Ski Racing » Stories Sun, 19 Apr 2015 14:58:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Hampshire ski pioneer Robert Skinner dies at 96 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 14:58:52 +0000 SR Staff Robert A. Skinner died April 11, 2015, at age 96. He played a variety of significant roles in the history of skiing and ski racing in the U.S. and particularly in New Hampshire where Bob Skinner’s Ski and Sports shops still serve patrons with some of the best service to be found anywhere.

Skinner had not been directly involved with the ski shops for a time, but there is no denying his influence. The Bob Skinner Cup is still awarded by the New Hampshire Alpine Racing Association to young skiers at Mount Sunapee.

Skinner raced for Dartmouth in the era when Dartmouth supplied the bulk of competitors for the national and Olympic teams. His teammates included Dick Durrance, Ted Hunter, Warren Chivers, David and Steven Bradley, Percy Rideout and Chapman Wentworth, part of “The invincible 1939 Dartmouth Ski Team.”

He was best regarded as a downhiller, registering top finishes in the famed Greylock Thunderbolt race and the Inferno down Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mount Washington.

In 1940, Durrance – then graduated, married, and working out west – was recruited by the US Army to develop and train the 503rd Battalion Paratroopers, for what would become part of the famed 10th Mountain Division. Durrance turned to his Dartmouth roots to find qualified instructors. Among them were Skinner, Walter Prager, High Bauer, Sel Hannah, Harry Simoneau, Jim Durrance, Alex Baer and from the west Gordie Wren, Art Johanspn and Bill Redlin. The group, largely through demonstration, forged a formidable group of paratroopers who could quickly mobilize on skis in mountainous terrain.

Robert was born to Thomas and Anna Skinner on Oct. 22, 1918. He attended schools in Manchester, N.H., graduating from Central High in 1935 and Phillips Exeter Academy in 1936. He graduated Dartmouth in 1940 with three varsity letters for skiing.

He worked in the ski industry in Yosemite, Calif., before entering the Air Corps. After training paratroopers with Durrance he became a staff weather officer with a bombing group in World War II, being discharged as a captain.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Mount Sunapee Area Ski Club, Attn: Wendy Nolin, P.O. Box 344, Bradford, N.H. 03221.

Photo by Dick Durrance

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Mike & Manny Cowboys Ski Camp gives back to youth for 8th year Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:41:08 +0000 SR Staff After a summer ski camp with the national team in Portillo, Chile, in 2007, Canadian alpine skiers Manuel Osborne-Paradis and Mike Janyk were rooming together during an overnight layover in Santiago. The two World Cup skiers were chatting about the camp they just wrapped up when Manny turned to Mike and said, “Mike, it’s time to do more.”

With this notion, they began talking about how they could give back to the sport and community that has given them so much while helping young racers pursue their dreams of a career in skiing.

They settled on the idea of creating an all-expenses-paid, four-day long ski camp for talented Canadian athletes entering FIS-level competitions. The Mike & Manny Cowboys Ski Camp was born.

The concept proved to be very successful right away and the camp has been growing ever since.

“We started this camp to share the knowledge of racing we learn on the World Cup, but the best part is all the energy the kids give us to keep pushing on the slopes. They are the future of our sport,” Osborne-Paradis explained. “And it’s all free!”

This year, the 8th Annual Mike & Manny Cowboys Ski Camp is took place from April 14-17 at Whistler.

To participate, interested athletes had to go trough a selection process where they filled out an online application and provided a reference letter from their coach. A selection committee went through each application and decided which athletes could benefit the most from the camp – seven girls and seven boys were selected and invited to attend the camp.

This year’s campers were chosen from all over Canada and traveled to the camp from across British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Manitoba.

The lucky 14 spent the past four days focusing on slalom, giant slalom, downhill and speed aspects, free skiing, drills and gate training at Whistler under the guidance of both Janyk and Osborne-Paradis as well as BC Ski Team Coach Nick Cooper.

As in the previous editions, the camp was 100 percent free for the campers and was funded through Mike & Manny Foundation fundraisers and donations.

Day 1:


Day 2:


Day 3:

Release courtesy of FIS, videos courtesy of Mike & Manny Foundation

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T2 Foundation launches junior team grants for ages 14-19 Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:54:27 +0000 SR Staff The T2 Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports alpine, cross-country and freestyle skiers, has officially launched a new grant program aimed at skiers ages 14-19. The foundation’s annual grant program helps offset the costs associated with training and competing at an elite level, and T2 athletes also give back to the youth and ski community by connecting with kids around the country through organized events and programs.

