American Women Smoking the Show in New Zealand

Posted By: The Ski Channel on August 12, 2009 12:09 pm

The U.S. Ski Team women are halfway through their on-snow camp at Coronet Peak in New Zealand and if their early season skiing is a sneak peak at things to come, next winter will be hot, hot, hot.

Team coaches are reporting solid training from World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), defending Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) and a rehabilitated Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY. “Everything is going incredibly well,” said Trevor Wagner, the head technical coach. “We had some pretty soft snow for the first few days, but now we’ve moved onto injection.”

If you’re not aware, those gnarly race courses you see on T.V. aren’t naturally icy. Instead, officials inject them to keep them hard, and to help keep the playing field ‘even,’ so to speak.

For their part, the American women are stoked. “I feel better on snow than I have in probably five years,” said Mancuso, who suffered from intermittent back problems last season. “You never really know how it’s going to be until you get on snow and this feels great.”

The New Zealand smoke show wraps August 17 with a few weeks off before the athletes travel to Chile for more skiing. There, they’ll focus more on downhill and super G.