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Sustainability

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, a national and global leader in snow sports, is committed to addressing climate change and stewarding sustainability of winter sports. Millions globally are inspired by winter sports and enjoy healthy, active lifestyles in winter environments. Climate change threatens our winter environments with receding glaciers, rising sea levels, volatile weather cycles and less snowfall.

Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Freeski Photo Gallery

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
December, 10 2018
Annalisa Drew at Copper Grand Prix.
Annalisa Drew getting inverted during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Qualifiers. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

The U.S. Freeski Halfpipe Team kicked off the 2018-19 season at Copper Mountain, Dec. 5-8, with the first FIS Freeski World Cup halfpipe competition of the season. U.S. Ski & Snowboard photographer Sarah Brunson captured some outstanding images. Enjoy the image gallery below.
 

Grand Prix Propels U.S. Team Athletes into Dew Tour

By Andrew Gauthier
December, 10 2018
Toby Miller and JJ Thomas at Copper Mountain.
Toby Miller and coach JJ Thomas at the Toyota U.S Grand Prix halfpipe. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

U.S. Freeski & Snowboard athletes claimed seven of 12 podium positions including two first-place finishes from Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.) and Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colo.) at last weekend’s Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado. If the Grand Prix was any representation of what is to come, you can expect U.S. Freeski & Snowboard Team athletes to keep the momentum rolling into the modified halfpipe and slopestyle competitions at Dew Tour Dec. 13-16 in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Some of the results highlighted familiar faces, including U.S Freeski Pro Team members Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colo.) and double-Olympic gold medalist and defending Copper Grand Prix champion David Wise, finishing in first and third place respectively in the men’s FIS World Cup freeski halfpipe competition. For the women, PyeongChang Olympic bronze medalist Brita Sigourney (Carmel, Calif.) came out with a strong performance picking up where she left off last season with consistent amplitude and style.

For the U.S. Snowboard Team, it was clear that they are a force to be reckoned with this season. PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim did not skip a beat kicking off the 2018-19 competition season with a victory. Her teammate Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, Calif.) finished just behind Kim in second-place, starting the season off strong as she slowly builds on her competition runs. Kim and Mastro were both part of the U.S. Snowboard Team sweep at last year’s U.S Grand Prix at Copper Mountain with teammate Kelly Clark (Mammoth, Calif).

For the men of the U.S. Snowboard Team, Toby Miller (Mammoth, Calif.) and Chase Josey (Sun Valley, Idaho) finished second and third respectively. Josey’s performance, although very impressive, was also no surprise to those keeping tabs on competitive halfpipe snowboarding. On the other hand, Miller came out and made a clear statement that he is very much in the conversation this season.

In the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic season, Miller was shadowing Shaun White (Carlsbad, Calif.). He would not only attend major events with White and coach JJ Thomas, who is now a member of the U.S. Snowboard Team coaching staff working directly with Miller, but also trained alongside White whenever he had the opportunity. They traveled the world together in the months leading up to the Olympics and when the big day came, Miller was holding the video camera capturing White’s epic journey to his historic third Olympic gold medal. This experience clearly reaped benefits for Miller, both physically as a rider and mentally as a competitor.

While it may seem he came out of nowhere, Miller has been progressing with halfpipe podiums since the 2015 FIS Junior World Championships, including halfpipe gold at the 2018 Worlds in Cardrona, New Zealand in August. But there is a significant difference in the level of competition between FIS Snowboard World Cup and Junior World Championship competition. Miller’s high energy run and appropriate appetite for risk resulted in him grabbing his first ever FIS World Cup podium at the first World Cup halfpipe competition of the season. Incredibly, Miller had never tried the run that earned him second-place, either in practice or in competition.

“Coming into this contest I had never put that entire run together,” said Miller. “At the Saas-Fee, Switzerland, training camp I had linked back to back 1260’s together, but in a different order and not the entire run. The U.S. Grand Prix was a test for me and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”

If Saturday’s U.S. Grand Prix event was a test for Miller, he passed with flying colors. Miller will be competing in the Team Challenge at this week’s Dew Tour in the modified superpipe as well as the individual modified superpipe competition. He sure to put on a show for the Breckenridge crowd alongside his U.S. Ski & Snowboard teammates.

“This year’s Copper Grand Prix was one for the books,” said Miller. “The level of riding was through the roof and it’s got me really excited to see what goes down at Dew Tour in the modified superpipe.”