The new T2 Junior Team Grants are designed to help the country’s best young talent continue within the development pipeline, with the ultimate goal of helping ensure that America’s best young skiers have the opportunity to become the world’s best. The grants will be awarded based on need, merit, school standing and contributions to community.           

T2 logo2_lower (1)Grants will be designated for travel and training purposes and, whenever possible, applied directly to those needs through affiliated programs. T2 grants range from $1,500 to $10,000 depending on need and age. In addition to financial support, Junior Team Grant recipients will be invited to participate in T2 community and fundraising events and will be supplied with T2 swag to show pride. Grant recipients will also have the opportunity to be mentored by an athlete from Team T2 and will be expected to uphold the values that the team represents.

The grant application process is open to USSA skiers between the ages of 14-19, and applications are due by June 15, 2015.

For more information on the specific components required to apply, please visit the T2 Foundation website here or contact Junior Team Grant Coordinator Libby Webster here.

Release courtesy of T2 Foundation





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Weirather sticks with Atomic Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:32:52 +0000 SR Staff Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein has decided to sign a two-year contract with her existing equipment supplier, Atomic, despite testing Stoeckli products over the past few weeks.

“In the last three weeks I have intensively tested skis, boots, and bindings. There was a decision between Atomic and Stoeckli,” Weirather posted to social media. “I felt good and was fast on both brands, and on both sides there were startling insights. … Stoeckli has an incredibly powerful package, now I understand how Tina Maze clocked a 24 podium finishes in a season. I was torn and could hardly sleep.”

The 25 year old had seriously considered signing with Stoeckli when Atomic, her supplier over the past four seasons, made a counter offer that enticed her stay.

“This and more interesting ideas that are developed in the next few months induced me to stick to Atomic. I am 100 percent confident in the future here in the right place for the best equipment and am very happy for the next season!” Weirather exclaimed. She thanked Stoeckli for its patience with her as she made the choice.

Stoeckli brand manager Walter Reusser was understandably less than pleased with Weirather’s ultimate decision.

“The results (on Stoeckli skis) were really good. But Tina Weirather has opted for the tried and true, this is disappointing,” reacted Reusser.

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Fredrik Steinwall leaves Swedish Ski Association Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:44:24 +0000 SR Staff

Frederick Steinwall will leave his position as the head women’s alpine coach in Sweden on April 30. He has worked for the Swedish Ski Association for nine years – five years with the national team and the last four years overseeing the women’s team.

“It has been an extremely difficult decision to make,” said Steinwall. “I have had nine wonderful years with great colleagues and athletes. But it’s time to do something else now and especially spending more time at home.”

During his four years with the women’s team, Steinwall – together with his coaching team – has been very successful both in depth of the team and at the top. Swedish athletes have collected several medals at the World Championships both in Schladming 2013 and Vail-Beaver Creek 2015 as well as several Junior World Championships podiums and many podium finishes on the World Cup and European Cup circuits.

“It has been an inspiration to work together with knowledgeable colleagues to get the athletes motivated to achieve greater challenges and goals. I think that we have developed in all areas during these years,” continued Steinwall.

Steinwall chose not to renew his contract with the Swedish Ski Association. He hopes to primarily focus on family and friends in the immediate future.

“We have had discussions with Fredrik throughout the season, but he knows himself that the home attracts him more and we respect that. We think it’s a shame that he stops. Fredrik has done a great job over the years he has spent with our Ski Association and we wish him well in the future,” said Alpine Director says Alpine Head Ville Bylin.

Release courtesy of SSA

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US women’s alpine staff adds new energy Thu, 16 Apr 2015 21:11:12 +0000 SR Staff PARK CITY, Utah – Former Italian national team Men’s Speed Coach Alberto Senigagliesi has joined the U.S. Ski Team women’s alpine speed team staff as head coach, while former interim coach Brandon Dyksterhouse will head up the women’s alpine technical team.

“Both Brandon and Alberto will bring value to our women’s program with their broad experience, which will help us continue to build strength in our programs,” said Alpine Program Director Patrick Riml.

Senigagliesi has a significant amount of experience in all aspects of the industry, bringing a holistic background to the U.S. Ski Team. His extensive experience includes a 12-year stint skiing on the Italian national speed team, coaching for Carrabassett Valley Academy (CVA), acting as the racing test manager for Rossignol, and – most recently – coaching for the Italian national team. He’s no stranger to the U.S. Ski Team, having acted as a guest coach in 2004 and 2005 for Trofeo Topolino and World Junior Championships.

