CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (Feb. 12, 2016) – Though all eyes seem to be on Fenway Park in Boston for the Polartec Big Air competition, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour continues on, with the White Circus paying visit to Crans-Montana, Switzerland and Yazawa Naeba, Japan this weekend.
Snow is lightly falling upon the quaint ski village of Crans-Montana, but earlier the snow wasn’t falling so lightly. The forecast called for 40 cm of snow – a far cry from the spring-like conditions last weekend in Garmisch. It’s a lovely, sparkling sight to see … but it could present some challenges for Saturday’s downhill.
You’ve read about Lindsey Vonn’s domination on the North American and European slopes this winter—win after win, podium after podium, breaking records with each victory. But what you might not have read about are Laurenne Ross’ sneaky successes.
Ross happens to be one of the most dynamic athletes on the U.S. Ski Team – not only is she fast and fearless on the mountain, but she is a holistically intriguing woman off the mountain who approaches everything she does in a very individual style...with Laurenne Ross-flair. She writes beautiful prose. She strums a guitar and sings with a voice so beautiful it will quiet the most restless of spirits. She takes stunning photos. She has a keen eye for beauty. She creates.
COURCHEVEL, France (Feb. 8, 2016) – A wide-eyed, talented group of US. Ski and Snowboard Association U16 National Training Group (NTG) athletes traveled to Courchevel, France to compete in the 7 Nations Cup last week, grabbing an experience of a lifetime and solid results – including a pair of podiums by Alix Wilkinson (Park City, UT) and AJ Hurt (Carnelian Bay, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team).
Though Mother Nature dumped fresh snow on the eve of both events, sunshine greeted on both race days and the race crew had a daunting task on their hands. In an almost World Cup-like fashion, a crew of 40 used a combination of machines and manpower to push all the fresh snow off the track. In the end, they were successful and the whole event went off without a hitch. “It was really first class,” reflected John Cashman, NTG U16 Head Coach.
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Feb. 7, 2016) – The battle for the overall World Cup title heated up again on a warm, springlike day at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup as Switzerland’s Lara Gut got the best of Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) in Sunday’s Kandahar super G.
Vonn was gunning for World Cup win No. 77 following her commanding victory in Saturday’s downhill, but Gut, who finished a disappointing 14th Saturday, rebounded to take her 16th World Cup win. Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg, third in the downhill, finished second in the super G. Vonn settled for third Sunday after making a brilliant recovery five gates from the finish, when her right ski went airborne after hitting a bump in the snow.
“The snow was soft, like spring,” Vonn said. “I didn’t risk everything, I probably could have, but I feel like I’m older and wiser now, and to get to the finish healthy and be in third is still a pretty darn good day.
JEONGSEON, South Korea (Feb. 7, 2016) – In a rough day for top athletes and Americans, Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, NY) had the top USA finish in the Jeongseon super G, finishing 21st.
The first Audi FIS Ski World Cup super G on the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic run was a tumultuous one, with plenty of DNFs throughout the event—including favorites Kjetil Jansrud of Norway and Dominik Paris of Italy. Switzerland’s Carlo Janka pulled out a dominating victory, skiing cleanly and fast to take the win by .82 seconds. Christof Innerhofer of Italy was second with Vincent Kriechmayr of Austria third.
“It was OK,” said a disappointed Biesemeyer. “My performance was OK. I’m not really that proud of my skiing and that’s what I’m thinking about the most from today. I’m looking towards the next race.”
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Feb. 6, 2016) – Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) absolutely crushed the Kandahar downhill course in Saturday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup to take her record 76th World Cup victory.
Vonn’s winning time of 1:40.80 was 1.51 seconds faster than Switzerland’s Fabienne Suter in second. Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg was third.
Lindsey Vonn grabbed her 76th career victory at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Saturday. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Christof Stache)
“It was a great day!” Vonn said. “Every day is a new chance to break my own record, which is kind of weird to say, but it still makes it exciting. Every win for me is more special than the last. And my dad is here, so it’s really special.”
JEONGSEON, South Korea (Feb. 5, 2016) – Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) nailed the podium in the first test event for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, taking third at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill in Jeongseon.
On a beautiful sunny day in South Korea, the men got a chance to race the manicured PyeongChang downhill course. While there wasn’t much natural snow, the manmade surface held up for the 54 racers. Nyman stomped a fast run on the short track that heralded his gliding specialty, but Attacking Viking Kjetil Jansrud of Norway snuck ahead of him to take first with Dominik Paris of Italy on Jansrud’s heels in second.
"The snow was very responsive. It’s very similar to Beaver Creek and Lake Louise – dry, grippy," said Nyman after his podium finish. "It’s a joy to ski."
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Feb. 5, 2016) – It’s a little bit like Groundhog Day here in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. First, it was a fresh snowfall, featuring wet, heavy snow into the wee hours of the morning on Thursday. Then, spring-like temperatures of nearly 40 degrees Fahrenheit, with fog and precipitation hit Garmisch once again. Wait a second…weren’t we just here one week ago? Well, it doesn’t look like Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, as early spring is in the forecast. Although, we’re unsure if winter ever arrived in Europe in the first place.
Though a fresh snowfall and spring-like temperatures forced delays in Thursday’s training run, athletes were able to relax before and after the run in the U.S. Ski Team mobile kitchen and lounge, by Giovanni Rana, the Team’s official pasta and sauces sponsor. The mobile kitchen serves as a home away from home for U.S. Ski Team athletes, accompanying the team on numerous European Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour stops.
JEONGSEON, Korea (Feb. 4, 2016) – You never get a second chance to make a first impression and it looks like PyeongChang 2018 is off to a great start with the men’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup events kicking off at the Jeongseon Alpine Center this week with plenty of athlete praise. This event will serve as the first official Olympic test for all sports in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games program.