Other U.S. Snowboard Team members competing at Dew Tour include halfpipe riders Taylor Gold (Steamboat Springs Colo.), Gabe Ferguson (Bend, Ore.), Chase Josey, and defending 2017 Dew Tour superpipe champion Jake Pates (Eagle, Colo.). American's Danny Davis (Highland, Mich.) and Ben Ferguson (Bend, Ore.) are also expected to compete. For the women, Kim will lead the way with Maddie Mastro and last year's Dew Tour third-place finisher Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, Colo.). American Hannah Teter (S. Lake Tahoe, Calif) will also be on the start list.

In slopestyle, U.S Snowboard Team athletes include Olympic gold medalist Red Gerard (Silverthorne, Colo.), 2017 Dew Tour second-place finisher Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.) and Kyle Mack (West Bloomfield, Mich.). Mack will also join teammate Brandon Davis (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) in the streetstyle competition. For the women, double-Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson (S. Lake Tahoe, Calif.), Hailey Langland (San Clemente, Calif.) and Julia Marino (Westport, Conn.) will join the rest of the U.S. Snowboard Team in Breckenridge.

U.S Freeski Team members competing at Dew Tour include the defending 2017 Dew Tour champion and Colorado native Alex Ferreira (Aspen, Colo.), Olympian Torin Yater-Wallace (Basalt, Colo.), David Wise (Reno, Nev.), Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, Colo.), Birk Irving (Winter Park, Colo.) and Aaron Blunck who is coming in hot off a win at the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper last week. For the women, Olympic gold medalist Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, Calif.), Olympian Annalisa Drew (Andover, Mass.) and Brita Sigourney who will look to go for her second consecutive halfpipe podium of the season. U.S. Rookie Team member Abigale Hansen (June Lake, Calif.) will also be in attendance.

Park City, Utah natives Alex Hall and McRae Williams will represent in slopestyle with teammate and Kenworthy, the Sochi Olympic silver medalist. Hall will also compete in the streetstyle event at Dew Tour with Americans Quinn Wolferman (Missoula, Mont.), Keegan Kilbride (Sugarloaf, Maine), LJ Strenio (Burlington, Vt.), Sean Jordan (Moscow, Penn.) and Tim Mcchesney (Bozeman, Mont.). For the women, Maggie Voisin (Whitefish, Mont.) will be the sole representative for the U.S. Women’s Freeski Team. Look for Voisin to continue to dial in her new left double cork 1260 that she unleashed in competition for the first time at the Stubai, Austria, World Cup in slopestyle.

Dew Tour also will have a Team Challenge competition. This event offers a unique take on slopestyle and halfpipe competition for U.S. Freeski & Snowboard athletes. Six of snowboarding and freeskiing’s top brands select three athletes to represent their team across a modified superpipe, jump and rail competitions. According to DewTour.com, the unique Team Challenge competition is designed to showcase style, creativity, and diverse tricks while using an innovative course and format. Only the strongest and most strategic team will emerge as the overall best team. See U.S. Ski & Snowboard athlete participants on their sponsored team rosters below.

Freeski Team Challenge
Armada - Torin Yater-Wallace
Atomic - Gus Kenworthy
Faction - Mac Forehand (Winhall, Vt.), Alex Hall
Head - Aaron Blunck
K2 - Birk Irving, Colby Stevenson (Park City, Utah)
Volkl - Hunter Hess (Bend, Ore.), McRae Williams

Snowboard Team Challenge
Burton - Red Gerard
Capita - Chase Josey, Nikolas Baden (Steamboat Springs, Colo.)
DC - Toby Miller,
Salomon - Ryan Wachendorfer (Edwards, Colo.)

A total of six hours of Winter Dew Tour coverage will air on NBC and NBCSN, with DewTour.com live streaming all finals from Thursday, Dec. 13 through Sunday, Dec. 16. All finals will stream live on Facebook, Periscope, Twitch, Daily Motion, Youtube, TWSnow.com, Newschoolers.com, Powder.com, adventuresportsnetwork.com, and Snowboarder.com.  The new Dew Tour app will also exclusively offer live scoring in addition to the livestream.