“I have been looking forward to working with the U.S. Ski Team for a long time. The Team has a really good organization — one of the best in the world,” said Senigagliesi. “I’m really motivated by the group — both coaching staff and athletes. It’s a very strong team, and I believe we will have a very strong group of four or five women consistently on the top. That is what I’m looking for — to continue to build a strong group on the mountain and maintain the energy off the hill as well among staff and athletes.”

Senigagliesi joins longtime U.S. Ski Team coach Chris Knight and will work directly with athletes including Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, and Stacey Cook, who all contributed to an historic podium sweep in Lake Louise in 2014.

Meanwhile, Dyksterhouse moves from an interim position to a full position with the U.S. Ski Team. This past January, he joined the team as part of a unique partnership with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) providing support to Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin and the women’s slalom and giant slalom squads.

“I’m looking forward to this new role and the ability to work with the U.S. Ski Team throughout the full period,” said Dyksterhouse. “It was incredible to work with someone of Mikaela Shiffrin’s caliber as an interim coach this year and to watch her continue to have success — especially in a high-pressure environment. There are very few athletes who are defending World Champs who are able to repeat in their hometown in front of their home fans. That was quite a feat.”

A graduate of the University of Vermont (where he was the NCAA GS champion in 1997), Dyksterhouse was a three-time All-American during his collegiate career. Following graduation, he was invited to train with the U.S. Ski Team for several seasons before moving on to collegiate coaching, working on the staff of the University of New Mexico Lobos who captured an NCAA title in 2004. He also coached at the Green Mountain Valley School and later worked for BC Alpine in Canada before returning to the U.S. to help lead the Front Range Ski Club in Colorado.

Since Dyksterhouse joined the team in January, Shiffrin successfully defended her slalom World Championship title on home turf and went on to snag first place in the three final Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom races of the season, along with her third-straight crystal globe.

Release courtesy of USSA

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Hans Olsson retires to work for Are 2019 Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:28:16 +0000 SR Staff Swedish speed specialist Hans Olsson simultaneously announced his retirement from competitive ski racing and his new job working with the company organizing the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships set for Are, Sweden.

After 11 years of competing on the World Cup, the last several of which were plagued by injury, Olsson was ready to consider a new opportunity to stay connected to the sport without having to continue to race.

“It really is a dream job for me, so when the offer came up there was no doubt,” Olsson said of his new occupation, which officially starts on Aug. 1.

“We are proud to have Hans Olsson, an experienced athlete who has acquired a lot of knowledge over 11 years in the World Cup, in our organization. He will initially be involved in many different areas,” said Niklas Carlsson, CEO of Are 2019. Olsson will be knowledge can be incorporated into several areas.

The 30-year-old Olsson was the 2004 Junior World Champion in super G and was part of the Swedish team that won silver and bronze at the 2007 and 2011 World Championships in Are and Garmisch, respectively. In his 155 total World Cup starts, he landed on the downhill podium twice, finishing third both times in Lake Louise in 2008 and then Are in 2009.

Olsson collected 11 top-10 World Cup results over the course of his career, which was interrupted by a serious injury suffered at the Europa Cup Finals in 2012 when he broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg. Most recently, back problems limited Olsson’s participation in the 2014-15 season and he did not start in any races after Wengen in mid-January of 2015.

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FIS officials inspect alpine sites for 2018 PyeongChang Olympics Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:09:22 +0000 SR Staff FIS alpine technical officials are currently in PyeongChang to inspect the sites of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

In a series of meetings on and off the competition course in Jeongseon (the venue for speed events) and Yongpyong (the venue for technical events) the FIS alpine experts met with all relevant departments of the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee. Detailed discussions centered around organizational plans in particular regarding the finalization of the competition venues and the first test competitions in the men’s speed events scheduled for February 2016.

In addition to FIS Chief Race Directors Atle Skaardal and Markus Waldner and their teams, FIS expert Guenter Hujara and Olympic course designer Bernhard Russi are on site and have been pleased with developments.

“We are satisfied with the progress made so far and have worked through the entire check-list which applies for the FIS Alpine World Cup to ensure that all requirements will be taken care of for the Olympic test events,” said Hujara. “With a positive impression, we looked at the advancements made on the new slope of Jeongseon and also examined the course for the Nations Team Event which is under consideration for the Olympic program.”

