World Champion downhill skier Daron Rahlves on Beaver Creek, the World Cup ski cross season and Vancouver Olympics

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 5, 2009 12:26 pm

Former World Champion ski racer Daron Rahlves was on hand to watch this year’s World Cup downhill at Beaver Creek before heading off to a Ski Cross camp in Telluride. Rahlves has been on the Beaver Creek World Cup podium five times, and two of those were downhill wins. (Rahlves racked up 12 World Cup wins and 28 podiums in his stellar career on the U.S. Ski Team.)

“I miss it,” Rahlves said of watching the downhill. “I was up in the gate today at the start, taking it in, and I slipped down the track at the end of the race. I feel like I could still do it if I had the time to commit but it’s a new chapter in my life now. I’ve been exploring new things in the sport these last few years. Ski Cross has gone to a new level.”

The former superstar ski racer is now a member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team competing in Ski Cross (also known as Skiercross), and is gunning for the Vancouver Olympics. For the most part, Rahlves’ transition from racing gates to racing side-by-side has been smooth. In fact, the 2008 X Games gold medalist has been enjoying learning a different side of skiing. “I’ve been shooting with Warren Miller and Matchstick, and the last trip to Alaska was really fun,” Rahlves said. 

Rahlves starred in Matchstick Productions’ In Deep and Warren Miller’s Dynasty. “I’m really charged about freeskiing now,” Rahlves added about his powder descents.

For now, though, Rahlves is focusing on what’s immediately ahead. “The first World Cup is the 21st of this month, so it’s coming up quick. Today is my third day on skis so I have to start cranking, now. We’re going to Telluride for five days and heading to Europe,” Rahlves said.

As far as competing in his new sport’s very first Olympics, Rahlves is taking it in stride. “First you kind of get yourself rolling with the World Cups, and then the X Games is something big for me. I want to go back there and get back on top,” Rahlves said. “After that, it’s back to Tahoe. We’re building a track at the Sugarbowl, so that will be our pre-Olympic training venue. And then after nailing it in Vancouver, I’ll get the big fat skis out and take it from there.”