HOW TO WATCH
*Subject to change
All times in EST

Saturday, Dec. 29
4:00 p.m. - Dew Tour Show, Breckenridge, Colo. - NBC

Sunday, Dec. 30
5:00 p.m. - Dew Tour Show, Breckenridge, Colo. - NBC

Thursday, Jan. 3
11:00 p.m. -  Dew Tour Show, Breckenridge, Colo. - NBCSN

Tuesday, Jan. 8
11:30 p.m. - Dew Tour Show, Breckenridge, Colo. - NBCSN

EVENT SCHEDULE
*Subject to change
All times in MST

FREESKI
Thursday, Dec. 13.
9:00 a.m – 9:45 a.m. - Women’s slopestyle jump final
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. - Women’s slopestyle jib final
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. - Team modified superpipe final presented by Toyota
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. - Team slopestyle jump final 
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. - Team slopestyle jib final

Friday, Dec. 14.
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. - Women’s modified superpipe final presented by Toyota
7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. - Streetstyle Final

Saturday, Dec 15. 
12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. - Men’s slopestyle jump finals
1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. - Men’s slopestyle jib finals

Sunday, Dec. 16
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. - Men’s modified superpipe final presented by Toyota

SNOWBOARD
Friday, Dec. 14.
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. - Women’s slopestyle jump final
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. - Women’s slopestyle jib final
12:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. - Team modified superpipe final presented by Toyota
1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. - Team slopestyle jump final
2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. - Team slopestyle jib final
6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. - Streetstyle Final

Saturday, Dec 15. 
10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. - Men’s modified superpipe final presented by Toyota

Sunday, Dec. 16
10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.- Women’s modified superpipe final presented by Toyota
12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. - Men’s slopestyle jump final
1:45 p.m.  – 3:00 p.m. - Men’s slopestyle jib final
 

U.S. Women Fifth In Beitostolen Relay

By Reese Brown
December, 9 2018
Women's Relay Team
U.S. Women's relay team for Sunday's FIS Cross Country World Cup in Norway. (Instagram - @sbjornsen)

Sporting some fresh faces, the women’s U.S. Cross Country Team skied away with a fifth-place finish in the first FIS Cross Country World Cup 4x5k classic/freestyle team relay of the season in Beitostolen, Norway, Sunday.

Always dominant in the relay event, Team Norway 1 took the victory ahead of Team Russia 2 in second, followed by Team Finland 1 in third.

With recent retirements, the U.S. women’s relay team started the season with some new members and a new dynamic with Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wa.), Rosie Brennan (Park City, Ut.) skiing the classic legs, and Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury, Vt.) and Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) skiing the freestyle portion. It was a unique course with a whole lot of drafting, and not too many climbs to break things up, which made it particularly challenging.  

“My strategy in leg one was to stay near the front and use the few working sections to try to make a gap,” said leadoff skier Bjornsen.  “I could feel right away on the first lap that the draft was pretty huge, so I tried to stay near the front and get ready to pounce when I found a good place.”

“I was really happy with today and so, so proud of my team today,” said Diggins. “We went out there and skied our hardest, and for me, it was a really interesting mix of hammering and playing it smart with tactical decisions. I went out sprinting trying to close some of the gap to the group ahead of us, but it’s a pretty flat course and really hard to drop people who are drafting you. One-third of the way into the anchor leg, I switched my strategy and let the other two girls in my pack lead, conserving energy and planning to make my move with about 1k to the finish.”

The men’s race was won by Team Norway 1, followed by Team Russia 1 in second and Team Norway 2 completing the podium. Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) posted a strong fourth place in the first leg setting the U.S. Men’s Relay Team finished 12th for the day.  

“It was really fun to race the first leg of the relay today,” said Bjornsen after the race.  “I had a goal of handing off with the leader but the Norwegian was able to really explode the field. I was happy to hand off in forth behind two Norwegian teams and Russia 1.”

The World Cup now heads to Davos, Switzerland, for a sprint freestyle and a women’s 10k, and men’s 15k freestyle. The Davos races will be the final event of Period 1 leading into the holiday break.

RESULTS
Women’s 4x5k relay
Men’s 4x7.5k relay

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
*Same-day delayed broadcast

Saturday, Dec. 15
7:20 a.m. - Men and women’s sprint - Davos, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. - Men and women’s sprint - Davos, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV

Sunday, Dec. 16
3:15 a.m. Women’s 10k interval - Davos, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
9:00 a.m. Women’s 10k interval - Davos, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV*
5:45 a.m. - Men’s 15k interval - Davos, SUI - NBC Sports Gold / Replay available on OlympicChannel.com

Afterburners Launch Shiffrin To World Cup Win No. 48

By Tom Horrocks
December, 9 2018
Vlhova and Shiffrin
Slovakia's Petra Vlhova and Mikaela Shiffrin in the finals of the FIS Ski World Cup parallel slalom in St Moritz, Switzerland, Sunday. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Christophe Pallot)

Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) doesn't often make mistakes, but when she does, she turns on the afterburners to simply burn the competition. This time, she fired up victory number 48 in Sunday’s FIS Ski World Cup parallel slalom in St. Moritz, Switzerland - her third-straight World Cup victory.

