend for a pair of Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom races set for Nov. 10-11 in Levi. Ligety is fresh off a historic 2.75 second victory at the World Cup opener in Soelden and Shiffrin returns to the discipline that brought her first World Cup podium last season. The annual Scandinavian slaloms were canceled last season when unseasonably warm temperatures didn't allow for snowmaking on the Levi Black World Cup slope. Additional U.S. starters are Will Brandenburg, Nolan Kasper, David Chodounsky and Hailey Duke. Olympic gold medalists Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso will miss the race in order to focus on the Nov. 24-25 Nature Valley Aspen Winternational in Aspen, CO. Bode Miller and Resi Stiegler will also sit out Levi to continue their injury recovery. The 2013 U.S. Alpine Ski Team will be named Nov. 15 during Nature Valley First Tracks at Vail, CO.
SOELDEN, Austria (Oct. 27) - Veteran Tina Maze of Slovenia charged to a strong Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season opening giant slalom win with a .42 margin over Austria's Kathrin Zettel on the Rettenbach Glacier in Soelden. It was Maze's third Soelden win but first since 2005. It was a tough day for the U.S. Ski Team as defending champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) was off the pace in the first run before going out in the second after hooking her left hand on a gate. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) lost a ski and went down in the first run and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) missed the top 30 final by .01.
SOELDEN, Austria (Oct. 25) – All eyes are focused on defending Soelden champions Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) and Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) this weekend when the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup opens with a pair of giant slalom races high on the Rettenbach glacier. The duo combined to sweep the top of the podium last October with Vonn picking up the first World Cup giant slalom win of her career and Ligety notching his fourth straight podium in Soelden. With the race start at 10,000 feet, the Soelden race hill opens with a gradual pitch then takes a diving turn over the glacier knuckle onto a notoriously icy pitch into the glacier stadium.