LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (March 11) – After a successful 18 years of coaching with the U.S. Alpine Ski Team, women’s speed Head Coach Chip White will step aside following the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Finals this week. During his tenure, the women’s speed program produced an impressive 122 World Cup podiums, 13 World Cup titles, 10 World Championship medals and six Olympic medals. Most noteably, White led all six members of his World Cup team to the podium during the 2013 season. He has been named the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) International Alpine Coach of the year on numerous occasians and was a 2012 finalist for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s (USOC) highest coaching honor.
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (March 10) – The 2014 U.S. Alpine U18 National Championships, which concluded last week on the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain, displayed an elevated level of athlete high performance amongst U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) regional club programs. According to USSA Regional Development Director Lester Keller, the boost is due to a combination of the Best in the World training and racing facility in Copper Mountain and the early success of the newly established National Training Groups (NTG) and Regional Development Programs (RAD).
PARK CITY, UT (March 9) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is making changes to its schedule for the upcoming March 19-23 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships in Squaw Valley. The scheduled super G races have been canceled to allow organizers to focus on giant slalom and slalom races. The super G events will not be rescheduled. In addition to the U.S. Championship giant slalom and slalom events, USSA is also adding an International Ski Federation giant slalom for men and women.
NATURE VALLEY U.S. ALPINE CHAMPIONSHIPS Squaw Valley, CA Wednesday, March 19 Men’s FIS giant slalom (not U.S. Championship event)
Thursday, March 20 Women’s U.S. Championship giant slalom
Friday, March 21 Men’s U.S. Championship giant slalom
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (March 9) - The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup regular season wrapped up Sunday with Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) leading the U.S. Ski Team with 16th in the Kranjska Gora slalom, one day after taking his career sixth giant slalom win at the venue. German Felix Neureuther took advantage of the spring weather and charged to his fourth World Cup win of the season to overtake Austrian Marcel Hirscher for the slalom points lead going into World Cup Finals. Only the top 25 racers in each discipline qualify for the March 12-16 finale held in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Universal Sports Network will broadcast the race at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET.
ARE, Sweden (March 8) - Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) won her fourth Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom of the season on Saturday to mathematically clinch a second straight World Cup title in the discipline. The stunning victory earned the 18-year-old a space in history as the youngest woman to reach eight World Cup slalom wins. She turns 19 on March 13. Universal Sports Network will broadcast the race at 1 p.m. ET.
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (March 8) - Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) captured a historic giant slalom victory Saturday in Kranjska Gora to become the first man in Audi FIS Alpine World Cup history to have won six times at the same venue. The stunning 23rd win of his career also moved Ligety within 50 points of Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who finished fourth, for the 2014 World Cup giant slalom title. The title will be decided March 15 at the World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Universal Sports Network will broadcast the Kranjska Gora giant slalom at 11 a.m. ET.
ARE, Sweden (March 7) - Olympic medalists Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) finished 20th and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) 24th in the last Audi FIS Alpine World Cup women's giant slalom prior to the World Cup Finals. Rain and high winds forced the organizers to lower the start for each run, cutting at least 15 seconds off the run times. Austrian Anna Fenninger won for the second straight day to move into the overall World Cup points lead and jump within 14 points of giant slalom leader Jessica Lindell-Vikarby of Sweden. A slalom featuring Shiffrin, the current World Cup leader in the discipline, will be contested Saturday to close competition in Are.
ARE, Sweden (March 6) - Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) finished 15th Thursday to lead the U.S. Ski Team in the first of two Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom races held in Are. Austrian Anna Fenninger took the win for her second straight World Cup giant slalom victory, moving her firmly into the chase for both the overall and giant slalom titles. Fenninger now trails Germany Maria Hoefl-Riesch by a 67 points in the overall chase and Swede Jessica Lindell-Vikarby by 54 points in giant slalom. A second giant slalom will be staged Friday under the lights in Are with a slalom closing the three race series on Saturday.
JANSA, Slovakia (March 5) - U.S. Ski Team National Training Group athlete Breezy Johnson (Salt Lake City; Rowmark Academy) finished 15th in the FIS Alpine Junior World Championships women's downhill to claim the top finish among athletes under 18. Johnson was just .05 behind teammate Katie Ryan (Aspen, CO; Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club) who posted the top finish among all U.S. athletes with 14th. Katharine Irwin (Vail, CO; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) also produced a solid run to finish 18th. Super G champion Corinne Suter of Switzerland won for her second gold medal of the championships. Also claiming gold Wednesday was Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, who won the men's slalom for his second victory in two days. Ty Sprock (Stateline, NV; Treble Cone Ski Academy) posted the top U.S. men's result with 31st to close the 2014 Junior World Championships.
JASNA, Slovakia (March 4) - Team Norway dominated the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships Tuesday with a clean sweep of the men's giant slalom podium led by Olympic giant slalom bronze medalist Henrik Kristoffersen. Sandy Vietze (Warren, VT; Green Mountain Valley School) led the U.S. with 37th as the team was hampered by missing to giant slalom skier Nick Krause (Northboro, MA; Stratton Mountain School) who was injured during the downhill. Medal competition continues Wednesday with men's slalom and potentially the women's downhill if weather cooperates.