You were sick the last time you raced on Birds of Prey and finished just off the podium in fourth. What is it about racing on home snow that brings out great performances? The best part about racing in the U.S. is being in a comfortable environment. The crowd there is always incredible too and that helps get you amped up to go fast.
Describe the Birds of Prey track as it relates to some of the other classic venues? We haven't raced slalom at BOP besides a makeup race a few years ago so it's hard to compare it to other venues. It's probably most similar to Zagreb in difficulty. But it's not very hard after the first few gates, which means you have to attack the whole way.
It seems ironic that a ski racer who won 18 slalom and giant slalom World Cups in her career would reach a penultimate gold medal by virtue of a single downhill finish. That was the story of Tamara McKinney’s brilliant World Championship title in 1989 at Vail.
Throughout the ‘80s, McKinney stood out as one of ski racing’s biggest stars. After a podium finish in her very first World Cup in 1978 at the age of 17, she went on to win 18 World Cups – all slalom and giant slalom – and claimed three crystal globes. Her historic overall title in 1983 was the first for an American woman.
A talented musician as well as a ski racer, Laurenne Ross is a four-discipline threat both on and off the snow with incredible talent on violin, piano, guitar and vocals. After a slower than normal start to the 2014 season, Ross picked things up in the run up to the Olympics and then posted a season-best 11th in the Sochi downhill. With a World Cup podium under her belt and Olympic experience, Ross is looking to continue her success in 2015 with the highlight being the 2015 FIS Alpine World Championships at Vail/Beaver Creek.
Name: Laurenne Ross
Sport: Alpine skiing
How/when did you decide you wanted to compete: Around age six, when I raced down my first course
Biggest accomplishment in your career so far: 2nd place at the World Cup Downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Stacey Cook Helps Promote Olympic Values at 54th IOA in Greece
Winning is important, but respect for diversity is the true meaning of the Olympic Games.
That was the message at the 54th International Session of the International Olympic Academy (IOA) for Young Participants. In June, two hundred participants from 96 countries congregated in Ancient Olympia, Greece; among them was the U.S. Ski Team’s Stacey Cook.
The speed team veteran “took a chance,” not really knowing much about the program, hoping to take advantage of a summertime trip to Greece. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of her life, she said.
When our youth athletes strive to achieve their personal best, victory is won on and off the hill. Encouraging our kids to set individual goals and focus on maximum personal effort benefits both the player and the team – in a variety of ways.
Athletes who come to realize that personal development can be even more rewarding than a win are mastery-focused athletes who build the confidence and initiative needed to succeed – in sports and in life.
She may be one of the top contenders for gold, but four-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso knows who her top competition will be come February. Check out her top picks to contend for the Raptor downhill podium.
Lara Gut (SUI) - She is a technical risk taker and this is just her kind of hill. She proved she could ski this hill fast in last years World Cup test events and will be tough again.
Anna Fenninger (AUT) - Anna is coming off a strong season she will be gunning for medals in Beaver Creek. Her technical skills are also in the favor of this hill.
Lindsey Vonn (USA) - Lindsey will be looking for her home hill comeback after a couple of unlucky seasons off. She has the skills and the will power to leave it all on the hill.
BEAVER CREEK, CO (July 7) – When Granite Stater Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH) took her first lap on Raptor – the brand new Audi FIS Alpine World Cup women’s downhill and speed host for the 2015 World Championships – she knew right away it was the “real deal.”
“Our eyes were wide when we trained on it two years ago, but there was a lot more big eyes when we raced it last year,” said Smith. “This downhill is the real deal, but in a good way. I think it’s going to be one of the more popular downhill’s on the women’s World Cup tour.”
A perfect compliment to the men’s Birds of Prey race hill, but with it’s own unique DNA, Raptor utilized the natural terrain of Beaver Creek Resort to tap into every element of modern downhill racing.