Headlights pierced the morning fog that had settled into the valleys around the Green Mountains in central Vermont as thousands of cars twisted and turned en route to the mountain. In the pre-dawn darkness, nearly a thousand kids and their chaperones made their way to the Killington Ski Club building as clouds obscured the sun - nearly two dozen ski clubs gathering together. This was a special day for ski racers.
For the past 14 months, since the announcement that the Audi FIS Ski World Cup was returning to the Eastern USA, every mom and dad of a young ski racer in New England knew that on Thanksgiving weekend, they would be taking their kids to Killington.
Killington Crowds Leave Lasting Impact on Sport of Skiing
KILLINGTON, VT (Nov. 28, 2016) – Record crowds packed a snow-covered New England mountain venue over Thanksgiving weekend as the International Ski Federation’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup returned to the Killington ski resort near Rutland, VT for the first time in 25 years. With 30,000 spectators over two days, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) anticipates the event to have a significant long-term sport growth and industry impact.
The engagement of fans was greater than anticipated, comparable to the biggest crowds in the 50-year history of the alpine World Cup tour. The production of an eastern USA World Cup was part of a decade-old strategy by the USSA to grow awareness of alpine ski racing across America with a return to the most densely populated area of ski fans.
The event received a strong boost on Sunday when American Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) took her 10th straight World Cup slalom win.
KILLINGTON, VT (Nov. 27, 2016) – In front of a huge hometown crowd and her entire family, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) shone under pressure to win the Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom at Vermont’s Killington Mountain. Shiffrin’s win capped off a successful weekend in the east coast that will impact ski racing for decades to come.
Coming in as the odds-on favorite, Shiffrin had a couple of small bobbles in her second run, but put aside all the pre-race pressure to extend her first run lead and win by .73 seconds ahead of Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia to take her 21st World Cup win. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was third.
“It’s been incredible,” said Shiffrin. “I knew it was going to be a big one and special, and I was so excited. It’s the east coast - I know this place and I know these people love to watch ski racing. I’m so proud that they all came out and really cheered that loud!”
KILLINGTON, VT (Dec. 26, 2016) – 16,000 fans showed up at Vermont's Killington Mountain to watch the best giant slalom skiers in the world race their home hill of Superstar. With one of the largest women's alpine racing crowds in the history of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup, the noise was deafening, with people driving from far and wide to cheer on their heroes at the first World Cup in the east coast in 25 years. Delighting the crowd, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) grabbed fifth place and spent hours signing autographs for aspiring athletes after her race.
The day opened with clear, warm weather, but it got steadily colder as precipitation and fog rolled in throughout the day. The track was rough with bumpy conditions due to the wet weather. Tessa Worley of France was first, with first-run leader Nina Loeseth of Norway in second and Sofia Goggia of Italy in third.
KILLINGTON, VT (Nov. 24, 2016) – The athletes are en route to #beastworldcup, and the excitement has been steadily building to what will be one of the biggest events of the season – the first Audi FIS Ski World Cup to make its way east in 25 years. One of New England's premier resorts, Killington Mountain, is primed to play host to the best skiers in the world this weekend, and Superstar will be the big stage.
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.