After sitting out much of the 2015 season, Lila Lapanja is back and looking to crush in 2016. (Mark Epstein/U.S. Ski Team)
It’s a lonely atmosphere mid-winter at the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah. Most athletes are off globetrotting the world tour. Back home, the days were filled with sweat and punctuated by tears.
For one athlete, it was a career day, but for an American coach, it was an historic day at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom Friday.
Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN) and Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) joined Stigler in qualifying for the second run, and both scored their first career World Cup points.
Americans put on a strong showing during NorAms at Lake Louise and Panorama, with B, C and D Team members grabbing podiums in tech and speed events.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) did it again on Sunday, winning her second Aspen Winternational slalom in two days.
World Cup action kicks off this weekend in Aspen and Lake Louise.
U.S. Ski Team athlete and 2014 NorAm slalom champion Lila Lapanja is an amalgam of balanced intensity, grace, flow and a little bit of mystery—just like her spirit animal, the snow leopard.
The U.S. women’s technical team ushered in the “summer season” last week, wrapping up a two-week slalom and GS camp at Loveland Ski Area in Colorado.
Two-time Olympian Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) finished one one-hundredth of a second behind Canadian Marie-Michelle Gagnon Saturday as women's slalom officially wrapped up the 2014 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships in Squaw Valley.
Sunshine and excellent racing conditions will greet athletes Wednesday when the 2014 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships kick off on Red Dog at Squaw Valley.
Katie Ryan (Aspen, CO; Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club) took an agressive line Monday to open women's speed competition at the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships with fifth in super G, just .24 from the podium.
Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN; Buck Hill Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) continued her strong skiing Friday with fourth in the FIS Alpine Junior World Championships slalom, just .49 from the podium.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association named a group of 15 elite athletes to compete at the 2013 FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championship scheduled for Feb. 19-28 at Le Massif and Mont Ste Anne, Quebec.
Despite narrowly missing the super G win Friday, Tommy Ford collected the eighth national title of his young career with gold in the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships combined.
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Lila Lapanja had just finished her first driving lesson when she got the call from the U.S. Ski Team in early 2011. "I was so excited. I've been working so hard for it, and it's just one step closer to my dream of being an Olympic ski racer," said Lapanja, who learned of her nomination at the summit of Mt. Rose Highway.
Her career hasn’t slowed since, and she slammed on the gas pedal in 2014 when she finished sixth in the Junior Worlds slalom, nabbed the NorAm slalom title and finished seventh in the overall. She rode that momentum right into U.S. Champs at Squaw Valley, her home mountain, winning bronze in slalom. 2015 was a rough season for Lapanja, as she struggled with an injury that kept her on the sidelines much of the season, but with Lila's grit and determination, she's fought back and is looking forward to crush in 2016.
OFF THE SNOW
NorAm slalom champion, 2014