Five (!) Americans in Top 10 at Val Gardena Downhill

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on December 23, 2008 1:12 pm

America, the new Austria?  For decades, if one country had five racers finish in the Top 10, the question would be which five Austrians?  The Austrian team strength was such that athletes who barely made the team, ended up winning World Cup Races.

Saturday, five Americans finished in the top 10 at the famed Val Gardena downhill in Italy.  It was a truly historical day for the American team: Bode Miller (2nd), Marco Sullivan (4th), Erik Fischer (career best 7th), Steven Nyman (9th), and TJ Lanning (10th).  Of course out of those five finishers, only four ski and train with the U.S. team.  Bode Miller, the renegade man, has been critical in the past of the U.S. Ski Team program, and has chosen this year to go-it-alone.  But, to Miller, these results speak to a modified U.S. approach and the results back his words.  "A lot of the things I was bringing up over the last 10 years have been changed and improved, and have allowed the guys to have the program that they have now," said Miller who finished second to Austria’s Michael Walchhofer, 0.38 seconds behind.

photo: Erik Fisher (Middleton, ID) waves to fans after his 7th place showing. Bode Miller stands on the podium after his second place finish.

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