Facing Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova in the finals - a rematch of last season’s parallel finals in Courchevel, France - Shiffrin, and Vlhova were neck-and-neck out of the gate. Then Shiffrin made an uncharacteristic mistake when she got off-balance coming through a right ski turn. The mistake knocked her back on her tails, allowing Vhlova to take the lead. But in Shiffrin’s trademark hard-finishing fashion, she hit the afterburners, pulled even with Vhlova and then squeaked through with a 0.11-second victory on the 32-gate course.

“It was a big fight, especially in the final,” Shiffrin said. “I was really going crazy, maybe a little bit too hard. I felt like I was a bit off the course and I could see Petra always on my side going a little bit ahead...and I was thinking ‘Oh no, go faster!’”

Shiffrin was the top qualifier for Sunday's event, and easily managed her way through the opening rounds, defeating Canada’s Laurence St. Germain in the round of 32 by 1.31 seconds, and Norway’s Mina Holtmann in the round of 16 by 0.62 seconds. Shiffrin first real test came in the quarterfinal round when she defeated Norway’s Nina Haver-Loeseth by just 0.20 seconds. In the semifinal, she won against Austria’s Katharina Liensberger by 0.56. Meanwhile, Vlhova defeated the crowd favorite, Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener, by 0.02 seconds - the smallest winning margin of the day in the semifinal to set up the rematch against Shiffrin.

“It was a big fight, but that’s what makes it exciting,” Shiffrin said of the parallel racing format. “For people who watch and for us, the athletes, and that's a special thing about the event...it's really cool."

“I like (parallel slalom) a lot actually,” she added. “It’s so different from everything else, and it makes the schedule a little bit tougher when I’m trying to do every event, and especially with yesterday and the super-G, I have never had a series of races in one weekend that was so different...so that was a big challenge to refocus for today. But it worked, so I can’t complain.”

With Shiffrin taking the victory, and Vlhova in second, Holdener defeated Liensberger in the small final to finish third.

Shiffrin has won five of the nine World Cup events contested so far this season and holds a commanding lead in her quest for her third-straight overall World Cup title. She also leads the slalom and super-G standings. She will not compete in the upcoming speed events, moved from Val d’Isere, France, to Val Gardena, Italy the week of Dec. 18-23, as she plans to enjoy some "downtime" and continue training for the traditional holiday series of tech events, kicking off Dec. 21-22 in Courchevel, France, and then onward to Semmering, Austria Dec. 28-29; a city event Jan. 1 in Oslo, Norway; and continuing Jan. 5, 6-8 in Zagreb, Croatia.

Shiffrin also donated a portion of her weekend’s St. Moritz prize money toward former Head of Swiss Ski Team and two-time president of Switzerland's Adolf Ogi's "Freude Herrscht" Foundation, created in his late son Mathias Ogi's (who died at age 35 due to a rare form of cancer) honor. "Freude Herrscht" translates to "happiness rules" or "joy prevails," and the foundation supports developing youth through sports participation.

Veteran slalom specialist Resi Stiegler (Jackson, Wyo.) also participated in today's qualifier, but did not qualify for the race. 

RESULTS
Women’s parallel slalom

WORLD CUP STANDINGS
Women

AUDIO
Mikaela Shiffrin Victory Press Conference

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Preliminary schedule, subject to change
*Same-day delayed broadcast

Sunday, Dec. 8
5:00 p.m. - Women’s parallel slalom, St. Moritz, SUI - NBCSN-TV*

Friday, Dec. 14
5:45 a.m. - Men’s super-G - Val Gardena, ITA - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
6:00 a.m. - Men’s super-G - Val Gardena, ITA - Olympic Channel-TV

Saturday, Dec. 15
5:30 a.m. - Men’s downhill - Val Gardena, ITA - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
8:00 p.m. - Men’s downhill - Val Gardena, ITA - NBCSN-TV*

