Updated 12/16/12: Americans showed up big time in competitions around the globe. Utah’s Steven Nyman who picked up his second career first place finish in the downhill at Val Gardena, Italy. Ted Ligety won another GS at Alta Badia.
Nyman, from Sundance, who has often been on the injured list, came out of the 37th start position to steal a victory on the foggy, snowy Saslong Classic after hours of delays. It was his fourth podium appearance. Travis Ganong had a career best tenth.
“I'm just happy to feel good again. My body's feeling good,” Nyman said. “I had the flu, but battled that off. I had rib issues the first few races because I put it into the fence while training. The Achilles last year, the knees years before that and the back - this is the best gift I could have.”
Back home at Breckenridge, Colo., Jamie Anderson from South Lake Tahoe, Calif. started her season off with an impressive run that featured some versatile riding. She won the women's Dew Tour slopestyle finals. She nailed her final run with spins in all four directions and a massive 540 on the final jump that she floated to the bottom.
Also at Breck, Brita Sigourney from Carmel, Calif. won over the judges in the women’s halfpipe Dew Tour finals. Teammate Maddie Bowman, from South Lake landed in second. Shaun White (Carlsbad, CA) and Kaitlyn Farrington (Bellevue, ID) came out on top at Dew Tour halfpipe finals
Women alpine racers were in Val d’Isere, France where New Hampshire’s Leanne Smith parlayed an early start number into a career first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup podium, finishing second in a windy, shortened downhill behind Swiss winner Lara Gut. Lindsey Vonn crashed hard into the netting, but skied away with no major injuries. Julia Mancuso and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) combined for top ten finishes in an Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom in Courchevel. Mancuso was sixth and Shiffrin ninth as Tina Maze of Slovenia continued her dominance, winning her fourth straight GS.
“This is something that you dream about - that you put your heart and soul into it. Every day you try to do your best,” Smith said. “Today was my day. I skied as hard as I could. I can't express how awesome this feels.”
Ramsau, Austria hosted an FIS Ski Jumping World Cup with five U.S. lady jumpers in the top 12. Lindsey Van led the way in fourth with Jessica Jerome fifth - both season best results for the Park City, Utah jumpers.
There’s more. Todd Lodwick climbed back to the top of the podium at the FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup at Soldier Hollow, Utah. Aspen’s Michael Ward finished second in a career best finish. Lodwick took a win for the second day in a row at the FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup, also at Soldier Hollow. Freestyle action was in Ruka, Finland and Montana’s Heather McPhie won the FIS World Cup opener. Jeremy Cota was third for the men. Seth Wescott took a photo-finish win in the FIS Snowboarding World Cup in blizzard conditions at Telluride, Colo.
Photo: Steven Nyman (U.S. Ski Team)