American Downhiller Film Premiere
Over the years American Downhillers have created history and built a reputation as fearsome competitors. It’s a captivating story that is brought together for the very first time in the full-length movie – ‘The American Downhiller’, which will premier online on October 2 at 12pm EDT.
The ‘American Downhiller’ mission is to empower young ski racers and create a speed-skiing platform for future generations. Supported by the best current and former downhill ski racers and coaches, the objective is to support the careers of young ski racers through curiosity, passion, and tenacity.
“As a kid being a downhiller was always a dream of mine. From being inspired by American Downhillers ahead of me, like AJ Kitt, Tommy Moe, Daron Rahlves, and Bode Miller, and then being one of those leaders myself, is a dream come true. Starting this movement with Marco Sullivan to pay homage to the American Downhillers of the past is very meaningful to me, and has helped me become who I am in my life, and which can hopefully inspire others.” Steven Nyman, US downhill skier/American Downhiller
The American Downhiller story is one steeped in history, and with some of the all-time greats of US downhill skiing cast as the main characters, the full-length movie provides an insight into the world of speed, emotion, inspiration, and, above all, the respect that bonds the athletes and the community that supports them.
Elizabeth Reeder, Global Sports Marketing manager, POC, added – “We are delighted to support and present the American Downhiller film in its full, feature-length form. American Downhillers, from years gone by to the current generation, are incredible characters and athletes and their story is an inspiration which we hope it will impact many generations to come.”
The ‘American Downhiller’ film takes us through the history, back to before the advent of the World Cup and how the tradition of American men competing on European soil has formed a camaraderie that spans the test of time.
“Being an American Downhiller is joining a life-long brotherhood. If you have raced World Cup Downhill tracks you understand what it takes and it gives everyone a level of respect for each other no matter what generation you came from.” added Jared Goldberg, American Downhiller.
‘American Downhiller - only conviction can make gravity faster’
The American Downhiller – Film Premiere: How to Watch
The film premiered today, nationwide, on U.S. Ski & Snowboard's YouTube channel.
American Women's Legacy in Speed
Of course, no story about the legacy of American Downhillers can be told without sharing the stories of the women's team and the legacy they've created, which includes the likes of Penelope Theresa "Penny" Pitou, Cindy Nelson, Picabo Street, Julia Mancuso, and of course—the G.O.A.T. of downhill—Lindsey Vonn.
Penelope Theresa "Penny" Pitou, who in 1960 became the first American skier to win a medal in the Olympic downhill event. We'd be remiss not to mention Cindy Nelson, who became the first U.S. downhiller—man or woman—to win a World Cup in downhill in 1974, and paved the way for others, like Olympic Champion Picabo Street, to carry the torch. Picabo was not only an Olympic gold medalist in downhill, but also a World Champion downhiller, and a two-time FIS Ski World Cup downhill titleholder. To date, the incredible Julia Mancuso is the most decorated big event skier in American history. In all, she has four Olympic gold medals (one downhill silver medal), five world championship medals and 36 World Cup medals in a 19-year career.
And finally, Lindsey, a downhill icon. Lindsey is one of only six women to have won World Cup races in five disciplines of alpine skiing—downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined. During her career, she won 82 World Cup races, just behind the Swedish great Ingemer Stenmark (86 victories). With 43 downhill victories, she has the most downhill wins—man or woman—of all time. With her Olympic gold and bronze medals, two World Championship gold medals in 2009 (plus three silver medals in 2007 and 2001), and four overall World Cup titles, Lindsey is the most successful American ski racer and considered one of the greatest skiers of all time.
This rich history in women's speed success has also created a solid foundation and for two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin, who currently sits in fourth on the all-time win list with 66 victories (including two downhill victories). Mikaela is the only skier—man or woman—to win across all disciplines, including slalom, parallel, giant slalom, alpine combined, downhill and super-G.
Olympic (1984, Sarajevo) giant slalom gold medalist Deb Armstrong shared her thoughts on many of the female achievements we can expect to see in future storytelling about American Downhillers.