Sunday, Dec. 16
3:45 a.m. - Giant slalom run 1 - Alta Badia, ITA - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Giant slalom run 2 - Alta Badia, ITA - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
6:00 p.m. - Giant slalom run 2 - Alta Badia, ITA - NBCSN-TV*
 

Shiffrin Sweeps St. Moritz

Kim Win Leads Four Americans at U.S. Grand Prix

By Andrew Gauthier
December, 8 2018
Chloe Kim at Copper Mountain Halfpipe.
Chloe Kim won Saturday's Toyota U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe at Copper Mountain, Colorado. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

Chloe Kim (Torrence, Calif.) led the U.S. Snowboard Team to claim four out of six podium spots at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe finals Saturday at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Teammate Maddie Mastro followed Kim in second. For the men, Toby Miller (Mammoth, Calif.) and Olympian Chase Josey (Sun Valley, Idaho) finished second and third respectively.

“I think a lot of people struggled in this pipe, it was kind of hard to get speed,” said Kim, who has kept the focus on going big to separate herself from the pack early in the season. “I feel like amplitude is always the main thing for me, so I was thinking about a run that would let me have consistent amplitude. I’m really happy to start the season off on a high note and It’s great to be sharing the podium with my teammate, go Team USA!”

Miller climbed the competition ladder quickly as only a few months ago he claimed the 2018 Junior World Championship title in Cardrona, New Zealand. He immediately followed it up with a podium at the FIS Snowboard World Cup level at the U.S. Grand Prix. Not only did he succeed, but he did so with a run he had never performed previously in practice or in competition.

“I surprised myself and I am so happy,” said Miller. “I landed my first run and it was the first time I had ever put that combination of tricks down. Coming into run two I felt a lot more confident and I kept my foot on the gas pedal. I didn’t do that run in practice at all, so the first run was the first time I ever completed it successfully. I couldn’t be happier”

Mastro continued to fight for a spot on the podium through all three of her runs and took it one step at a time. “I had some up and downs throughout the day, but I’m happy to come out with a second place,” she said. “I took the competition run by run and wanted to feel things out as the competition progressed.” Mastro also hinted at the prospect of including a new trick she learned at Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Training camp in the coming competitions. “You’ll have to wait and see on the double crippler making it into my run, but hopefully it happens soon.”

Josey kept things creative, which was clearly a goal coming into the competition week. ”I have been trying to mix things up and be as creative as possible,” said Josey. “I thought of double Michalchuk Japan over a year ago and it’s finally coming to light. I put a lot of work into that so I’m stoked to land it last run and claim third.

“The level of riding just blasted through the roof compared to last year at Copper. saw it starting to happen after the Olympics at the last competition of the season and into the summer camps and fall camps,” Josey noted at the rising level of competition. “I was watching all these 1260s and 1440’s go down and quickly realized no one was chilling this offseason and everyone was fired up and wanting to win. I’m psyched to see people so stoked on snowboarding.”

The U.S Snowboard Team will continue competition at Dew Tour Dec. 13-16 in Breckenridge, Colorado, in slopestyle and the modified halfpipe, as well as in Secret Garden, China for the FIS World Cup in halfpipe and slopestyle Dec. 19-21.

TRICK LIST
Men’s Snowboard

  1. Scotty James - Frontside 1080 Tail, Switch Crippler Chicken Salad, Switch Backside Double Cork 1080 Mute, Backside Double Cork 1260 Mute, Frontside Double Cork 1260 Indy.

  2. Toby Miller - Frontside Double Cork 1080 mute, Cab Double Cork 1080 Mute, Frontside 900 Tail, Backside Double Cork 1260 Mute, Frontside Double Cork 1260 Indy.

  3. Chase Josey - Frontside Alley-Oop 360 Indy, Switch Double Michalchuk backside grab, Cab Double Cork 1080 Mute, Frontside 900 Roast Beef, Double Michalchuk Japan.

Women’s Snowboard

  1. Chloe Kim - Method, Frontside 1080 Tail, Cab 900 Indy, Switch Backside 360, Mctwist Indy.

  2. Maddie Mastro - Method, Frontside 900 Indy, Backside 540 Stalefish, Frontside 720 Indy, 720 Stalefish, Haakon Flip 720 Stalefish, Crippler 540 Indy.

