With St. Moritz and Val D’Isere behind us, we can look forward to a more settled US Team in the upcoming races. I enjoyed watching the Men’s races in Val D’Isere because that type of piste is my kind of venue. Skiing on ice like that requires a specific mind set, and the knowledge that it will feel like driving a car (fast) on a twisty dirt road in Vermont with frozen washboards. (Easterners out there know what I am talking about.) It feels wild, awful, chaotic and most importantly, requires linked recoveries and grit!
I always excelled on steep and icy venues, because I was confident in my ability to attack the couse, make mistakes and be fast. Winning difficult races requires an acceptance of imperfection, and confidence that enables a positive focus on the correct tactics for steep and ice.
For Ted Ligety, who skied great up until his race ending mistake, and David Chodunsky, I see some great races coming up. For the American women, St. Moritz was like water under the bridge. The races came and went. I hope to see a spark from somebody soon. Please. We have a great team of talented women, and I hope they find their motivation and nail some positive results soon. Sochi qualifying results are needed. This is the elephant in the room, even for Lindsey Vonn.
The Val Gardena (Mens DH), Alta Badia (Mens GS), Val D’Isere (Ladies GS) and Courcheval (Ladies SL) races will be fun to watch this week. I think we will see a more settled United States team, and Mikeala Shiffrin will have a chance to impress us again. The first week in Europe after a LONG preparatory and racing schedule in North America is a change in routine. As much as you fight it, it takes a week to settle in to the European environment.
Stay posted and look for some excitement in the last races before Christmas.