History Happened Here
SOELDEN — Every once in a while an event unfolds into a memorable classic. For
the U.S. Ski Team, the World Cup Opener here in Austria was such an event. Brilliance belonged not only to the golden larches this fall weekend, but also to Lindsey
Vonn and Ted Ligety.
As the World Champion in giant slalom and a frequent podium finisher at this race,
Ted Ligety had never reached the top step. Putting together two excellent runs, the affable racer proved once again that he is more than well deserving of his championship
status and his three overall World Cup giant slalom titles.
As sweet as Ligety’s victory was, Lindsey Vonn’s first giant slalom win was an emotional high for herself, her coaches and fans. Skiing with tactical brilliance, the displaced
overall World Cup champion made two dazzling runs down the mentally and physically challenging Rettenbach glacier piste. Her victory was stunning — and completely
unexpected. “If you had told me Lindsey was going to win here,” said her husband,
Thomas Vonn, grinning as he took in the post-race euphoria, “I would have laughed.”
But Vonn did not just win a race. She achieved a milestone that only four other women
in the history of World Cup have reached: a victory in every alpine discipline. Vonn has
joined a very exclusive group of racers: Pernilla Wiberg and Anja Paerson of Sweden;
Petra Kronberger of Austria; and Janica Kostelic of Croatia. (Bode Miller is one of five
men to have won at least one World Cup race in all five disciplines.) Undoubtedly the
superstar will achieve many other statistical milestones but being around for this one
was very special for all who care about the sport.
Eric Williams, now in his fourth year of covering ski sport for this magazine, was on his
first trip to Soelden to cover the 14th glacier race — and what a trip it turned out to be.
You can read his article on this stunning start of the World Cup season on page 23.
Beside the amazing victories the other news from Soelden is that the new ski dimen-
sions will go into effect despite the concerns of many and the opposition by virtually all
male World Cup racers who were allowed to speak on the subject. The story about the
outspoken criticism from most racers, save those who ski on Atomic, is found on page
7. Ski Racing also has written an editorial regarding the decision, on page 5.
This issue is full of other great fall features. Hank McKee writes about the new training
center at Copper, Warner Nickerson and the men’s performances at Soelden. Dave
Peszek spent time with Ernie Rimer, seeking out what clubs and programs could do to
enhance their strength and conditioning programs. The editors also review the cross
country, jumping and nordic combined teams for the upcoming season. Bryce Hub-
ner caught up with pipe sensation Jen Hudak. She discusses how much the Olympic
Winter Games will affect the freeskiing program and how the open series needs to
integrate with the FIS program.
SALES AND MARKETING
PETER Q. GRAVES
GARY BLACK JR.
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