The next inspection will be carried out in late September 2015 before the FIS Technical Committee Meetings in early October to check on the progress and finalize the detailed schedule for the first test events.

Release courtesy of FIS

]]> 0 Former Waterville skier Crane-Mauzy in critical condition Wed, 15 Apr 2015 16:13:59 +0000 SR Staff VANCOUVER, Canada – American professional freeskier Jamie Crane-Mauzy is reportedly in critical condition after crashing during a competition run Saturday during the World Skiing Invitational/AFP World Tour Finals in Whistler, B.C.

According to an email sent Monday morning from Crane-Mauzy’s publicist, “Jamie is currently sedated and being monitored from Saturday’s crash in Whistler, B.C. Her family is asking that everyone respect their wishes of making Jamie’s health and recovery a priority at this time. The family will send an update once they have more information. Jamie’s sister, Jeanee, and her family are with Jamie.”

Following a treacherous spill during an attempt to land a double flatspin during the AFP (Association of Freeskiing Professionals) Tour Finals, Crane-Mauzy was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital ICU on Saturday, where family members met with physicians to discuss the results of her neurological tests and assessments. Further tests will be conducted in the coming days.

Crane-Mauzy’s family released a statement on Monday, thanking friends and fans for the outpouring of well wishes and encouraging positive reinforcement for the injured athlete.

“I can tell Jamie feels everyone’s love, support, and energy,” explained her sister and U.S. Ski Team freeskier Jeanee Crane-Mauzy. “It’s giving her strength. … It’s giving all of us strength.”

On Wednesday, her family posted on her Facebook page that they remain optimitistic.

“The Crane-Mauzy family remains positive, hopeful and touched by the thousands of encouraging positivity from thousands of Jamie’s friends and fans.”

Jamie Crane-Mauzy, a Park City, Utah, resident is an all-around skier who competed in alpine racing until 2009 as a member of the Waterville Valley BBTS. She made history in 2013 during the X Games in Aspen, Colo., when she became the first female freeskier to land a double backflip in competition and again at the North Face Park & Pipe Open, when she became the first female to backflip off a rail in competition that same year. She is currently ranked second overall on the AFP World Tour. Friends say Crane-Mauzy is best known for her sharp wit, bubbly personality, adventurous spirit, and infectious sparkle.

Well wishes can be shared across social media using the hashtag #MoCrazyStrong. Text, photo, and video messages sent to are also being compiled by the family. Letters and cards can be sent via post to the following address:

Jamie Crane-Mauzy

U.S. Ski Team

Center of Excellence

1 Victory Lane

Park City, UT 84098

Crane-Mauzy’s crash comes just three years after Canadian freeskier and four-time X Games gold medalist Sarah Burke suffered a fatal crash in the halfpipe during a training routine in Park City in 2012. Slopestyle freeskiing made its Olympic debut at the 2014 Winter Games and was one of the highest viewed events.

Release courtesy of Graham Ellison Management

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Austrian slalom ace Alexandra Daum retires Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:19:45 +0000 SR Staff Retirement announcements continue as Austrian slalom specialist Alexandra Daum announced the end of it ski racing career on Wednesday. The 28-year-old Tyrolean had been a member of the Austrian team since 2004 and started in 91 European Cup and 47 World Cup races. She found the podium just twice on the Europa Cup circuit, in Zakopane, Poland, and again in Lenggries, Germany, and she recorded three top-10 finishes on the World Cup tour, twice in Levi and once in Courchevel.

“After careful consideration, the time has come for me to end my career in alpine ski racing. In my time as a ski racer I have experienced many beautiful moments and gained important experiences. The way to the top was sometimes rocky and marked by many injuries, but I could always fight back. Ultimately, I had to realize that the resulting training restrictions negatively affect me both physically and mentally,” Daum said of her decision.

In the 2014-15 season, Daum had solid performances in training but many failures in competitions which ultimately facilitated her decision making. She finished 10th in Levi in November and then failed to complete five races over the rest of the season, finishing Zagreb in 16th and Are 26th as her only other results for the year. She finished 28th in the slalom standings, just four places off her career best of 24th in the 2013-14 season.

“It is my strong desire to thank all companions, the Austrians, the coaches, doctors and physiotherapists. A special thanks goes to my family and sponsors, their years of support was the foundation for my career. I want to thank my loyal fans who have always supported me, so numerously and actively, at the races,” said Daum.

What Daum plans to do with her future in the coming months and years is yet to be determined.

Release courtesy of OSV

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