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A California girl, Stacey Cook moved to Mammoth Mountain just as the United States was lighting the 2002 Olympic Torch. It took her two years to win the NorAm overall and downhill titles and two more to land on her first Olympic Team.

Cook backed up the most successful season of her career (2012) with another, even more successful season in 2013. The difference: back-to-back downhill second-place finishes in Lake Louise to open the winter. The two stunning performances were the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup podium finishes of her career and set Cookie up to fight for the season-long downhill title until the very last race of the season, which was canceled by fog. Bonus was being a part of the Best in the World women's downhill team when it captured the nation's standings for DH by a whopping 457-point margin.

Ultimately, she ended up fourth in the standings and narrowly missed a podium at the World Championships downhill, but she now has full knowledge and confidence that she can win races. That’ll be a very, very good thing come February in a little place called Sochi, Russia.

I've spent a lot of time on the hill at Lake Louise over the years. It's been a lot of perseverance, sticking it out, and it feels so good to finally get on the podium. I really shut my brain off in that race. I know I can ski with these girls. I've been so close for so long, so I decided it was time. I let my ability take over.

My whole career has been a lot of ups and downs, but all those downs are completely worth it. This is such a special team to be a part of. Every one of us has the ability to win races and that makes you want to work harder.

Cook started skiing at four with her father at various Lake Tahoe ski areas and raced in the low-key Buddy Werner League events run by Truckee's recreation department. "When I was about 10, I got a scholarship to the Northstar [racing] program and I won the first race. That's when I got serious," she said. When she wanted to try downhill but the Tahoe coaches resisted, she shifted to the Mammoth Mountain racing program, a couple of hours south, and started becoming more speed oriented.

Cook digs summer training in Mammoth because of the mega-quality road and mountain biking as well as hiking that fit nicely into her personalized program. Being outside in California during the summer is also a big perk. "It's always sunny here, why live anywhere else," she says. Another is being at home, and that feeling only comes in Mammoth. As a Cali resident, she's become pretty good friends with former Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. That friendship paid off when Cook arranged a team visit from Arnie during the World Championships in Schladming, Austria last winter.



Teams: 2006, 2010
11th, DH, Vancouver, CAN, 2010
19th, DH, Torino, ITA, 2006
23rd, GS, Torino, ITA, 2006

Teams: 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013
6th, DH, Schladming, AUT, 2013
9th, DH, Val d'Isere, FRA, 2009
16th, SC, Val d'Isere, FRA, 2009
16th, DH, Are, SWE, 2007
22nd, SG, Val d'Isere, FRA, 2009
25th, DH, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER, 2011

WORLD CUP (highlights)
Back-to-back downhill seconds to open the season, finished fourth in the downhill standings, 2013
10th in downhill standings, 2012
Scored World Cup points with 10th in career first race, 2005

2008, DH, Sugarloaf, ME
2008, SG, Sugarloaf, ME
2006, SG, Sugarloaf, ME

2004 NorAm overall and downhill champion
Two-time Junior Worlds Team member