Shiffrin, Nyman Headline U.S. Alpine Ski Team Thanksgiving Weekend
Killington Cup, arguably the most highly anticipated FIS Ski World Cup of the season, is on the horizon this weekend in cold and snowy Vermont. With record crowds of 30,000+ east-coast-ski-racing-hungry fans anticipated at the event and an all-star line-up of talent both on and off the hill, the #BeastWorldCup is slated to be a premiere event once again. That’s something to be thankful for if we’re counting Thanksgiving blessings.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) is coming hot to Killington, having won the first slalom race of the season in Levi, Finland last weekend, followed by Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova almost six tenths back, and Austria’s Bernadette Schild. It was Shiffrin’s 33rd World Cup slalom victory, and her 44th career victory.
A clear favorite going into the weekend, Shiffrin is the 2016 and 2017 winner of the slalom at Killington. She’ll grab the hat-trick of victories if she prevails in Sunday’s slalom. Shiffrin could also tie Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider’s slalom win count, and will be one victory closer to childhood heroine Austrian Marlies Schild’s record of 35 slalom victories. That’s not all, though. With a second-place finish behind Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg in last year’s giant slalom, Shiffrin will be on the hunt for the giant slalom “W” too.
The starting line-up for the weekend includes 10 women and will feature veteran Resi Stiegler (Jackson, Wyo.) skiing in her second race back from a knee injury sustained in PyeongChang during the Olympic slalom. Another highlight of the weekend will be the young Abi Jewett’s (Ripton, Vt.) World Cup debut on home soil on Killington in the giant slalom Saturday. Keep an eye on another young up-and-comer in the giant slalom, AJ Hurt (Squaw Valley, Calif.), and the dynamic duo of Dartmouth gals known as “Trish O’Brien”.
With crowds totaling more than 30,000 people each of the last two years, thanks to the close proximity to Boston and New York – and the deep and loyal U.S. Ski & Snowboard club membership base in the east – the Killington Cup is the biggest World Cup event in the States, and among the top five worldwide. I can’t prove that to you, but I can promise you that I know from experience...and my experience is pretty vast.
For a European-focused sport dominated by Austrians with ample resources and less saturation in sport, it’s quite the honor for Killington to be in such good company, including the famed Hahnenkamm at Kitzbühel, Austria, the Schladming “Night Race” in Austria, the “Snow Space Salzburg Princess” in Flachau, Austria and the Lauberhorn in Wengen, Switzerland. Hanging out with the big dogs, Killington! BOOM. Well done.
Moving north to the men’s World Cup Tour, at our plaid-infused neighbor’s house in Lake Louise, Canada – where our favorite jean tuxedo derived from – veterans Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.) are both returning to competition from knee injuries and will headline the men’s speed team. Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, N.Y.) also returns from a heartbreaking Achilles injury sustained in the downhill training run on the eve of the Olympic downhill. After a challenging 2017-18 season full of injuries, Head Coach John “Johno” McBride has big hopes for these guys this season, and the American men’s first downhill title is not out of question.
Downhillers Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.) and Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah), who both had flashes of brilliance in the 2017-18 season, will once again look to make their mark on Canadian soil. Wiley Maple (Aspen, Colo.) clocked the sixteenth-fastest time in the first downhill training run on Wednesday, and the fastest among the American men, followed by Ganong. On Thursday, Ganong led the Americans, followed by Nyman. One more downhill training run on Friday for these boys to get their feet under them and dust off the cobwebs, and then it's "go time"!
You’ll be able to catch all of the action on NBC, NBC Sports Network, NBC Sports Gold, and the Olympic Channel, so make sure to tune in this holiday weekend to get your fill of ski racing. Plus! Current U.S. Ski Team “A” Team athlete, Alice McKennis, who is undergoing rehab for a leg injury, will be making her announcing debut, calling the men’s speed action in Lake Louise, Canada.
See who to watch and where to catch all the action below.
- Katie Hensien (SL)
- AJ Hurt (GS)
- Abi Jewett* (GS)
- Lila Lapanja (SL)
- Tricia Mangan (GS)
- Paula Moltzan (SL)
- Nina O’Brien (GS, SL)
- Foreste Peterson (GS)
- Resi Stiegler (SL)
- Mikaela Shiffrin (GS, SL)
- Bryce Bennett (DH)
- Tommy Biesemeyer (DH, SG)
- Ryan Cochran-Siegle (DH, SG)
- Travis Ganong (DH, SG)
- Jared Goldberg (DH, SG)
- Nick Krause (SG)
- Wiley Maple (DH, SG)
- Sam Morse (SG)
- Steven Nyman (DH, SG)
*Denotes first World Cup Start
**Denotes SG spots up for grabs based on training runs.
HOW TO WATCH
*All times EST
Saturday, Nov. 24
9:30 a.m. - World Cup women’s giant slalom, first run, Killington, Vt. - NBC Sports Gold*
1:00 p.m. - World Cup women’s giant slalom, second run, Killington, Vt. - NBCSN
1:00 p.m. - World Cup women’s giant slalom, second run, Killington, Vt. - NBC Sports Gold*
3:00 p.m. - World Cup women’s giant slalom, wrap up, Killington, Vt. - NBC
4:00 p.m. - World Cup men’s downhill, Lake Louise, CAN - The Olympic Channel
4:00 p.m. - World Cup men’s downhill, Lake Louise, CAN - NBC Sports Gold*
Sunday, Nov. 25
10:00 a.m. - World Cup women’s slalom, first run, Killington, Vt. - NBC Sports Gold*
1:00 p.m. - World Cup women’s slalom, second run, Killington, Vt. - NBC
1:00 p.m. - World Cup women’s slalom, second run, Killington, Vt. - NBC Sports Gold*
4:00 p.m. - World Cup men’s super-G, Lake Louise, CAN - The Olympic Channel
4:00 p.m. - World Cup men’s super-G, Lake Louise, CAN - NBC Sports Gold*
*NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports Digital’s direct-to-consumer live streaming product “Snow Pass” provides fans access to live and on-demand domestic and international competitions of seven Olympic winter sports from October 2018 through April 2019.
The Snow Pass provides access to every second of race action throughout the season. Whoever you support, their races will be broadcast on the Snow Pass. NBC will also email you prior to each event to remind you of live broadcast times on Snow Pass, and if you can’t watch live, the entire event will be available to replay, all for under 20 cents per day.
Men’s Downhill Training Run 1
Men's Downhill Training Run 2
For the full event schedule at Killington, check out their website.