VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 9, 2015)—Tuesday afternoon is the nations team event—a duel paneled slalom at Vail, CO as a part of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Athletes and organizers boast that it’s the most fun race of the two weeks, but what exactly is this team event?
HOW IT WORKS
The team event is set up in bracket style, with the top 16 nations ranked similar to NCAA's March Madness, based on Nations Cup points at the end of the last World Cup race prior to the event (men’s slalom at Schladming, Austria on Jan. 27, 2015). Total team sizes are set at a max of six racers, with at least two competitors from each gender starting each heat. Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) and Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA) will be competing for the U.S.
VAIL, CO (Jan. 21, 2015) – The U.S. Ski Team has announced the addition of Brandon Dyksterhouse to its women’s technical team as part of a unique partnership with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. Dyksterhouse, a former national level racer and longtime ski coach, will join the Team as interim women’s tech head coach through the remainder of the season to provide support to Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin and the women’s slalom and giant slalom squad.
According to U.S. Ski Team Alpine Director Patrick Riml, the partnership grew out of Dyksterhouse’s work with Team athletes in Vail. He will join a staff that includes Luca de Marchi and Gary Miller. He has already begun working with Team athletes training in Colorado and will remain through World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek and on through the World Cup Finals.
FLACHAU, Austria (Jan. 13, 2014)—The women raced under the lights in Flachau, Austria for the last Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom before the World Championships. Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) had a speedy second run, skiing from eighth place to grab third place overall. Frida Hansdotter from Sweden took the win and Slovenian Tina Maze finished second.
The crowd was huge, with 10,000 screaming fans cheering on the women. The course crew injected the hill on Thursday, but with rain and 1.5 feet of snow falling on top of it over the weekend, the grippy track grooved up quickly.
It was a tough race for many, with seven DNFs second run. Shiffrin overskied first run, and finished eighth—only .68 seconds behind Hansdotter—but was determined to hammer it second run. She followed up on her resolve, putting the pedal down to finish third on the second run, and third overall.
At Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ we encourage parents to help youth athletes deal with the pressures and stresses that accompany youth sports. That starts with reminding them that the sport is about more than just winning and should be fun.
There are many ways to support youth athletes and encourage a focus on fun and what we call “low-stress success.” One of those ways is through listening to music.
We asked U.S. Ski Team athlete Mikaela Shiffrin to share her playlist of the top 5 songs she listens to when preparing for a big competition:
ZAGREB, Croatia (Jan. 4, 2015) - Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) celebrated the New Year in style, winning her second straight Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom in Zagreb and laying claim for the second time to the Snow Queen Trophy. Shiffrin won in dominating style, leading the first run by .80 and expanding that lead in the second for a 1.68 second margin over Austria's Kathrin Zettel. Nina Loeseth of Norway was third, nearly three seconds behind Shiffrin. Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) was 13th.
"Both runs today I had so much fun," said Shiffrin. She repeated the win she earned in Zagreb two years ago on a hill she enjoys. "Snow Queen is a nice title," she said. "More than that, I really like this hill. I like the challenge. It’s a little bit steep, a little bit flat - you have to work it all the way down. The crowd is incredible. It’s a classic race where the fans love to watch ski racing."
KUEHTAI IN TIROL, Austria (Dec. 29, 2014)—With two nearly perfect runs, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) never let go of first place at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup, taking her first slalom win of the season against a stacked field in Austria. Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic was second and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was third. Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) finished in 23rd.
It was a small tech team competing at Kuehtai in Tirol, with only Shiffrin and Stiegler making the flip. Unlike the previous day’s giant slalom, the course was in great condition with a simple set and the girls could let the skis run. Even though Shiffrin faced stiff competition, she skied confidently and built her lead throughout the second run, winning by .80 of a second.
KUEHTAI IN TIROL, Austria (Dec. 28, 2014)—Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) stood on the podium for the first time since her win in Soelden, Austria. Shiffrin won the first run at Sunday's Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom, but battled rough conditions and poor visibility to take third place overall. Sara Hector of Sweden won her first World Cup, and Austria’s Anna Fenninger was second.
After a brief holiday break, the women were back in action in Kuehtai in Tirol, Austria—a venue switch from Semmering due to snow conditions. With a straight-set second run, the course resembled a super G more than a giant slalom, not Shiffrin’s specialty. She held back a little on the run, missing first place by .18.
ARE, Sweden (Dec. 13, 2014) - Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) had a strong second run in the slalom, but fell two-hundredths short of the podium as Sweden's Maria Pietilae-Holmner brought the home country crowd to its feet with a stunning win over Tina Maze in an Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom in Are. Sweden's Frida Hansdotter rounded out the podium.
Sixth after the first run and over a half second back, Shiffrin felt good in the starting gate and pushed out to an aggressive, more characteristic run to take the lead. She hammered the top, held back a little in the mid-section, and let her skis run at the bottom, but the .53 second deficit was too much to match. She finished .34 seconds out of first, overall.
ARE, Sweden (Dec. 12) - Tina Maze continued her quest for the overall Audi FIS Ski World Cup title with her third win in three different disciplines this season, taking the giant slalom in Are. Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) skied to tenth in the opening race of the weekend, originally scheduled for snow-starved Courchevel, France. Rising Swedish star Sara Hector skied from 25th into second while first-run-leading Eva-Maria Brem of Austria was third.
Shiffrin skied solid but not as aggressively as she wanted in the first run, going out second and finishing the run in eighth, one spot behind Maze and .78 from the leader Brem in a tightly packed field. In the second run, Shiffrin dropped to tenth while Maze charged up to take the lead and the victory. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) just made the flip at 30th, but went out in the second run. Megan McJames (Park City, UT) missed the top 30.