US Ski Team Alpine News
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Shiffrin Opens with First Run Lead
SOELDEN, Austria (Oct. 25) - Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) skied a masterful bottom section of the first run to vault into the lead in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup opener in Soelden. Running number one to start the season, Shiffrin arced her way down the Rettenbach Glacier giant slalom, carrying good speed off the steeps and powering through the flats into the finish. Shiffrin, the World Cup slalom champion, is looking for her first giant slalom win. Second run is set for 12:45 p.m. local time, with Universal Sports providing live coverage beginning at 6:30 a.m. EDT.
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 08:52:21 +0000
100 Days to Vail/Beaver Creek
- As Mikaela Shiffrin got ready to kick out of the start in the opening Audi FIS Alpine World Cup in Soelden, the countdown clock ticked down to 100 days until the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek.
- Hometown hero Shiffrin will hope to defend her 2013 World Championship slalom title next February.
- Olympic Champion Ted Ligety made history two years ago, becoming the first skier since Jean Claude Killy to win three gold medals in the same Championships.
- Among the starters in Saturday's opener will be Vail's own Sarah Schleper in the first race for her new country of Mexico. With no points profile of note, Schleper will start 68th in the field of 70.
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:24:53 +0000
U.S. Ski Team Names Alpine Press Officer
PARK CITY, UT (Oct. 24) – The U.S. Ski Team has named Megan Harrod as alpine press officer. Harrod has an extensive background in communications and over 15 years of racing and coaching experience. She will serve as a liaison between U.S. Alpine Ski Team athletes and staff and the public, with a key focus on athlete management while growing awareness of athletes and the team.
- Megan Harrod has joined U.S. Ski Team as alpine press officer. She is beginning her tenure at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup opener in Soelden.
- Hailing from the Midwest, Harrod began her skiing career in Wisconsin where she was a USSA and FIS competitor.
- She attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN where she claimed numerous honors, including top 15 USCSA Nationals Combined and All-American during the 2004-05 season.
- Following her competitive racing career, Harrod coached for Team Gilboa’s junior race program for six years. Team Gilboa is based at Hyland Hills in Bloomington, MN.
- Prior to joining the USSA, Harrod was co-owner and director sales and marketing for Ethnotek Bags, coached CrossFit at The Firm MPLS and worked at Olson, an ad agency with a digital focus located in Minneapolis.
- She is based in Salt Lake City, but will be traveling the Audi FIS Alpine World cup circuit this winter.
- Harrod replaces Doug Haney, who retired after 12 years with the USSA to spend more time at home and to serve as event manager for Cycle Adirondacks.
Tom Kelly, Vice President, Communications, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
Our press officers are important not only in growing awareness of our athletes with the public and media, but also play a key role in creating a positive environment for athletes and staff.
Megan Harrod, U.S. Ski Team Alpine Press Officer
As a past USSA athlete and coach, I’m happy to be able to bring those skills into this new position with the U.S. Ski Team and to be involved, once again, in the sport of ski racing. I’m thankful to my parents for allowing me to explore a hobby that turned into a passion, resulting in lifelong friendships and a keen understanding of dedication, drive, and calculated risk-taking.
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:14:37 +0000
Ligety Streak on Line at Soelden
- Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) will go for a fourth straight opener win when the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup debuts this weekend in Soelden.
- Chase for the Cup: Ligety will be chasing a sixth World Cup giant slalom title, looking for his third straight and fifth in six years.
- Olympic Champs: The U.S. Ski Team will start five men Sunday and three women Saturday including Olympic champions Ligety, Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO).
- U.S. Streak: Ligety and Miller have combined to win five of the last 10 World Cup openers in Soelden.
- Rookies: Snowbird’s Jared Goldberg (Holladay, UT) and Brennan Rubie (Salt Lake City) will be making their Soelden debut.
- Watch it Live: American fans can watch second run action live with Steve Porino and Doug Lewis on the Universal Sports Network.
- Powder Days: Over a meter of new snow fell overnight Thursday on the Rettenbach Glacier.
- World Champs: The opener will kickoff a season that will feature the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships this February in Vail/Beaver Creek, where every event will be televised live.
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:37:25 +0000
Heavy Snow Blankets Soelden for Opener
SOELDEN, Austria (Oct. 23) - The rolling green fields above the Austrian mountain village of Soelden turned white overnight, with up to a meter of fresh snow blanketing the Rettenbach Glacier. Crews worked feverishly overnight to clear the alpine highway from Soelden to the glacier, with the piste opened for race and television support Thursday afternoon. U.S. Ski Team athletes relaxed at their hotel, cleared snow off the Team's Audis and played in the fresh falling snow. The women open Saturday, men on Sunday, with Universal Sports Network providing live coverage. Olympic champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) will be going for his fourth straight win in Soelden.
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:40:48 +0000
Concussion Considerations Google+ Hangout
Youth sports don’t involve the same dangerous blend of power, size and speed as professional sports. However, they still carry risks of physical injury. As a result, certain safety precautions should always be taken to ensure maximum safety during competition.
At Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ we encourage parents, coaches and youth athletes alike to educate themselves on where to find information on preventing and identifying injuries – especially head injuries such as concussions.
Hosted by PCA Marketing Communications Manager David Jacobson, the PCA Concussion Considerations Google+ Hangout runs just short of a half-hour in length, and is much more than a mere “hangout.” In fact, it’s packed with valuable insight, experience and advice from David and his six panelists.
Included among these panelists are Dr. Gerry Gioia, a pediatric neuropsychologist at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; Jim Osborne, a brain injury specialist, PCA trainer and member of the Education Department at Immaculata University; current U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team member Rachel Buehler and former NFL quarterback Scott Secules,
Highlights and insights from this excellent online conference call include:
- A concussion is a brain injury, and should be taken very seriously by parents, coaches and youth athletes alike. Concussion care is very much “a team sport.
- When the brain is injured, it is very vulnerable to a second injury, especially in the days following the initial injury.
- Most concussions do not involve anything as extreme or obvious as “blacking out.” In fact, losing consciousness only happens in 1 out of every 10 concussions.
- The knowledge base on concussions and their diagnosis and treatment is steadily growing, but an estimated 50% to 75% of all sports-related concussions are “missed.”
- Great progress in diagnosing and treating concussions is being made, and concussion “baseline tests” are becoming more standardized and advanced in all levels of all sports, including youth sports.
During the PCA Concussion Considerations Google+ Hangout, panelists also shared their unique and invaluable personal stories involving concussions experienced by themselves and other athletes under their care and supervision. These are extremely insightful anecdotes that should be listened to and absorbed by parents, coaches and youth athletes alike.
It’s important for parents, coaches and youth athletes alike to remember that every concussion is serious, so early recognition and appropriate response is important when it comes to reducing the risk of additional injury. Coaches and parents who best arm themselves with the tools and knowledge to protect young players will keep more heads in the game.
At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning in and out of the pool.
©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:54:22 +0000
Men's Speed Team Trains in Corralco
With reports of thinning snow conditions in Portillo, the U.S. men’s speed team called an audible in September and moved its early fall camp to Corralco Ski Area in the southern part of Chile.
The training block, which concluded on Sept. 27, was attended by the men’s World Cup speed team, the men’s multi-team, as well as the men’s Europa Cup speed team.
“It was pretty dry up in northern Chile this winter (in the Southern Hemisphere),” said Sasha Rearick, the men’s head alpine coach. “We were getting reports that it was going to be thin, so we hopped on a plane, flew down there and checked it out.”
Earlier in the summer, head coach Rearick scouted the venue while the French were training. On that visit, longtime “friend of the team” Jimmy Ackerson, now the general manager for Corralco, told Rearick anything and everything is possible.
“It’s a big mountain where you can basically make your own downhill wherever you want,” said Rearick. “The French team had a tough camp because of weather. The Swiss team got snowed out, too. And fortunately, we got lucky. So it is risky down there with weather.”
The Americans were coming off a successful camp in New Zealand a few weeks earlier, which was mostly tech-based. In Chile, they were able to run a slightly more aggressive block.
Read more at skiracing.com.
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:34:48 +0000
Universal Sports Network Unveils Extensive Coverage of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
LOS ANGELES, CA (Oct. 16, 2014) – Universal Sports Network will present extensive multi-platform coverage of the 2014-15 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup both on air and at UniversalSports.com starting with the season’s opener in Soelden, Austria this October 25 and 26. Continuing through March 2015, Universal Sports will showcase more than 65 international alpine competitions and 100 hours of exclusive television coverage, including the World Cup finals from Meribel, France. In addition, UniversalSports.com is scheduled to live stream more than 250 hours of full event competition for authenticated users.
Live television coverage of the 2014-15 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup begins Saturday, October 25, at 6:30 a.m. ET with the women’s giant slalom from Soelden, Austria, and continues with the men’s giant slalom on Sunday, October 26, at 7:30 a.m. ET. LIVE streaming begins at 3:30 a.m. ET on both days.
With the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships taking place in the U.S. at Vail-Beaver Creek this February, the U.S. Ski Team faces extra pressure against the world’s best skiers this year. The 2014-15 season will see Austria’s Marcel Hirscher and Anna Fenninger defending their overall World Cup titles against veterans Askel Lund Svindel (SUI), Ted Ligety (USA) and Tina Maze (SLO), in what could be her final season, alongside the next generation of skiers including Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen and the USA’s rising star Mikaela Shiffrin.
Not to be overlooked is veteran Lindsey Vonn (USA) who is looking to make a much-anticipated comeback following major knee surgery this past January which sidelined her from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Vonn has indicated that she hopes to be race-ready by the Lake Louise World Cup speed races December 5-7 which will air LIVE on Universal Sports. Already the most decorated American skier in history, Vonn has 59 World Cup race victories which is just three short of the women’s record held by Austrian legend Annemarie Moser-Pröll.
Presented by Longines, Universal Sports’ broadcast coverage of the 2014-15 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup will feature the veteran play-by-play announcer Steve Porino and analyst Doug Lewis. This year’s broadcasts will also include the newly-designed Audi Race Room where the network’s analysts give viewers an insider’s look at the elite competition by breaking down the techniques and technologies behind individual performances.
“2015 was supposed to be a curtain call for two of the sport’s biggest stars, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, but Miller, Vonn and Julia Mancuso have more in them and are all back,” Porino commented about Team USA. “I predict that we’re also going to watch Mikaela Shiffrin bud from best slalom skier in the world to one of the best skiers, period. And Ted Ligety will continue to cement his legend as one of the greatest giant slalom skiers to have ever lived by adding another World Championship title.”
With regard to the international scene, Porino added, “Fans need to tune in to watch the male version of Shiffrin in 20-year-old Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, who is the youngest male Olympic alpine medalist ever. He’s as impressive as three-time overall World Cup winner Marcel Hirscher, who at 25 is the atypical Austrian: slight in stature, big on personality, and he still calls his dad from the starting gate. It’s hard to imagine who will stand in his way this season.”
The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is the top international circuit of alpine skiing competitions, with men’s and women’s skiers competing in the slalom, giant slalom, Super G, downhill and combined, a combination of downhill and slalom. This year’s events will take place in Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.
Universal Sports Network’s award-winning alpine coverage is available on Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink Prism, Google Fiber, satellite providers DIRECTV and DISH and numerous regional cable and IPTV operators in markets across the country. Click here to find USN on your channel finder.
Soelden Broadcast Schedule:
Saturday, Oct. 25
Women's Giant Slalom
6:30 a.m. ET Live
Sunday, Oct. 26
Men's Giant Slalom
7:30 a.m. ET Live
Subject to change, all times Eastern. Visit UniversalSports.com for schedule updates and streaming times.
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 21:22:40 +0000
TAKE 5 with U.S. Ski Team’s Alice McKennis
Youth sports might not seem as dangerous as professional sports, but there are still physical risks involved.
Safety precautions should be taken in every sport, and at Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ we encourage coaches and parents to educate themselves on where to find information on preventing and identifying head injuries, especially concussions.
We sat down with U.S. Ski Team standout Alice McKennis to get her thoughts on how youth athletes, coaches and Positive Sport Parents can help provide proper protection of the head.
In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Alice told us that the top priority for everyone involved in skiing should always be wearing a helmet – and wearing one that fits snugly and securely.
“Always wear a helmet and make sure it fits properly!” said Alice.
According to Alice, parents and coaches should always be involved in the helmet purchasing and fitting process.
“Parents can make sure they take the first step and purchase a safe helmet for their kids,” said Alice. “They can also educate their children on the consequences of what might happen if they don’t use a helmet.
“Coaches can make sure that athletes have a helmet that is up to standard, and that it fits properly. They can also regulate that the athletes wear their helmets at all times when skiing.”
Alice said that while wearing a proper-fitting helmet goes a long way towards helping to protect youth athletes against head injuries, incidents and accidents can still happen in the fast-moving sport of skiing. According to Alice, it’s imperative for everyone involved in skiing to keep their heads up when it comes to the issue of concussions.
“Often after a big crash where a child might have hit his or her head, there might not be the proper follow up to look for a concussion and be sure that the child is OK and does not need medical treatment,” said Alice. “Simple tests can often be overlooked.”
Alice added that skiers can also help reduce the risk of head and other injuries by learning to always “ski within their abilities” on the slopes.
“Speed is the biggest factor when it comes to head injuries in skiing, but I would never want to make skiing slower,” said Alice. “If skiers would instead stay in control and ski within their abilities instead of trying to ski at a speed that they are unable to ski safely at and in control of, it could help lessen head injuries.”
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:40:00 +0000
Athlete Spotlight: Steve Nyman
After finishing 27th overall in men's downhill at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Steve Nyman has been training harder than ever this past summer. "I realized last winter that I needed better endurance in races so that has been a huge part of my summer training. I learned a lot this summer from training 5-6 days per week and constantly monitoring my body," says Steve. With Sochi behind him, Steve is looking to make a push for the 2014-2015 world cup downhill title.
How/when did you decide you wanted to compete:
Around 12 years old I decided I wanted to become an Olympian.
Biggest accomplishment in your career so far:
Two-time World Cup Winner - Val Gardena, Italy 2006, 2012
Favorite moment from Sochi:
Running #1 on the Olympic downhill course
Goals for next season:
My goal is to get back into the top 15 overall rank and prepare myself for a push at the downhill title.
Favorite snow destination:
Favorite non-snow destination:
I don’t eat candy, I guess my Moms cookies count though!
If you weren't a professional athlete what would you be:
A cowboy, but I’m allergic to horses.
If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be:
Abraham Lincoln or Jesus
One thing you can’t live without:
Favorite USSA athlete outside your sport:
Advice to others who want to follow in your footsteps:
The grass is greenest where you water it.
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 17:39:11 +0000