PARK CITY, UT (Nov. 23, 2016) – The 2017 U.S. Alpine Ski Team has officially been announced and is headlined by Olympic medalists Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY).
The season commenced with the U.S. Ski Team’s annual Copper Mountain, CO training camp at the U.S. Ski Team’s Speed Center. With a little help from Mother Nature in the form of a storm that served up six inches of snow on Thursday, the Speed Center is now open from top to bottom. When fully operational, it is the only full-length downhill training facility open anywhere in the world this time of year.
This weekend the Audi FIS World Cup returns to New England for the first time in over 25 years with races at Killington, VT. A quarter century ago, a 19-year-old Maine native made history winning the World Cup Finals giant slalom at Waterville Valley, NH. This week’s Behind the Gold explores Julie Parisien’s story.
The young ski racer stood outside the start house at the top of the mountain, a mix of Stevie Wonder, Zeppelin and the Beatles playing in her ears. The U.S. Ski Team’s 19-year-old rising star out of Vermont’s Burke Mountain Academy was contemplating her first run lead in a World Cup giant slalom – a position she had never experienced before.
She grabbed her poles and twisted her torso to stretch, eyes looking down towards the finish. Below was a sea of spectators – friends, family – mom, dad, her brother. Scared? No, not at all. Confident? Yes – this was her day to win.
From local ski hills to the PyeongChang Olympics, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) encompasses all athletes that share a passion for skiing and snowboarding. We explore what makes each skier and rider a champion with stories from the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing, next to kids winning a NASTAR medal, landing their first cork 7 or joining a club team. Alongside USSA’s mascot Champ, take a look at how all of these athletes strive to be Best in the World.
KILLINGTON, VT (Nov. 21, 2016) - It's winter at Killington! One of New England's premier resorts is ready to rock as early season snow and cold temperatures have made the Vermont ski area a winter wonderland as athletes from around the globe make their way to the first World Cup in the eastern USA in 25 years.
With over 200 snow guns pumping out white gold on Monday, snowmaking efforts on the race run Superstar are now complete. Last Thursday, the International Ski Federation (FIS) officials gave the resort the officlal go-ahead a day prior to its scheduled snow control date. Snowmaking temperatures are expected to remain ideal with temperatures in the teens through Wednesday, allowing crews to move over to Skye Lark and expand more top-to-bottom terrain for the public on Snowdon mountain.
AVON, CO (Nov. 17, 2016) – After meeting with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Beaver Creek’s event organizing committee, the International Ski Federation (FIS) has determined that due to unseasonably warm weather, the 2016 Audi Birds of Prey FIS World Cup at Beaver Creek, CO will be canceled. The FIS will make an official announcement on Friday, Nov. 18.
A recent shift in weather patterns has brought snow and colder temperatures to Beaver Creek Resort and the Vail Valley. However, winter conditions did not arrive in time to allow race crews to create the demanding, 8,600-foot-long Birds of Prey courses. Beaver Creek Resort is still scheduled for a Wednesday, Nov. 23 opening day, conditions permitting.
KILLINGTON, VT (Nov. 17, 2016) – The International Ski Federation (FIS) confirmed today the Audi FIS Ski World Cup scheduled for Nov. 26-27 at Killington Resort. The resort has achieved positive snow control and will host women’s giant slalom and slalom races as scheduled on Thanksgiving weekend.
“Killington has worked around the clock to ensure a successful return of the World Cup to the east for the first time in 25 years,” said USSA Vice President, Events Calum Clark. “Killington and Powdr Corp. have been strong partners in this endeavor and we are looking forward to showcasing our sport in our largest membership region.”
There are just nine days left until #BeastWorldCup. (Killington)
Getting excited for ski season to kick off? So is Julia Mancuso, who is ready to start her comeback World Cup season after missing last season due to a hip injury. Mancuso sat down with espnW to share her playlist that is helping her get to the start gate.
KITTILÄ, Finland (Nov. 13, 2016) - A disappointing result turned into a positive perspective for the U.S. men’s technical squad at the opening slalom event of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup.
America’s top slalom skier David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) failed to finish his first run as the cold, aggressive surface got the best of him. But he vowed to come back strong for the second World Cup slalom December 11th in Val d’Isere, France.
“I just made a mistake,” Chodounsky said. “I’m skiing well, but I just need to focus on the right things. I’ll come back strong next race.”
“Daver made an uncharacteristic mistake,” said Ian Lochhead, men’s U.S. World Cup slalom coach. “Good splits on top. Nothing to worry about, he'll be ready for Val d'Isere.”
However, Lochhead said that the team and coaching staff must be better prepared for the next World Cup slalom, but noted that they are on the cusp of skiing right up there with the top racers.
KITTILÄ, Finland (Nov. 12, 2016) – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) overcame Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom opener nerves, skiing two clean and solid runs en route to her first World Cup victory of the 2017 season. Switzerland's Wendy Holdener grabbed second, .67 seconds out, while Slovakia's Petra Vlhova rounded out the podium in third, .75 seconds behind Shiffrin.
It was a beautiful, crisp day up in Lapland, with a picturesque sunrise and perfect rock-hard conditions on the race track. Starting lucky number seven, Shiffrin laid down a smoking first run, finishing .72 ahead of 2016 World Cup slalom title holder Frida Hansdotter and Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener. The battle between Shiffrin and Hansdotter ended when Hansdotter straddled on the pitch second run and skied out. Shiffrin knifed the bulletproof pitch and maintained her lead all the way to the finish, earning herself another prize Lapland reindeer and a buddy for her 2013 prize reindeer Rudolph. His name? Sven.