  3. Cai Xuetong - Frontside 540 Melon, Backside 540 Mute, Air to Fakie Melon, Cab 720 Tail, Frontside 900 Japan.

RESULTS
Men’s halfpipe
Women’s halfpipe

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
**Next-day broadcast

Sunday, Dec. 9
12:30 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Copper Mountain, Colo. - NBC**

 

Diggins Eighth in Beitostolen 15k

By Reese Brown
December, 8 2018
Jessie Diggins 15k
Jessie Diggins Finishing the Grueling Beitostolen 15k (Getty Images/NTB Scanpix/AFP - Terje Pedersen)

Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) capitalized on a tough day of racing to end with an eighth-place finish in the FIS Cross Country World Cup 15k freestyle Saturday in Beitostolen, Norway.  Diggins led a strong performance by the U.S women with Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) in 13th and Rosie Brennan (Park City, Utah) 15th.

Norway’s Therese Johaug hammered the field to win by more than a minute ahead of Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla in second, followed Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg in third.

Beitrostolen is considered one of the easier courses on the World Cup circuit, but with the falling snow and gradual terrain, there wasn’t much opportunity to rest.  

“I feel really good about today as it was a positive step in the right direction,” Diggins said. “After racing with a cold last weekend in Lillehammer it was really nice to be feeling more like myself this week. My body felt like it was responding much better when I kept pushing the limits, which is a good sign! It was a good fight out there today and I’m happy with where my shape is headed.”

“Work, work work. That was the theme of the race out there today,” Bjornsen said. “Sometimes as a World Cup skier, I dream of easier courses since we spend most of our time on walls and high-speed luge track downhills. But today, I was reminded why sometimes an easier course is in fact harder.”

Brennan agreed, “Overall, it was just a tough race, but I am satisfied with my effort and really excited to have a relay tomorrow.”

Norway’s Sjur Roethe won the men’s 30k race, followed by countryman Martin Johnsrud Sunby in second. Russia’s Andre Melnichenko was third. The top U.S. finisher for the men was Scott Patterson (Anchorage, Alaska) in 47th.  

The Beitostolen weekend continues on Sunday with a team relay, a favorite of the U.S. team.

“I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s relay event,” Bjornsen said. “We have a collection of girls on the team racing really well, and a new relay squad to pick from, so I am excited to see what the coaches will pick, and what we can accomplish.”

RESULTS
Women’s 15k freestyle
Men’s 30k freestyle

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
*Same-day delayed broadcast

Sunday, Dec. 9
4:20 a.m. - Women’s team relay, Beitostølen, NOR - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:20 a.m. - Men’s team relay, Beitostølen, NOR - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
4:00 p.m. - Women’s team relay, Beitostølen, NOR - Olympic Channel-TV*

Ford Grabs Career-Best GS in Val d’Isere

By Tom Horrocks
December, 8 2018
Tommy Ford Val d'Isere
Tommy Ford finished sixth in Saturday's FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom in Val d'Isere, France. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alexis Boichard)

Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) posted a career-best result, finishing sixth in Saturday’s FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom in Val d’Isere, France. Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) was 25th.

Ford came out firing on all cylinders in the first run, finishing 11th in the first run as moderate snow blanketed the course. In the second run, he put the pedal to the medal and was awarded with the green light to move into the lead with 10 racers remaining. He was fourth fastest on the second run. Ford’s previous career-best with eighth-place in giant slalom last season in Are, Sweden. He was 15th last weekend in the giant slalom at Beaver Creek, Colorado.

"It feels nice," Ford reflected after his second run. "Honestly, I skied well and I'm just working on the progression. I've been consistent from run to run, a little more consistent on my second run from turn to turn...some good solid skiing." Going into today, Ford took an approach he's been using that has brought him consistent results over the last year: "to stay calm and let the waves come, and stay grounded and stick with it," and that's what he'll do moving forward, as he takes this momentum into Alta Badia - one of his favorite tracks on the circuit. 

A week after suffering a surprise defeat at Beaver Creek, Colorado, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher destroyed the field, posting a 1.18-second victory over Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, who found himself in a familiar place in second, followed by Sweden’s Matt Olsson in third. Saturday’s win was Hirscher’s 60th career World Cup victory, and he moved into the overall World Cup lead by 42 points over countryman Max Franz, who did not compete Saturday.

Up next, the men compete in slalom Sunday, in Val d’Isere.

