Miller, Rahlves, Kildow lead 19-athlete alpine team to Torino


Miller, Rahlves, Kildow lead 19-athlete alpine team to Torino{mosimage}Las Vegas, Nevada – Defending World Cup and world champion Bode Miller, three-event star Daron Rahlves and emerging talents Lindsey Kildow and Julia Mancuso are part of a 19-member U.S. Olympic alpine team announced Wednesday. The alpine side was the last of six Olympic ski and snowboard teams announced in the last 10 days.

The 2006 Olympic alpine team (including age, hometown):

MEN

Jimmy Cochran, 24, Keene, New Hampshire
Chip Knight, 31, Stowe, Vermont
Ted Ligety, 21, Park City, Utah
Scott Macartney, 28, Redmond, Washington
Bode Miller, 28, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Steve Nyman, 23, Orem, Utah
Daron Rahlves, 32, Sugar Bowl, California
Erik Schlopy, 33, Park City, Utah
Marco Sullivan, 25, Squaw Valley, California

WOMEN

Kirsten Clark, 28, Raymond, Maine
Stacey Cook, 21, Truckee, California
Lindsey Kildow, 21, Vail, Colorado
Kristina Koznick, 30, Eagan, Minnesota
Caroline Lalive, 26, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Libby Ludlow, 24, Bellevue, Washington
Julia Mancuso, 21, Olympic Valley, California
Kaylin Richardson, 21, Edina, Minnesota
Sarah Schleper, 26, Vail, Colorado
Resi Stiegler, 20, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

All Olympic nominations submitted by the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding are subject to the approval of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, the national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding, said the 19-member squad was an extraordinary group of skiers.

“This is really an awesome team,” Marolt told the crowd gathered in the SnowSport Industry America (SIA) annual trade show extravaganza at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. “We have a good mix of young skiers like Ted Ligety and Jimmy Cochran and on the other side we have a great group of experienced Olympians in Bode Miller, Daron Rahlves and Kristina Koznick.”

Fourteen on the alpine team have been to previous Olympics – nine are three-time Olympians.

Miller, who skied to two silver medals at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, became the first American since 1983 to win the overall alpine World Cup title last season; he also was gold medalist in downhill and super G at the World Championships. Rahlves, the most successful U.S. male speed skier, has won 11 World Cup races, including three this season, and had two medals at the 2005 Worlds. Kildow, a four-event skier, has won two downhills this season while Mancuso collected two bronze medals at the ’05 Worlds.

Ted Ligety, currently second in the World Cup slalom standings, leads the U.S. youth movement into Torino.

“This is an incredibly talented group of athletes. We’ve never had such a wealth of experience at this level,” said U.S. Alpine Director Jesse Hunt in a U.S. Ski Team press release. “Not only do we have more than a dozen Olympians from previous Games, but eight of them have won World Cup races or medaled at the World Championships.”

The Olympians will continue with World Cup races this weekend – the men in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and the women in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Depending on their racing schedule for the Olympics, Hunt said, some will take some down time to rest and relax before things heat up in Torino Feb. 10-26.

After the announcement, Marolt sat down with Ski Racing for an exclusive interview before he and the rest of the American team leave for Torino. Look for the interview with Marolt in the upcoming issue of Ski Racing magazine, along with a comprehensive Olympic previews of the U.S. alpine, freestyle, nordic and snowboarding teams.

- USSA contributed to this report

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