Today’s Olympic women’s slalom race was not the shiniest of diamonds for the US team. Sarah Schleper was the best of the bunch, landing a 16th place finish. While she was happy with the majority of her skiing, she claimed one substantial mistake cost her—when she hit a rut and temporarily lost balance. “I would have liked to see how my time held up without a mistake,” said Schleper. “I felt like I’m skiing fast, I’m skiing with these girls. My start number wasn’t great (26), but I moved up from the 50s earlier in the year, so I’ve been making small jumps. I felt like I had a shot in the slalom, so I was really bummed out after that mistake.”
Sarah’s dad, Buzz was in the audience cheering on his little girl. He moved the family from Minnesota to Vail before Sarah was born, so he could work in a ski shop there. The sport is in their blood. “Sarah was going for the medal,” Buzz said. “She held her time at the first split. If she could have done it all the way down, she’d be right about third place right now, but we’re proud of her.
“She didn’t back off, she went for it. That’s what you have to do at any race, but especially at the Olympics. There’s no glory in fourth place or beyond.”