SOCHI, Russia (Mar. 3, 2016) – In yet another tough day at the Rosa Khutor alpine center, FIS Junior World Ski Championships Downhill Champion Erik Arvidsson (Woodside, CA, U.S. Ski Team/Squaw Valley Ski Team/Bear Valley) was the lone American to finish in Thursday’s giant slalom, landing in 14th.
“The snow is incredibly mushy at this point, and it's pushing the race organizers to extremes to pull off quality events,” said Alpine Development Director Chip Knight. “Really proud of the way Erik competed today. He showed a lot of grit, fighting from a high start number through warm, deteriorating conditions to finish 14th. I'm sure it didn't feel great, but he made it happen against a top-notch field.”
In a race where more than half of the field did not finish, Switzerland once again prevailed, with Marco Odermatt the victor, France’s Elie Gateau in second and Austria’s Maximilian Lahnsteiner rounding out the podium in third.
SOCHI, Russia (Mar. 2, 2016) – The FIS Junior World Ski Championships rolled on Wednesday with the women’s giant slalom, where Galena Wardle (Aspen, CO, U.S. Ski Team/Aspen Valley Ski Club) once again led the Americans, with a 22nd place finish in yet another challenging race with soft snow and diffcult course sets on a demanding track.
The 2015 National GS Champion Nina O’Brien (San Francisco, CA, U.S. Ski Team/Burke Mountain Academy/Squaw Valley Ski Team) finished 24th, and Alice Merryweather (Hingham, MA; U.S. Ski Team, Stratton Mountain School; 10/5/96) in 29th. Breezy Johnson (Victor, ID, U.S. Ski D Team/Rowmark Ski Academy) did not finish first run, while Nellie Rose Talbot (Vail, CO; National Training Group, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 8/24/99) did not finish the second run.
The sign above the door read “Ski Like a Champion.” Erik Arvidsson had taped it there the night before the opening event of the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in Sochi. A few weeks earlier, Arvidsson and his teammates had visited the Lake Placid locker room that sent the 1980 Team USA hockey team into history. Being in Russia, it was fitting. Ski racing is an individual sport. But the young men wanted a locker room. They wanted to be a team.
Race morning, five young ski racers got together in their makeshift locker room. They listened to a recording of the famous Herb Brooks speech that sent the Americans to gold 36 years earlier. One by one, Erik Arvidsson, Sam Morse, Drew Duffy, Florian Szwebel and Patrick Kenney tapped their ski poles on the Champion sign as they headed out from the athlete village to the slopes of Rosa Khutor.
This is the story of the power of a team – the story of American Downhillers.
PARK CITY, UT (March 2, 2016) - Audi FIS Ski World Cup leader Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) today announced that she is suspending competition for the remainder of the season. Vonn was injured during a super G race in Soldeu-El Tarter, Andorra, Saturday. With three weekends of racing remaining in the season, Vonn is currently leading the World Cup overall and super G standings, and in a three-way tie for the alpine combined lead.
“I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish this year,” said Vonn. “But today I am making the difficult decision to end my season and leave the World Cup circuit due to an injury I suffered last Saturday.”
Vonn, who has already clinched the World Cup downhill title for a record 20th career crystal globe, won nine World Cup races this season and set a new record for downhill victories. She now has 76 World Cup wins and is chasing the record of 86 World Cup victories held by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark.
SOCHI, Russia (Mar. 1, 2016) – Today’s alpine combined featured warm, spring like conditions with soft snow and challenging course sets, but Galena Wardle (Aspen, CO, U.S. Ski Team/Aspen Valley Ski Club) led the way for the Americans, finishing sixth with teammate Patricia Mangan (Buffalo, NY, U.S. Ski Team/Holimont Race Team) in seventh. Wardle and Mangan grabbed the first ever U.S. top-10 finishes in the event at the FIS Junior World Ski Championship level.
With temperatures rising to 50 degrees Fahrenheit at 10:00 a.m., the course workers had their work cut out for them knowing that the hard snow would transform into a grainy and peely surface quickly. The track held up for the ladies with plenty of salt used, but it was a challenge for the men, who followed the women.
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (March 1, 2016) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) announced today that National Training Group (NTG) U16 athlete Ben Ritchie (Waitsfield, VT; Green Mountain Valley School) has been selected to represent the United States in this year’s Longines Future Ski Champions.
The Longines event, which alternates between men’s and women’s races each year, brings together the future talents of alpine ski racing to compete against each other on the scene of a major professional circuit competition. This year’s event will take place in conjunction with the 2016 Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in St. Moritz.
SOCHI, Russia (Feb. 29, 2016) – The 2015 National super G Champion Drew Duffy (Warren, VT, U.S. Ski Team/Green Mountain Valley School) grabbed his second straight top-11 finish today to lead the way for the Americans, with teammate Erik Arvidsson (Woodside, CA, U.S. Ski Team/Squaw Valley Ski Team/Bear Valley) finishing 15th in the super G at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships.
After stuffing four in the top 10 to kick off Junior Worlds on Saturday – including a downhill victory by Arvidsson – the men were ready to take on the super G on Sunday, when rain and low visibility plagued the Rosa Khutor alpine center and postponed the event until Monday.
SOLDEU-EL TARTER, Andorra (Feb. 28, 2016) – A day after going down in a sled following a super G crash, Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) came back to win the Audi FIS Ski World Cup alpine combined morning super G, and finish 13th overall, forcing a three-way tie for the combined globe with one event to go.
Mikaela Shiffrin finished eighth in the alpine combined Sunday in Soldeu, Andorra. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)
HINTERSTODER, Austria (Feb. 28, 2016) – Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV) is getting closer to dialing in the equipment issues he’s been struggling with the past few weeks. In Sunday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom, he almost found the right combination, finished as the top American in 23rd.
“Today, I knew I wanted to come out and put together a solid day,” said Jitloff. “The first run was a step in the right direction.”
France’s Alexis Pinturault won his second-straight giant slalom – he also won Friday’s GS in Hinterstoder – in commanding fashion by 1.14 seconds over Austria’s Marcel Hirscher. Norway’s Henrik Kristofferson was third.
The past couple of weeks have been a struggle for the 31-year-old, six-time U.S. Champion as he has worked diligently to perfect his equipment set up. However, the combination of canceled races and long training hours has taken a toll, physically and emotionally.
SOLDEU-EL TARTER, Andorra (Feb. 27, 2016) – On a day full of delays, crashes and tough conditions, Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) powered through fresh snow to take second in the Soldeu Audi FIS Ski World Cup, her first podium spot since Garmisch in 2013.
Battling wind and snow that caused the race start to be lowered and the start time pushed back by three hours, many skiers struggled down the gnarly course, including Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), who was a pre-race favorite. Vonn slid out of the course, crashing near the bottom, and was taken off the hill on a sled by ski patrol. Her injuries are being evaluated.
Lindsey Vonn had to be carried off the mountain after crashing in Saturday’s World Cup super G.