RESULTS
Men’s giant slalom

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
*Same-day delayed broadcast


Sunday, Dec. 9
12:30 a.m. - Women’s super-G, St. Moritz, SUI - NBCSN-TV**
3:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom, run 1 - Val d’Isere, FRA - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
4:15 a.m. - Women’s parallel slalom qualifying, St. Moritz, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
6:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom, run 2 - Val d’Isere, FRA - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Women’s parallel slalom, St. Moritz, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. - Women’s parallel slalom, St. Moritz, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV
5:00 p.m. - Women’s parallel slalom, St. Moritz, SUI - NBCSN-TV*

Shiffrin Surprise - Super-G Victory No. 2

By Tom Horrocks
December, 8 2018
Shiffrin St. Moritz
Mikaela Shiffrin won her second-consecutive FIS Ski World Cup super-G in Saint Moritz, Switzerland, Saturday. (Getty Image/AFP - Fabrice Coffrini)

Sunshine and grippy snow feel like home for Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.), and so does the top step of the podium. For the 47th time in her career, Shiffrin enjoyed the view from the top step following her second-consecutive FIS Ski World Cup super-G victory in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Saturday.

Coming out of the 12th starting position, Shiffrin watched three starters in front of her DNF, and that proved a huge advantage as she squeaked-out a 0.28-second victory over Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami in second, with Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein in third.

 

“I did not expect to win today," Shiffrin said. "I just tried to execute the right plan based on what my coaches said, and my skis were perfect and the feeling was good. So it worked out in the end!"

“Two-tenths, that’s not a lot of time, but I’m on the right side of the green light today, so I can enjoy that,” she added.

While Shiffrin’s back-to-back super-G wins may have surprised a lot of people, it’s been a calculated effort for her and her team following a summer that included super-G and downhill training in Chile. But most importantly, her comfort level has increased with speed events.

“In Lake Louise, I felt good; my skis felt great,” she said. “The inspection in the morning we chose a really great line and then I was just going down the mountain the way that I wanted. I could do what I wanted with my skis. So I came to this race thinking ‘OK, I have this confidence and I know what I’m doing with my skis,’ now we can see if we can do the same tactic. But, it was tricky with some of the sections in this course. If you were off balance, then there was no chance. But with a good position, you were OK.” 

For Saturday's race, Shiffrin was attempting to approach it with the same mentality, "I was trying to forget that I won a race, and forget the expectations and just ski my best with the right line. It was a bit trickier today, there were some spots on the course so I tried to be a bit smarter. My coaches gave me a really good report - I was going bib 12, so that was also lucky...and I'm grateful that I had some time to think about the course and exactly what I wanted to do. When things are going in a good direction and I feel confident, then every race I feel better and better and my skiing can go from slalom to super-G to GS to downhill to city event [she giggles] and it kind of works. It doesn't always stay, and it's a tricky balance, but I'm trying to enjoy it and we'll see what happens."

While World Cup super-G victory No. two came in only her 10th-career super-G start, don’t expect Shiffrin to dive into a full speed schedule. “I’ll pick and choose which ones seem to be appropriate,” she said. 

Laurenne Ross (Bend. Ore.) was 27th and Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.) was 39th.

Shiffrin, the two-time defending overall World Cup Champion, extended her World Cup overall lead to 293 points over Michelle Gisin of Switzerland, and 324 points over Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinkel. Shiffrin also leads the World Cup super-G and slalom standings.

Up next, the women compete in a parallel slalom Sunday at St. Moritz.

RESULTS
Women’s super-G

WORLD CUP STANDINGS
Women's overall

AUDIO
Mikaela Shiffrin Victory Press Conference 

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST.
*Same-day delayed broadcast


Sunday, Dec. 8
12:30 a.m. - Women’s super-G, St. Moritz, SUI - NBCSN-TV**
3:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom, run 1 - Val d’Isere, FRA - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
4:15 a.m. - Women’s parallel slalom qualifying, St. Moritz, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
6:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom, run 2 - Val d’Isere, FRA - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Women’s parallel slalom, St. Moritz, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. - Women’s parallel slalom, St. Moritz, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV
5:00 p.m. - Women’s parallel slalom, St. Moritz, SUI - NBCSN-TV*
 

Shiffrin's Second SG Win

Blunck, Sigourney, Wise Find Podium at U.S Grand Prix

By Andrew Gauthier
December, 7 2018
Mens Podium at U.S Grand Prix
Men's freeski podium at U.S. Copper Grand Prix finals. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colo.) led a very successful day for the U.S. Freeski Team, winning the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe finals Friday at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Teammates David Wise (Reno, Nev.), and Brita Sigourney (Carmel, Calif.) also landed on the podium, each finishing third.

