Ski Racing » Stories Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:54:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Canada to start 9 in Soelden opener Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:07:31 +0000 SR Staff Marie-Michele Gagnon in the 2013 Soelden giant slalom race. GEPA

Marie-Michele Gagnon in the 2013 Soelden giant slalom race. GEPA

Alpine Canada will start a total of nine athletes in the World Cup opener this weekend in Soelden, Austria. Five women and four men will challenge the giant slalom sets on the Rettenbach Glacier in the Saturday and Sunday races.


  • Marie-Michele Gagnon
  • Erin Mielzynski
  • Marie-Pier Prefontaine
  • Candace Crawford
  • Mikaela Tommy


  • Philip Brown
  • Trevor Philp
  • Dustin Cook
  • Tyler Werry

The starters include Marie-Michele Gagnon and Erin Mielzynski who have both won past World Cup races, in super combined and slalom, respectively.

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USSA hires Whitaker to lead Western Region youth Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:24:11 +0000 Jessica Kelley Regional and Nation team athletes together at a June Slalom camp. Lester Keller

Regional and national team athletes together at a slalom camp in June. Lester Keller

The United States Ski and Snowboard Association has filled their final regional staffing position with the hiring of Darryl Whitaker to take over as Western Region Youth Coordinator. Whitaker replaces JJ Johnson who moved on to work with the men’s development team.

Alpine Director Patrick Riml recently announced the promotion of Michelle Demschar to lead the domestic alpine development program. The newly streamlined leadership program hopes to provide greater service to athletes, clubs and regional programs.

“We are very fortunate to have a very strong and experienced staff team throughout our development program,” said Riml. “These changes in our staff alignment will provide a smoother flow of responsibilities to provide greater service to our clubs and regional programs.”

Whitaker comes to USSA from the Park City Ski Team where he was head U14 coach for the past two seasons. He will be replaced by Ben Sinclair who rejoins the Park City staff after a year away coaching at the Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS). Whitaker has an extensive background in coaching and has been involved in coaches education with over 20 years as a leader and coordinator of clinics. He is a level 500 USSA coach and is also PSIA Level 3 certified. Whitaker filled a similar role for USSA from 2001 to 2003 as youth coordinator and development manager for the Western Region. He served as program director at both Kirkwood Ski Education Foundation and Diamond Peak and was the age class Program Director and head J3 coach at Winter Park before joining Park City Ski team.

Whitaker will work under Western/Rocky-Central regional development director, Lester Keller, and will work closely with Western Region alpine development coach, Karin Harjo. Whitaker’s primary role will be managing youth development programs for athletes 16 and under as well as working with the clubs and coaches that comprise the Western Region.


Alpine Leadership

USSA Alpine Director – Patrick Riml

Domestic Alpine Program Director – Michelle Demschar

Regional Staff

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 Karjo

Western Region Manager – Gwynn Watkins

Western Region Youth Coordinator – Darryl Whitaker

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

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VIDEO: US Ski Team summer workouts Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:45:20 +0000 SR Staff The women of the U.S. Ski Team trained hard all summer in and out of the gym in preparation for the 2014-15 season. Check out a day at the Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah, with Mikaela Shiffrin, Laurenne Ross, Paula Moltzan, Leanne Smith, Jackie Wiles, and Lila Lapanja.

Video courtesy of USSA

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Norway names 7 skiers to Soelden roster Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:51:49 +0000 SR Staff Kjetil Jansrud training on the Pitztaler Glacier in preparation for the season opener. GEPA

Kjetil Jansrud training on the Pitztaler Glacier in preparation for the season opener. GEPA

The Norwegian Ski Federation named seven athletes to race at the World Cup opener in Soelden, Austria, including veterans and newcomers alike. Aksel Lund Svindal was expected to start prior to his serious injury sustained in the week before the race, but his absence will not change the starting list for the Norwegian team.

Marcus Monsen looks to add to his two World Cup starts from last season. He made his debut in St. Moritz where he finished in the points in 26th. Rasmus Windingstad will also start in his career third World Cup race, through he has yet to score on the grand stage.

