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The anticipation is palpable as the FIS Ski World Cup season kicks off at Soelden, Austria on the Rettenbach glacier for what is the longest, steepest, most sustained pitch of any giant slalom on tour. Soelden is like the start of a new school year after a long summer break—hugs, happiness, and high stoke levels for a new season of ski racing.
U.S. Freeski and U.S. Snowboard Team athletes are fired up to kick off the FIS World Cup season at the Chur, Switzerland, Big Air Friday and Saturday nights.
“I am ready for this weekend,” said U.S. Snowboard Team athlete Chris Corning, who has eight career World Cup big air podiums, including three victories. “This has been the most riding I have had going into the first scaffolding big air of pretty much any season.”
In a recent interview with Barry Svrluga and the Washington Post, two-time Olympic champion and six-time world champion Mikaela Shiffrin discussed the Olympics and the weight and pressure of it all—which she has described as an "Olympic Demogorgon"—the loss of her father and the associated grief, and the joy she has found once again on the mountain.