CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (Feb. 12, 2016) – Though all eyes seem to be on Fenway Park in Boston for the Polartec Big Air competition, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour continues on, with the White Circus paying visit to Crans-Montana, Switzerland and Yazawa Naeba, Japan this weekend.
Snow is lightly falling upon the quaint ski village of Crans-Montana, but earlier the snow wasn’t falling so lightly. The forecast called for 40 cm of snow – a far cry from the spring-like conditions last weekend in Garmisch. It’s a lovely, sparkling sight to see … but it could present some challenges for Saturday’s downhill.
One year ago today, the U.S. Ski Team was anxiously anticipating the start of the 2015 FIS World Ski Championships in the United States. They were waiting for a chance to impress the enormous crowd of screaming, hometown fans. Waiting for an opportunity to take home a coveted World Championships medal and prove their talent. Waiting to make waves in front of the mass of media snapping photos in the finish corral, looking to create new heroes.
“Today, I had a lot of great memories of the 1999 World Championships [in Vail, CO] being a course-slipper,” said Vonn after the first day of downhill training. “I saw all the kids out there and I remember being in the exact same position. Everything has come full circle. I am back here, in my hometown, racing in the World Championships. That’s something most athletes never get a chance to do, and I am just very grateful and looking forward to trying my best.”
DENVER (Jan. 30, 2016) – Atomic, a longtime U.S. Ski Team supplier has been recognized by the Team and SnowSports Industries America (SIA) for its support of the Team and the sport of ski racing. Atomic was presented with the Doc DesRoches Award, presented annual at the SIA Snow Show to a U.S. Ski Team supplier for its work in promotion of the sport.
Atomic was honored for its work with Mikaela Shiffrin, including career long athletic support and integration of Shiffrin as a global brand ambassador for Atomic, along with Austrian star Marcel Hirscher. Atomic has directly integrated Shiffrin into its global dealer promotions and consumer marketing.
Mikaela Shiffrin, a lifelong Atomic athlete and global brand ambassador, assisted in presenting the Doc DesRoches Award. (Getty Images)
As 2015 comes to a close, U.S. Ski Team alpine press officer Megan Harrod takes some time to reflect on the year from one of the U.S. Ski Team’s headquarters, in the sleepy little mountain village of Patsch, Austria with the top 10 moments of the 2015/2016 season so far.
Bryce Bennett reacts after seeing his sixth-place time on the scoreboard at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's downhill on December 19, 2015 in Val Gardena, Italy. (Getty/Agence Zoom-Francis Bompard)
VAL D'ISERE, France (Dec. 12, 2015) – The stage is set on the infamous La Face de Bellevarde in Val D’Isere, France. Those of you who know a thing or two about this piste know that it is not forgiving. It’s steep, it’s bumpy, it’s dark, it’s slick and it’s technical. Tomorrow, it will be a two run battle to the finish.
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (Dec. 6, 2015) – Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) took her 70th World Cup victory and third Lake Louise sweep on Sunday with a 1.32 second win over Austria’s Tamara Tippler.
The third World Cup win of the weekend for Lindsey Vonn didn’t matter quite as much to the speed queen as rounding off her career victory tally to a solid 70.
“My stepmom wrote me yesterday saying, ‘Sixty-nine is great, but I like round numbers so could you please just make it to 70?’ Last year I had 60 here, so it’s kind of nice,” said Vonn. “Seventy is a pretty big number.”
Vonn hushed any doubters who wondered if she could put an end to Swiss skier Lara Gut’s super G streak at Lake Louise, which had spanned the past two seasons, but there were more than a few bets on the line before she even pushed out of the starting gate.
ASPEN, CO (Nov. 29, 2015)—Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) did it again on Sunday, winning her second Aspen Winternational slalom in two days.
After dominating the field in Saturday’s slalom by over three seconds, Shiffrin showed that she wasn’t letting off the gas. On the first run, she came through the lights 1.99 seconds ahead of the next fastest female, and would eventually win the run by 1.69 seconds. She came out attacking on the second run and bobbled on the second gate, before calming down and ripping to the bottom. She took the win by 2.65 seconds and her teammates Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN), Katie Ryan (Aspen, CO) and Resi Stielger (Jackson, WY) hoisted her on their shoulders to celebrate.
Shiffrin celebrates with teammates Ryan, Stiegler and Moltzan. (USSA-Tom Kelly)
ASPEN, CO (Nov. 28, 2015)—It was a historic day at the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational, as Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) dominated her competitors by over three seconds to take the first American women's win at Aspen since 1981.
It had been a high and dry 34 years, with no American standing on top of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup podium at Aspen since Tamara McKinney won in 1981. And Shiffrin didn’t just break the record; she annihilated it, winning the race by 3.07 seconds. That margin broke yet another record—it was the largest women’s slalom win margin since 1968.
“It’s a special day. I was a little bit nervous, but I handled it well,” said Shiffrin. “My skis were great. Everything set up perfectly. I don’t know if the stars will ever align like that again.”