VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 12. 2015)—The speed races wrapped on Beaver Creek’s renowned Birds of Prey terrain and the World Champs focus switched to the technical events. Of the 116 women at the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships giant slalom (GS) on Thursday, Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) took eighth and Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) was 14th. In the end, Austria’s Anna Fenninger stood atop the podium, flanked by Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany in second and Sweden's Jessica Lindell-Vikarby in third.
The two-run GS is known as the most technical of all the World Cup disciplines, requiring precision and speed. Billed as the most competitive race of the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships, the women’s GS event became a competition for silver and bronze after Austrian superstar Anna Fennigner’s first run. Fenninger went into the second run with a massive 1.70-second lead over the runner up in the first run.
VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 11. 2015)—Tuesday’s team event marked a transition at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The gears are shifting, as the athletes trade speed events for technical races. The downhill and super G races are in the U.S. Ski Team’s rearview mirror, and the athletes are now focused on the upcoming giant slalom and slalom races. On deck, women’s GS on Thursday.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) will headline the American skiers in the GS. Shiffrin, the 19-year-old Vail local, has a skiing resume that belies her young age, with 12 wins and 21 podiums in four seasons on the World Cup, one Olympic gold medal, and a World Championship medal during her meteoric rise into the World Cup elite.
During Tuesday’s FIS Alpine World Ski Championships nations team event, the Canadians stole the show with a silver medal, defeated by the indelible Austrians. Run on Vail’s Golden Peak, the crowd was big, with cheering spectators lining the sides of course. The American team made it to the first two rounds, but was ousted in the quarterfinals, tying for fifth with Italy, France and Norway.
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.