VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 12. 2015)—The speed races wrapped on Beaver Creek’s renowned Birds of Prey terrain and the World Champs focus switched to the technical events. Of the 116 women at the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships giant slalom (GS) on Thursday, Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) took eighth and Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) was 14th. In the end, Austria’s Anna Fenninger stood atop the podium, flanked by Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany in second and Sweden's Jessica Lindell-Vikarby in third.
The two-run GS is known as the most technical of all the World Cup disciplines, requiring precision and speed. Billed as the most competitive race of the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships, the women’s GS event became a competition for silver and bronze after Austrian superstar Anna Fennigner’s first run. Fenninger went into the second run with a massive 1.70-second lead over the runner up in the first run.
VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 11. 2015)—Tuesday’s team event marked a transition at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The gears are shifting, as the athletes trade speed events for technical races. The downhill and super G races are in the U.S. Ski Team’s rearview mirror, and the athletes are now focused on the upcoming giant slalom and slalom races. On deck, women’s GS on Thursday.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) will headline the American skiers in the GS. Shiffrin, the 19-year-old Vail local, has a skiing resume that belies her young age, with 12 wins and 21 podiums in four seasons on the World Cup, one Olympic gold medal, and a World Championship medal during her meteoric rise into the World Cup elite.
USSA columnist Tom Kelly takes a look at Bode Miller's past and future in this week's Behind the Gold.
A month before the start of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, one of the sport’s most celebrated stars held court with media at the Westin in Avon. After two days of training, first on Raptor and then Vail’s Golden Peak, the jury was still out on whether Bode Miller had recovered enough from back surgery just six weeks earlier to be named to the team.
The solid, athletic body that had won 11 Olympic and World Championship medals, seven Audi FIS Ski World Cup crystal globes and 33 individual World Cup races still wasn’t quite ready to race.
“I have a good track record on this hill,” said Miller. “But we have a strong team right now, and I don’t want to bump someone out. I have an unusual knack for coming back and getting ready. If it’s possible, I’m probably one of the people who could pull it off. But it takes luck and good fortune.
During Tuesday’s FIS Alpine World Ski Championships nations team event, the Canadians stole the show with a silver medal, defeated by the indelible Austrians. Run on Vail’s Golden Peak, the crowd was big, with cheering spectators lining the sides of course. The American team made it to the first two rounds, but was ousted in the quarterfinals, tying for fifth with Italy, France and Norway.
VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 9, 2015)—Tuesday afternoon is the nations team event—a duel paneled slalom at Vail, CO as a part of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Athletes and organizers boast that it’s the most fun race of the two weeks, but what exactly is this team event?
HOW IT WORKS
The team event is set up in bracket style, with the top 16 nations ranked similar to NCAA's March Madness, based on Nations Cup points at the end of the last World Cup race prior to the event (men’s slalom at Schladming, Austria on Jan. 27, 2015). Total team sizes are set at a max of six racers, with at least two competitors from each gender starting each heat. Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) and Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA) will be competing for the U.S.
VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 9. 2015)—It was another day full of action on Monday at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, CO for the women’s alpine combined. Slovenia’s Tina Maze displayed speed in the morning’s downhill and technical prowess in the afternoon’s slalom to win her ninth career World Championship medal. Rounding out the women’s combined podium were Nicole Hosp and Michaela Kirchgasser, both from Austria. Hopes were high for Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), who took seventh in the downhill before straddling in the slalom and DNFing. Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) was the top finishing American in 14th place.
VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 8. 2015)—On the coattails of a record-breaking crowd turnout for men’s downhill on Saturday, throngs of fans showed up again to Beaver Creek, CO to cheer on the men’s World Champs combined athletes. Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) attacked from the back—starting 29th second run—and grabbed an unlikely bronze medal. Austria’s Marcel Hirscher won the combined gold medal, followed by Kjetil Jansrud of Norway.
The men’s combined at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships is a one-day event that includes the combined time of a morning downhill run with an afternoon slalom run.
BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 8, 2015) – Bode Miller left his future options open in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Dan Hicks that aired during coverage of the men’s downhill Saturday from Beaver Creek. Miller’s teammate Travis Ganong won the silver medal with three Americans in the top nine.
Miller spoke candidly about the accident and his future in ski racing, leaning towards retirement but clearly leaving the door open.
“I was gearing for this since the beginning of the season and it took a lot of focus,” he said. “To come here and put a race together that I thought had a good chance of getting me on the podium and then turn south on me at the bottom of the course is tough to swallow. But, physically, I’ll be alright.”
VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 7, 2015)—In front of an enormous crowd of 20,000 screaming fans, the U.S. packed three guys into the top ten on Birds of Prey. Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) grabbed an incredible silver medal at Saturday’s FIS Alpine World Ski Championships downhill. Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) was fourth and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) was ninth.
Ganong was surrounded by the Swiss on the podium, as Patrick Kueng took first place and Beat Feuz third.
It was a gloriously sunny day and the place was packed. The stands filled up by 9:00 a.m. MST, with the race not scheduled to start until 11:00. Crowds extended up the side of the race course, reaching above the finish jump. and the cowbells and cheers were deafening as the Americans reached the finish.
“I could actually hear everybody off the jump,” said Jared Goldberg (Holladay, UT).
BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 7, 2015) - What does the future hold in store for Bode Miller? One of the sport's most notable stars over the last decade talked to NBC's Dan Hicks in an interview that will air Saturday on NBC during its coverage of the men's downhill beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST.