US Ski Team Alpine News
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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
Snowmaking Underway at Copper Mountain Resort
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Sept. 30) – More than two inches of natural snow graced the slopes of Copper Mountain Resort late Monday night when snowmakers kicked into gear and started snow making operations.
In additional to ensuring the perfect snow surface for early season guests, snowmaking resources are also focused around U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain in preparation for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to be held in Colorado later this February. Copper once again will introduce the full roster of Olympic medalists and World Champion alpine skiers while hosting the First Tracks Alpine Team Naming presented by Nature Valley on Saturday, Nov. 8. Athletes expected to attend include: Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) and Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO).
This full day pep-rally allows fans a chance to watch the U.S. Alpine Ski Team train, participate in a fan-lead parade and cheer on and send off their favorite athletes on the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup ski season.
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:15:25 +0000
Demschar to Lead Alpine Development
PARK CITY, UT (Sept. 24) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has streamlined its national alpine development program leadership to provide greater service to athletes in its clubs and regional programs. USSA Alpine Director has named longtime alpine administrator and development leader Michelle Demschar to oversee the structure as alpine domestic program director. Eric Harlow will continue to oversee USSA Eastern regional programs and has been promoted to USSA Eastern Region development director. Lester Keller will now oversee both USSA Western and USSA Rocky/Central regions as USSA Western/Rocky Central Regions development director. Coaches and managers in each region will report to their respective regional director.
- The USSA has named Michelle Demschar as domestic alpine domestic program director. Demschar, who joined the USSA in 2011, moved into a development management role in 2013.
- Longtime development leader Lester Keller was named USSA Western/Rocky Central Regions development director. Eric Harlow has been promoted to USSA Eastern Region development director.
- The changes were made by USSA Alpine Director Patrick Riml to streamline the development staff structure and provide greater service to athletes in USSA clubs and regions.
- Demschar is a longtime race administrator and has served on boards of clubs in the USA and Canada, as well as serving as executive director of the Australian Ski Federation where she oversaw all sports.
USSA ALPINE DEVELOPMENT STAFF
USSA Alpine Director – Patrick Riml
Domestic Alpine Program Director – Michelle Demschar
Eastern Region Development Director – Eric Harlow
Eastern Region Alpine Development Coach – Martin Guyer
Eastern Region Youth Coordinator – Tom Ashworth
Eastern Region Manager – Patti Nichols
Western/Rocky Central Regions Development Director – Lester Keller
Western Region Alpine Development Coach – Karin Harjo
Western Region Manager – Gwynn Watkins
Western Region Youth Coordinator - TBA
Rocky/Central Region Alpine Development Coach – Ian Dunlop
Rocky Mountain Division Manager – Darlene Nolting
Central Division Manager – Brewster McVicker
National Training Group
U16 Coach – Thomas Erhard
U16 Coach – Michael Rogan
Men’s FIS Coach – Konrad Rickenbach
Men’s FIS Coach – Chad Wolk
Women’s FIS Coach - Frank Kelble
Women’s FIS Coach – Kris Shampeny
ATC/PT – Dave Quemmen
Patrick Riml, USSA Alpine Director
We are very fortunate to have a very strong and experienced staff team throughout our development program. These changes in our staff alignment will provide a smoother flow of responsibilities to provide greater service to our clubs and regional programs.
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 19:22:41 +0000
TAKE 5 with U.S. Ski Team’s Stacey Cook
When watching your child play sports, it’s natural to get excited. But it’s also important to make sure you always act as a Positive Sport Parent – on game day and beyond.
Being a Positive Sport Parent means not only keeping your emotions in check on game day, but also always remaining supportive and respectful of your youth athlete – as well as all the other kids and coaches involved in the competition. It’s also vital to remember that as a parent, you have the power to help shape your youth athlete’s attitude about sports.
In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Stacey told us that growing up, her parents always took the time to teach her and her siblings how to navigate the slopes – and life.
“My dad taught me and my siblings how to ski, but I don’t think he ever intended for us to take it so far,” remembered Stacey. “It was a fun family activity, and something we looked forward to doing together as a family. My family didn’t know much about racing, but we had good advice and lots of passion. I think what got me through the ranks was the sheer amount of time I spent on snow, and how much I enjoyed chasing my brother around the mountain and pushing myself to keep up with him.”
As Stacey continued to rise in the ranks of competitive skiing, her family continued to support and encourage her – including some sweet inspiration from her Positive Sport Parents.
“My parents came to every race they logistically could,” said Stacey. “I don’t know where the trend started, but dad would always give me a Werther’s Original caramel before my races. It kind of became this unspoken communication between us to have fun and do my best. This year, U.S. Nationals were held near my parents’ home in Tahoe, and my parents made it out to watch. Between runs, my dad busted out a Werther’s, so his tactic still works.”
Stacey said that parents today can do plenty to serve as Positive Sport Parents to the next generation of budding ski stars.
“Parents are the ultimate support system, the best psychiatrist, and buddies on the hill,” said Stacey. “Help shape your child’s passion for skiing rather than racing by making your time together on the mountain a special time. Show them the kid inside you when you are out on the mountain. The mountain is a playground for everyone!”
At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of positivity 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 positivity. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the hill.
©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.
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:05:29 +0000
U.S. Men’s Team Scores Ideal NZ Training at Ohau
There hasn’t been much that could be categorized as “normal” at the first summer on-snow camps for the U.S. men’s alpine team. Much work has gone down at new sites, notably a small family-run ski area called Ohau, which drew high praise from head coach Sasha Rearick for catering to every need of the team.
“Mike and Louise were terrific,” said Rearick, referring to Mike and Louise Neilson, the husband/wife owners of the Ohau Snow Fields and Lake Ohau Lodge.
Ohau is a unique ski area even for New Zealand. It is remote and it is the smallest commercial ski area in the country, according to Mike Neilson. “We have good snow. We lay in the south island MacKenzie Basin, a particularly dry area. Several years ago (2008) we made the decision to develop snowmaking, targeting – in our minds – race training groups. We didn’t chase teams in the first years but continued to develop so we would be suitable. Three years ago Sasha came by on a scouting trip and checked it out.”
It is the lodge – a 72 room series of wings just off Lake Ohau – that separates the resort from others in the area.
“New Zealand is in the middle of the ocean,” said Neilson, to no one’s surprise. “It really is a mountain range that pops out of the sea and rises right up. All of the snowfields have access roads 12 to 15 kilometers long. We are reasonably unique (to have a lodge on site). There is a great view of the main divide, some great lakes. On a clear day it is a sight to behold.”
Read more at SkiRacing.com.
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:29:07 +0000
Ted Shred Calls the 2015 Slalom Podium
While he may be Mr. GS, the back-to-back World Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist knows a thing or two about the men’s slalom scene too. Here’s Shred’s call on who to watch next February.
Felix Neureuther (GER) – He wins a lot of slaloms, is an all around good guy and can flat out turn it on when it’s big. He’s bound to be world champ.
Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – He is the Olympic gold medalist from Sochi and basically a slalom podium guarantee every race.
Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) – He’s super young and has already won an Olympic medal in slalom (bronze). He’s young and should only get better.
Mario Matt (AUT) – Plain and simply, he seems to get better with age.
Andre Myhre (SWE) – Andre is super fun to watch ski. He has amazing speed and versatility.
But don’t count out Ted. He’s been slapping the plastic all month in New Zealand and word on the street is “fast feet.”
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:49:18 +0000
Athlete Q&A with Slalom Specialist Nolan Kasper
You were sick the last time you raced on Birds of Prey and finished just off the podium in fourth. What is it about racing on home snow that brings out great performances?
The best part about racing in the U.S. is being in a comfortable environment. The crowd there is always incredible too and that helps get you amped up to go fast.
Describe the Birds of Prey track as it relates to some of the other classic venues?
We haven't raced slalom at BOP besides a makeup race a few years ago so it's hard to compare it to other venues. It's probably most similar to Zagreb in difficulty. But it's not very hard after the first few gates, which means you have to attack the whole way.
You were top 15 at the Olympics, but know you have a lot more speed. Is there a specific peaking strategy you're using to prepare for 2015?
Nope, I go about my season the same way as usual. Work hard, stay focused and try not to let disappointing results change that.
New boards, how are they running?
I switched to Volkl skis and Lange boots this past spring. I'm really excited about being back in the Lange boots and have been very happy with the ski/boot combination so far.
It's been a rough road health wise the last few years, how are you feeling at this point in the prep period?
My body is feeling good right now. I just have to stay on top of the little injuries that pop up throughout the year so they don't turn into something bigger.
Any other thoughts racing the World Championships on home snow?
It's really exciting that a championship ski racing event is coming back to the U.S. Look out for Team USA in 2015
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:39:29 +0000