Veteran Kjetil Jansrud has twice cracked the top 10 in Soelden, both in 2009 and 2011. On the women’s side, Nina Loeseth finished inside the top 30 last year with a 26th-place result at the season opener.

Soelden starters for Norway:

  • Marcus Monsen
  • Rasmus Windingstad
  • Kjetil Jansrud
  • Leif Kristian Haugen
  • Henrik Kristoffersen
  • Ragnhild Mowinckel
  • Nina Loeseth

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Neureuther to skip Soelden and focus on Levi Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:22:31 +0000 SR Staff Felix Neureuther plans to return to competition in Levi. GEPA

Felix Neureuther plans to return to competition in Levi. GEPA

Germany’s best technical racer, Felix Neureuther, will skip the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, in order to focus on the first slalom of the season in Levi, Finland.

Neureuther has suffered back pain for several months, and his start in Soelden was already questionable after he had to take time off from training just weeks before the race. Although the 30-year-old technical specialist started training again roughly a week ago, he has come to the conclusion that preparing in time for the opener is not possible.

“There is a good and bad news,” said Neureuther. “The bad news is I must unfortunately skip the giant slalom in Soelden. The good news is that my back is doing better. In slalom, it works quite well.”

Head coach Mathias Berthold echoed Neureuther’s sentiments and is positive for the future.

“Felix returned to on-snow training a week ago and has made ​​good progress, but a start in Soelden for him but at this stage is too early,” remarked Berthold. “We have therefore jointly decided to skip this race and instead intensify training.”

Release courtesy of DSV

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How to watch this weekend’s action from Soelden Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:11:28 +0000 Geoff Mintz Soelden is prepared for this weekend's opening World Cup. C.J. Feehan

Soelden is prepared for this weekend’s opening World Cup. CJ Feehan

Universal Sports Network is officially available to everyone (not living in a cave).

The network will present extensive multi-platform coverage of the 2014-15 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, both on air and at starting with the season’s opener in Soelden, Austria this Saturday and Sunday.

The network is available on Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink Prism, Google Fiber, satellite providers DIRECTV and DISH and several regional cable and IPTV operators in markets across the country.

Comcast remains the major holdout and is not expected to offer Universal to its customers this season. This relationship has at times been confusing and frustrating for consumers who are under the impression that Comcast (via NBC) is the parent company of Universal Sports. Despite the peacock in its logo, this is not actually the case.

“NBC Sports is a minority owner in Universal, so we have to negotiate just as any other networks. We operate as an independent network,” said Universal spokeswoman Catherine Philbin. “That said, we have a great relationship with NBC Sports — we work with them on a daily basis. You’re going to see more of that this year during ski season.” is scheduled to live stream more than 250 hours of full event competition for authenticated users who subscribe to cable or satellite providers that carry Universal Sports.

“That is unchanged, and that’s a simple TV and Cable industry standard,” said Philbin. “Yes, you do have to have Universal Sports as part of your subscription package in order to be able to watch (on Universal’s site).”

Stuck with Comcast? Not a cable or satellite subscriber? There’s still hope.

For race fans who are without access to Universal Sports on their TV, there is an affordable online option: For $10 per month, DishWorld’s “Just Sports TV” package provides access to computers, as well as select tablets and mobile devices. Tech savvy users can even stream Universal’s programming to their televisions through an HDMI cable or an air-streaming device for near-seamless viewing. Furthermore, races can be watched anytime up to eight days following the event. The “Just Sports TV” package does not require a contract and subscriptions can be terminated at anytime.

DishWorld is a good solution for viewers who previously utilized Universal’s popular paid online alpine package, which was discontinued two years ago.

With the World Championships set to take place on home snow this season, Universal has put further emphasis on live alpine coverage with many of the broadcasts happening in real time, depending on time zone, says Philbin.

Presented by Longines, Universal’s broadcast coverage 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.”

Live television coverage of the 2014-15 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup begins Saturday 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 at 7:30 a.m. ET. LIVE streaming begins at 3:30 a.m. ET on both days.

Check out Universal’s complete Alpine World Cup schedule here.

