World Cup notes with Doug Haney. In this edition, we get the inside scoop for the men and women alpine US Ski Teamers as they prepare for races in Are, Sweden and Bansko, Bulgaria.
Peggy Shinn sent me a great note a few days ago about my little girl and our friend Paul Robbins. Paul passed away on Feb. 23, 2008, just a day after conducting a teleconference with Lindsey Vonn when she secured her first of now three World Cup downhill titles. He’d been a friend and journalistic voice of the U.S. Ski Team for 30 years. Gwen missed entering life on the day of his exit by lessthan an hour and a half. Many of you knew him and his famous tam. Here’s Peggy’s note:
So Gwen was born 3 years and a day after Paul died. And with those little chubby cheeks, did you notice that she looks a little like Paul?? I think it was the twinkle in her tiny eyes.
Paul would be proud of you. I can just see him holding little Gwen and making funny comments.
photo: John Margolis
My friend Bob Condron also sent me a note, his son Chris had passed away recently. “One child goes, one comes to bless us all,” wrote Bob.
Not more than a few days old now, I’ve already enjoyed ski racing more because of Gwen. When stateside, no doubt we’ll be on the same schedule. This morning, the whole family is watching Bansko and Are…here are the notes:
Bansko, Bulgaria – men’s slalom
- This place is old. Archeological history dates of Bansko back to the to the early periods of the RomanEmpire, though word on the street is there’s a few houses on the outskirts of town with birthdays around 100 BC. Mixed in with history is an incredibly modern ski resort. The summit tops out at over eight grand and you can ski over 5K of vertical right down into the cobbled streets. It’s the real deal.
- We’ve got full sun in the sky for round one, but long shadows on the slope thanks to a pretty burly tree line. The snow from the past days is still causing havoc for racers. It’s not a problem if you’re pinning it, but get just a bit into the soft and you might as well throw out the anchor. Nolan didn’t have a problem with that. The kid is skiing with incredible confidence right now and jumped from bib 26 to 16 in the first run, 1.21 off leader Mario Matt of Austria. He can easily jump 10 or more spots in round two.
- Ted is right in there too in 19th, 1.69 out and still a bit mad about his slalom leg from yesterday’s super combined. Shred debuted some new helmet designs at ISPO a few weeks back. I’m sure Mr. Ligety would like to show you that they are both fast and functional.
- Chowder got bumped out of the 30 super late in the mix of 73 starters, Willy B got behind the course early and couldn’t find his way back on and Colby and Jit just didn’t find the rhythm. It’s the Shred and Kasper show for round two.
Second run is on the FIS schedule for 7 a.m. ET and www.UniversalSports.com harnesses all the modern technology we have to bring it directly to you (and the Haney Family, now in Suite 1 at Adirondack Medical Center). Clickity click.
Are, Sweden – women’s super G
- OK, who had Stacey Cook on their fantasy team yesterday? I want to see hands. Good for you. That course set was not an easy one and the light made it even harder, but Cookie didn’t hold back and won’t today either. She runs from bib 43 with absolutely everything to gain.
- LV is clearly clear and skiing like she/we know she can. Pocketing World Cup win No. 40 is big. To put this in perspective, a successful World Cup racer will win a dozen or so races in their career. When you get to numbers like 40 (and beyond) you’ve cemented yourself in the sports history – worldwide. Lindsey would like to pour a little more concrete on the topic today and pull a few more points back from Ms. Riesch in the process. It’s never dull on the women’s tour. She starts 16.
- Jules rockets out with bib 22 and knows she should have been faster yesterday and Laurenne has made her way into the top 30 WSCL and runs none other than 30 today. She’s also a bit chappedafter getting thrown off line in yesterdays downhill and brimming with confidence after crushing her first World Championships.
- Leanne lights this show up first with bib four and says she’s going to crush it today for her fellow New Englander Chelsea Marshall. Chels is uber bumming right now because the snow is falling heavy in the Wasatch and she’s still recovering from nagging back pain thatkept her out of W. Champs and racing indefinitely.
First racer is in the start and Universal Sports has the show. Gwen should wake back up by bib 16 I bet. That’s LV.
Alpine Press Officer
U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association