GARMISCH, Germany (Feb. 28, 2015)—After over two hours of delays, the race finally were finally able to squeak one last downhill into February. Fighting flat light and typical thick fog on the Garmisch Kandahar, Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) was the top American downhiller of the day, finishing in sixth place.
It was an Austrian-dominated day, with Hannes Reichelt winning the race, Romed Baumann in second and Matthias Mayer in third. This is the second Austrian downhill podium sweep in a row, with Mayer, Max Franz and Reichelt taking first, second and third in Saalbach.
Even after hours of delays, the snow was fairly consistent—with 140 volunteers working Friday night until 10 p.m. and starting again at 4 a.m. But because of the light conditions, the track was shortened—beginning at the super G start—which did not suit the classic downhillers usually favored on the Garmisch hill.
GARMISCH, GERMANY (Feb. 27, 2015) – In the final Garmisch (GAP) downhill training run on the Kandahar, Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) led the charge for the Americans, turning in the fourth fastest time—0.75 seconds off leader Hannes Reichelt. The Kandahar track is known to be one of the most challenging tracks on the circuit and the weather can be unpredictable, as it was during Friday’s downhill training run. Officials caught wind of a front rolling in, moving the training run up an hour, allowing the weather to hold up for all 49 athletes before the predicted snowfall. The guys are now ready to tackle the track during the Audi FIS Ski World Cup on Saturday.
A slightly different set this year left some athletes questioning after the first downhill training run on Thursday, but the guys have dialed in their line and determined a plan of attack. All questions seem to have been answered after Friday’s training run and at least for Nyman, they have.
PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 26, 2015) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association named a group of 16 elite athletes to compete at the 2015 FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships scheduled for March 6-13 at Hafjell, Norway. The annual FIS Alpine World Junior Championships provide a unique opportunity for the best 16-20 year-olds of the skiing world to compete together. Each athlete heralds from top USSA club programs across the country including Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN), who grabbed a pair of top-10 finishes at World Junior Champs a year ago and is currently ranked sixth in the overall NorAm Cup standings.
After a morning of delays, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup super G in Bansko, Bulgaria was canceled due to weather.
Already rescheduled from the Bad Kleinkirchheim cancelation earlier this season, Friday's super G was supposed to start at 5:00 a.m. EST. But with 10-15 inches of fresh heavy snow overnight, the race was pushed in order to clear the track. However, once the course crew shoveled the snow off the course, a thick fog settled over the hill. Rowdy Bulgarian fans stuck around, cheering and playing with noisemakers until 7:30 a.m. EST, when the race organizers finally called it.
Saturday’s super G is scheduled to start at 5:15 a.m. EST and will air on Universal Sports Network at 11:00 a.m. Universal will also stream the race online.
After winning the gold in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships slalom, most athletes wave at the crowd and celebrate their win with friends and family. Mikaela Shiffrin did just that, but when she headed back to Europe for the remaining World Cup races, she took some time to say thank you to every fan, volunteer and organizer of her hometown World Championships by writing this letter.
To all involved in the Vail/Beaver Creek 2015 World Ski Championships [WSC],
SAALBACH-HINTERGLEMM, Austria (Feb. 22, 2015)—In a turny, technical super G set by American coach Forest Carey that did not excuse any mistakes, the Austrian Matthias Mayer once again emerged victorious. That makes for two gold medals in two days for the Austrian who figured out this challenging track full of blind gates, fallaways and big jumps on an aggressive, bumpy surface. Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) was the top American finisher, toughing out a ninth place finish after falling ill and missing the downhill.
France’s Adrien Theaux, who launched off the final jump with flair into a spread eagle in Friday’s downhill training run, finished second and Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud in third.
MARIBOR, Slovenia (Feb. 22, 2015)—Through rain and soft snow in Maribor, Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) had two flawless slalom runs at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup, never giving up first place. Shiffrin took the win by more than a second over Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia and Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic.
After a smoking first run on the salted course, Shiffrin built a strong .68 second lead, giving her a comfortable first place cushion coming into second run. The cheers and cowbells were loud from the crowd, second only to the screams for hometown hero Tina Maze, who finished in a disappointing DNF.
But with the tricky conditions, Shiffrin warned that starting 30th second run could be a disadvantage. “I think it will be a bit rough,” said Shiffrin after her upcoming second run. “Especially running 30th, I’ll have to ski very athletic… I like the smooth courses, so I have to be tough.”
MARIBOR, SLOVENIA (Feb. 21, 2015)—The best female ski racers in the world competed in front of a rowdy Slovenian crowd on Saturday that rivaled that of the World Championships in Beaver Creek, CO. They were loud and they were ready to see hometown heroine Tina Maze perform. Just two Americans competed in Maribor: Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) and Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO). Shiffrin was just off the podium—in fifth place—and Vonn did not finish.
SAALBACH-HINTERGLEMM (Feb. 21, 2015)—The rarely-used Schneekristall-Zwolfer track is non-stop from top to bottom. A high-speed signature course, racers question whether this track is more challenging than the famed Kitzbuehel one. On a day where the light was flat, the terrain sharp and the wind blowing, the Americans were put to the test, with just two racers finishing—Wiley Maple (Aspen, CO) was 17th and Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) was 19th.
The Austrians—who trained on this hill after World Championships—seemed to have had the track figured out, as they dominated with a full podium sweep. Matthias Mayer finished first, Max Franz second by just .02, and Hannes Reichelt in third.
U.S. Ski Team alpine press officer Megan Harrod chimes in with her experience at February’s hometown World Championships.
Now that the stands are empty, the cowbells have quieted and the dust has settled on the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, all that is left is the memories. As 70 nations descended upon Vail and Beaver Creek, we dreamed. We lived. And we shared.
For those that couldn’t make it to the unbelievable hometown event, here are the top 15 memories we’ll take away from World Championships this year.