When she crossed the finish line, her mind was racing. Starting number 30, she knew she had had a good run. She heard the crowd roaring. But she couldn’t see the scoreboard. Finally, someone shouted out the news. The U.S. Ski Team’s Pam Fletcher had won the American Ski Classic World Cup downhill at Vail. History was made - March 15, 1986.
Growing up outside Boston at her parents’ Nashoba Valley Ski Area, Fletcher had worked a lifetime for that moment. Her parents had taught her well. From watching her father manage the minute details of a weather-challenged business, she learned about precision in how she skied and the ability to roll with the situations that life presented her.
Fletcher was in her sixth season on the World Cup. She came into the race at Vail with a pair of top 10 downhill results, plus a super G podium from Furano, and had been top five in every downhill training run at Vail.
PARK CITY, UT (May 29) – Following a request from Mexico, the International Ski Federation (FIS) has approved Sarah Schleper de Gaxiola (Vail, CO) to compete under the Mexican flag for the upcoming Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season. The four-time U.S. Olympian hopes to race at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in her hometown of Vail-Beaver Creek.
LOVELAND, CO (May 28) - The U.S. women’s technical team ushered in the “summer season” last week, wrapping up a two-week slalom and GS camp at Loveland Ski Area in Colorado.
On hand were Mikaela Shiffrin, Lila Lapanja and Paula Moltzan, as well as Head Technical Coach Roland Pfeifer, taking advantage of the late-spring, high-elevation training environment on the Continental Divide. The camp kicked off with full-blown winter conditions, including fresh snow, but sunshine and a hard surface closed out the training block.
STACEY COOK – Three-time Olympian Age - 29 Hometown – Mammoth Mountain, CA Club – Mammoth Mountain Ski Team Social Media - staceycookusa
Stacey Cook knows what success feels like, and she likes it. After years of consistently finishing close to the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup podium, she struck back-to-back second place finished in downhill to open the 2013 season. Then at the 2014 World Cup test events on Raptor, Cook won a downhill training run, but finished 19th in the race. That didn’t taste too good.
“I didn’t leave those World Cup races in Beaver Creek with a whole lot of confidence and I think that’s why it took me so long to find my speed last season. I’ve got to fix that.”
BEAVER CREEK, CO - Having the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in your backyard has its benefits. Just ask Olympic slalom gold medalist and World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin. The Eagle-Vail local hopped on Raptor for a few days of super G training in April with speed skiers Stacey Cook, Leanne Smith, Laurenne Ross.
While it’s not yet determined if Shiffrin will race super G or super combined at the Feb. 2-15 big show, she and her teammates certainly benefitted from bonus time on the World Champs slope.
“The extra time was huge,” said Cook, a three-time Olympian, who also trained on the venue in April of 2013. “The conditions in April where more similar to what we’ll see in February and I left the camp with a good feeling. I know that I can ski that hill fast. I’m excited to go back there.”
FRANCONIA, NH (May 15) - The North American Snowsports Journalist Association East has named Sam Morse (Carrabassett Valley, ME; Carrabassett Valley Academy) and Alice Merryweather (Hingham, MA; Stratton Mountain School) the Don A. Metivier Golden Ski Award winners for 2014. Each spring, the organization - formerly known as the Easter Ski Writers Association - presents the honor to the most promising male and female junior alpine racers in the Eastern U.S. The awards will be presented at a reception at the New England Ski Museum in Franconia, NH on Friday, May 30from 5-7 p.m.
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Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports sat down with budding young U.S. Ski Team star Katie Ryan to get her thoughts on the importance of good sportsmanship.
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CA (May 9) – The U.S. Ski Team women’s alpine speed team closed a week-long camp today at Mammoth Mountain, marking their first on-snow time with newly appointed speed Head Coach Stefan Abplanalp. The annual camp was focused on skiing basics with U.S. Ski Team fundamental skills development coach Michael Rogan on hand to run the athletes through specific drills. However, the biggest gain from the week was the time the athletes were able to spend working on communication with the new coaching staff.
After crushing the U18 Championships on the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain, CO Squaw Valley’s Stephanie Lebby was all but assured a spot on the U.S. Development Team for 2015. She sealed the deal with a solid slalom result at the main event U.S. Championships later that spring on her home hill. A smattering of International experience earlier in the season was also a big boost. While she’ll train with the National Training Group for the 2015 season, she’ll for sure kick out of the training gate with a bunch of national team colleagues.