After battling back from a 2013 injury, Alice McKennis opted to skip most of the 2014 Olympic season in order to get 100-percent healthy for 2015, when the World Championships will be on Colorado snow. (Photo: Mitchell Gunn/ESPA)
After a successful 18 years of coaching with the U.S. Alpine Ski Team, women’s speed Head Coach Chip White will step aside following the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Finals this week.
Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO), winner of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill in St. Anton just a year ago, has strategically decided to forgo a shot at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Every Olympic year, the U.S. Olympic Committee holds Media Summit, an event where media from around the world can hear from all of the top American athletes in one place. (Photo: Sarah Brunson/USSA)
The legacy of the Vail Valley as a world renowned Audi FIS Alpine World Cup venue gained additional power and grace Friday as the 2015 World Champs Organizing Committee introduced "Raptor" as the name of the newly constructed women's speed track.
The Best in the World women's alpine speed team, featuring Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH) and Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR), is back on snow with a two-week camp in El Colorado.
The successful athletic leadership that helped guide one of the most successful seasons in women's alpine history will continue to direct the 2014 U.S. Alpine Ski Team with the philosophy that idleness is not an option.
Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) knows what it takes to come back from a serious injury; she's done it before.
The athletes still have their ski legs under them, not their beach legs, according to Women's Speed Coach Chip White, which makes the May training block at Mammoth unique compared to other off-season camps.
Chip White, Head Coach of the Best in the World women's alpine speed team, has been selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee as finalist for National Coach of Year – the organizations most prestigious coaching honor.
Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) became the sixth U.S. Ski Team women's speed athlete to finish in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup top three this season with a stunning second in the Garmisch downhill.
Less than a second separated the top 17 finishers in Saturday's Audi FIS Alpine World Cup women's downhill with Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) leading the way for the U.S. Ski Team with 13th, .90 behind surprise winner Carolina Ruiz Castillo of Spain.
Julia Mancuso led the USA in fifth as medals eluded the U.S. in the women's downhill at FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Schladming.
Stacey Cook will lead a strong U.S. Ski Team into the women's downhill Sunday at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Schladming
Lindsey Vonn climbed back on top in Cortina, winning Saturday's downhill with teammate Leanne Smith third.
Alice McKennis Quick Facts
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Formerly coached by four-time Olympian Casey Puckett, Alice McKennis knows a thing or two about speed events. Her resume speaks for itself with a World Cup downhill win, multiple World Cup super G top 10's, and a 20th in the World Cup DH standings as well as a spot on the 2010 Olympic Team during her rookie World Cup season.
McKennis is still feeling the affects of her March 2013 crash in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany that shattered her right tibial plateau into about 30 pieces. She attempted a comeback for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, but after a few mediocre NorAm races and one World Cup start, she listened to her body and called it a season.
The next step for McKennis was to get the hardware out of her leg and completely focus on getting strong for the 2015 season, when the World Championships will be hosted in her home state. It's a recovery road she's walked before. Just a few years prior, she had a similar injury on her left leg. Experience in injury recovery counts. If McKennis can go from the knife to the top of the World Cup podium once, she can do it again.
I have pushed everything as hard as I could to get back on snow, pushed myself to get back in gates and racing months before anyone anticipated, but one thing I can no longer push is my body. I have reached a point where the issues in my leg, caused by the plate and 11 screws in my leg, are preventing me from reaching the level of skiing I need to be at to be a contender this season and to be part of the Olympic team.
As much as I want to continue racing this season and risk everything, I have realized that my career and life aren’t just about Sochi. I have many years of ski racing left and a career I hope to have in the ski industry when I retire, and it does not make sense to put everything on the line for something I am not ready for.
OFF THE SNOW
WORLD CUP (highlights)