The Lake Louise-Panorama NorAm series is a challenging two-week long ordeal with, usually, two races in each major event as well as an alpine combined. Athletes typically wake up before the sun rises and they squeeze every ounce of light out of the day. The Canadian Ski Team went as far as to intentionally pick later bibs in at least one of the speed events in hopes of waiting out the flat light in the morning.
However challenging the conditions may have been, River Radamus, 19, of the U.S. Ski Team, made the best of them. Radamus entered the series with one NorAm podium in an alpine combined at Panorama last year, but he finished with in the top five in each of the series’ last eight races, including three wins, two second-place finishes and two bronze medals.
Radamus now sits atop the NorAm standings with 679 points. The competitor in second place, James Crawford of the Canadian Ski Team, has 452 points and Canadian Jeff Read has 353 points in third place.
Radamus finished fifth in the super-G at the end of the Lake Louise and in the first race at Panorama, the first of two super-G events, he finished third. That third place finish gave him a boost in confidence.
“I didn’t think I could hold with the fastest guys on that hill,” Radamus said. In the second super-G, on the same day, Radamus walked away with the win. With a solid slalom run the next morning, he got his second win of the series.
Next up were the GS races, which Radamus considers to be his strongest event. He said he had felt confident in training and he simply trusted his skiing.
“I like [all of the events] and I ski them all still, but GS has been really firing and I felt like I was brining a lot of confidence after missing second run at Beaver Creek by two tenths,” Radamus explained.
Surprising himself, he finished the series with a fourth-place finish and a bronze medal in the slalom races.
Radamus has spent the past two years on the U.S. development team and he finished 19th in the NorAm cup standings last season. Though the past two weeks stand as the most productive racing of Radamus’ career thus far.
“I came into the season hoping to really make a name for myself in the NorAm series, just because I felt really good in my training and all that. Obviously you can’t expect to walk away with a first, a second, a third, and a fourth in one series very often. I didn’t count on it but I trust my skiing and I thought there was a chance I could show something here,” Radamus said.
Radamus will spend the next couple of months in Europe traveling on the Europa Cup circuit. He will come back to the U.S. for the next NorAm series at Whiteface, starting on Feb. 13.