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France names 15 Soelden starters Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:26:38 +0000 SR Staff Alexis Pinturault at the 2013 Soelden World Cup.

Alexis Pinturault at the 2013 Soelden World Cup. GEPA

The French Ski Federation has announced its 15 starters for the opening World Cup race in Soelden this coming weekend, and to no surprise the list includes 2013 runner-up Alexis Pinturault.


Anne-Sophie Barthet
Adeline Baud
Marion Bertrand
Coralie Frasse-Sombet
Anémone Marmottan
Marie Massios
Tessa Worley


Mathieu Faivre
Thomas Fanara
Nicolas Lambert
Thomas Mermillod-Blondin
Steve Missilier
Victor Muffat-Jeandet
Alexis Pinturault
Cyprien Richard

Release courtesy of FFS

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Svindal out indefinitely with torn Achilles Sun, 19 Oct 2014 13:54:50 +0000 SR Staff Aksel Lund Svindal ready for the Soelden opener back in 2013. GEPA

Aksel Lund Svindal ready for the Soelden opener back in 2013. GEPA

Aksel Lund Svindal tore the Achilles tendon in his left leg during dryland training in Soelden, Austria, on Saturday afternoon. He was immediately rushed to a hospital in Innsbruck for further investigation where the extent of the injury was determined and he underwent surgery shortly after. It is uncertain how long Svindal will take to recover, but he will likely miss most of the 2014-15 season.

“I was out for a little run with the rest of the team in Sölden Austria. We ended the session playing around with a ball. Just holding it up in the air between us,” wrote Svindal.  “Suddenly I felt something snap in my leg and I knew right away that something was wrong. Achilles.”

The 2014 World Cup downhill and super G title winner and runner-up in the overall will recover in Austria before returning to the Olympic Center Oslo to continue his rehabilitation.

“A real injury and extremely bad timing just as the season is about to start,” he continued. “But now that it’s happened there’s not much I can do. Now it’s all about looking ahead. Nobody can say 100 percent sure how long the recovery will take, but I’m ready for the weeks that are coming.”

Norwegian team doctor Marc Jacob Strauss indicated that the star’s season is most likely over before it even officially started.

“Svindal must now work out cautiously and he will probably not ski again for about three to four months,” said Strauss.

Release courtesy of NSF   

]]> 0 VIDEO: USA Aerials On the Rise Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:29:09 +0000 SR Staff Over the summer, U.S. Freestyle athletes Mac Bohonnon, Troy Tully and Mike Rossi produced USA Aerials | On The Rise to celebrate their sport and support the continued development and innovation of freestyle skiing.

“This video is a depiction of our love and dedication to the sport of Aerial Skiing. It encompasses everything the sport represents. Each and every single person pictured and involved in the making of this project shares a lasting love for the sport and the community that comes with it,” said Bohonnon. “Since the beginning, freestyle skiing has consisted of a group that wanted to do things just a little differently. They were the ones doing flips on their skis because they were told they couldn’t or because it was considered too dangerous.”

He continued, “Today it consists of a group doing over twenty flips in a mere five seconds and setting world records at 6:45 a.m. on a typical Thursday morning, representing an overlooked and under appreciated sport and throwing up from the uncertainty that we’ll make it to our feet safely.”

Release and video courtesy of USSA

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Swiss announce Soelden starters for World Cup opener Sat, 18 Oct 2014 15:37:39 +0000 SR Staff Lara Gut at last season's Soelden opener. GEPA

Lara Gut at last season’s Soelden opener. GEPA

Swiss women’s head coach Hans Flatscher and men’s head coach Thomas Stauffer, in consultation with discipline coaches, have announced the selection of their starting athletes in the first World Cup race of the season set in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 25 and 26. The Swiss team starting in the Soelden giant slalom includes:


Lara Gut
Dominique Gisin
Fabienne Suter
Wendy Holdener
Michelle Gisin
Andrea Ellenberger


Sandro Jenal
Gino Caviezel
Manuel Pleisch
Carlo Janka
Elia Zurbriggen
Justin Murisier
Ramon Zenhaeusern

Release courtesy of Swiss Ski

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