Blunk opened up a bag of tricks to take the first FIS Freeski World Cup halfpipe competition of the 2018-19 season, not only landing double corks in all four directions but landing a brand new trick he had been working on for quite a while. Referring to the right double cork 1440 on the last hit of his run, Blunck said, “It felt so good, I have been working on that trick for a couple years. Last year I wanted to do it at the Olympics, but I tore my obliques right before and realized there was no way I could do it. I was just in too much pain. I came out this year and started working with Peter Olenick in Austria and my goal was to just work this trick and leave. That’s exactly what I did and I’m stoked to see it pay off.”

Sigourney found herself in a situation where she had to battle back to take home any hardware. Fortunately, she had some experience in this position. Resembling her performance at the PyeongChang Olympic Games, Sigourney dropped in a clutch performance to finish on the podium.

“I wasn’t feeling great on my first two runs and ended back in that familiar place of being bumped into fourth right before my last run,” said Sigourney. “I just channeled everything I had and decided I would clean it up and do it how I know how. This is definitely the highest level of skiing at the Copper Grand Prix I have ever seen. Usually, everyone is just figuring out how to ski again, but that was pretty insane to watch the top two girls ski today. (Estonia’s Kelly) Sildaru especially, it’s going to be a battle all year. It’s inspiring to watch her ski and I hope I can step up to what she’s putting out right now.”

Wise continued to scrape off the early season rust and would settle with his first run score to claim third. “It’s been a bit of a struggle just to put runs down this week,” said Wise. “Today I came out firing and landed what I felt was my best run all week. I went for my switch right double cork 1080 twice, but just couldn’t quite put it together. I’m being pushed by other guys and it’s no longer a gimme if I land my run. I have to land my run and land it well. That’s where I want the sport to be, I want to see it go to the next level. I’m building momentum going into the season and I’m stoked on how today went. I need a little more competition mileage and I’m looking forward to Dew Tour next week with the modified course. It should be interesting.”

For the men, New Zealand’s Miguel Porteous finished second between Blunck and Wise while Sildaru topped the podium followed by Canada’s Cassie Sharpe in second for the women. The entire field put on a show for a great crowd at Copper Mountain.

The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain continues with the men and women’s snowboard halfpipe final on Saturday. Be sure to tune in tot eh networks of NBC to catch all the action.

TRICK LIST
Men’s Freeski

  1. Aaron Blunck - Switch Left Double Cork 900 Japan, Switch Right Double 1080 Safety, Left Double Flare 1080 Safety, Right Double 1440 Tail.

  2. Miguel Porteous - Left Double 1260 Mute, Right Double 1260 Safety, Left 1080 Tail, Switch Left Alley-Oop, Double Flare 900 Safety, Switch Right Alley-Oop Flare 540 Safety

  3. David Wise - Switch Right 720 Japan, Left Double 1260 Tail, Right 1080 Tail, Switch Left 720 Tail, Right Double 1260 Mute.

Women’s Freeski

  1. Kelly Sildaru - Left 900 Tail, Right 900 Mute, Left 540 Mute, Left Alley-Oop 540 Tail, Right Alley-Oop Tail, Right 720 Tail, Switch Left 900 Safety.

  2. Cassie Sharpe - Right 900 Tail, Left 900 Safety, Right 720 Safety, Switch Left 360 Mute, Straight Air Truck Driver, Left 1080 Tail.

  3. Brita Sigourney - Left Alley-Oop Japan, Left 900 Tail, Left Alley-Oop 540 Safety, Left 540 Safety, Right 720 Mute.

RESULTS
Men’s freeski halfpipe final
Women’s freeski halfpipe final

START LISTS
Men’s snowboard halfpipe finals
Women’s snowboard halfpipe finals

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
**Next-day broadcast

FREESKI
Saturday, Dec. 8

12:30 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Copper Mountain, Colo. - NBCSN-TV**

SNOWBOARD
Saturday, Dec. 8

1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Copper Mountain, Colo. - NBCSports.com & NBC Sports Gold

Sunday, Dec. 9
12:30 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Copper Mountain, Colo. - NBC**

EVENT SCHEDULE
*Subject to change
Dec. 7: 11:00 a.m. - 12:40 p.m. (MST) - Freeski Finals
Dec. 8: 11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. (MST) - Snowboard Finals