Nolan Kasper making Knight Moves

When Nolan Kasper finished his second run of the Beaver Creek slalom in the lead, he brandished a ski pole like a sword, made a few swats through the air and then put it in an imaginary scabbard at his hip. It would appear he’s ready for future successes practicing a fi nish area signature. “I thought about it a couple of days ago, but it really came on the fl y,” said Nolan, who would end up fourth in the Dec. 8 race. “You try to pull out as much as you can when you can.”

And sometimes, what you pull out is a podium. Last March 6, just a few weeks before he turned 22, Nolan Kasper placed second in a World Cup slalom at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, fi nishing less than a tenth of a second behind Mario Matt. It was an affirmation of what coaches and fellow athletes had been saying all season: Kasper is fast.

It was also cause for American celebration. It was the fi rst slalom podium for a U.S. man in two seasons.

It had been, literally, a long haul for Kasper. It was his 30th race of the season, split fairly equally between the World Cup and the brutish Europa Cup circuit. Sir Skis-a-Lot Nolan Kasper
brandishes his sword at Beaver Creek.

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