Doug Haney is the Alpine Press Officer for the US Ski Team and we are lucky enough to receive his insights on the events as they take place. The downhill has been completed with Steven Nyman taking 13th place on the difficult Kandahar track. The women’s downhill will be on Sunday and the World Championships continue through next week until the 20th of February.
- It seems we roll through Garmisch at least once a year, sometimes more. In a lot of ways, it’s the most ‘home-like’ place on tour and that has a lot to do with the U.S. Military base. I’m not sure how many soldiers are stationed there, but you see Americans quite a bit around town and when we’re racing, they’re loud and waving the only red and white flags with blue in them.
Part of the base is Edelweiss Resort, basically a military vacation resort where soldiers’ families can fly over to hang out with mom or dad when they’re on leave from places like Afghanistan. We hook up with them for an autograph session each time we’re in town. The kids go nuts. Here’s some pictures: http://tinyurl.com/48dukrz.
On Monday, a soldier came up to the guys and offered them an American flag that he’d taken on a few tours through Iraq and asked if they’d hold it up with pride when they medal. We’d love to see that happen today. Here are the notes:
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany – men’s downhill
- The guys have made two laps down this sucker, three if you want to count the super G and each time it’s been a different hill. From the icy beast that it was on Wednesday, the temps havestarted to stay warm overnight and in turn have softened it up quite a bit. If organizers hadn’t got the hose out earlier in the week, it’s feasible we wouldn’t be racing today. Besides, Bode and other veterans like Cuche said it best. This is the World Championships, difficult conditions make becoming aWorld Champion even sweeter.
- Temps are expected in the low 40′s and the sun is shining, so bust out the sunscreen and flip flips – no doubt Travis Ganong has the flops already in his finish bag. I met this guy at U.S. Champs a few years back. Pretty sure it was minus 5 and blasting snow in Sugarloaf. Yes, he was wearing flip flops – no socks. That’s how theyroll in Squaw. After taking a tourist run on Thursday, Tra turned up the heat on the Kandahar yesterday to take eighth in the final training run. This kid has unreal feel for snow – in any condition. Today should be fun. He starts 31.
- Steven has been working his way back to full steam all season and doesn’t complain about snow conditions –ever. He just goes. The guy likes going fast. There are some sections of this DH where you hit 80, then have to hammer all those G’s on a sharp turn while going over bumps that would make your ’95 Subaru drop an axle. He’s tall, translation, he has big shock absorbers. Esteban runs 5. My buddy Brian Pinelli penned acool story on Steven and Travis yesterday. Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/6erecey
- You saw the super G. Only Bode could ski the majority of the hill with one pole and build on a lead. If you look at the splits from that race, Bode was 2-2-2-1. That’s right, he won the finalsplit before losing his balance over a right boot turn just above the finish and dumping all his speed. For this guy, it’s always about skiing with inspiration. He did that in the super G and had Innerhofer – the guy who won – saying Bode inspired him to go for it. That’s respect. If you want to know Bode’s plan for Worlds, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/usskiteam#p/a/u/0/nxg_d-UBhOs. He starts 22.
Saddle up folks, it’s World Championship downhill day. Early morning beer sales have been going strong for hours and the Oom-Pah bands are just hitting their stride. Go live ringside with www.UniversalSports.com to catch the raw stream now, then tune into NBC at 1 p.m. ET for all the inside action with Steve Porino and crew in Garmisch.
Alpine Press Officer
U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association