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Nordic Combined, Ski Jumping Junior World Championships Team Announced

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 15 2019
Jared Schumate
Jared Shumate leads the list of 19 athletes selected to compete in the FIS Nordic Junior World Championships Jan. 20-27 in Lahti, Finland. (U.S. SKi & Snowboard)

A team of 15 junior nordic combined and ski jumping athletes were named by U.S. Ski & Snowboard and USA Nordic to compete in the FIS Nordic Junior World Championships Jan. 20-27 in Lahti, Finland. The event will feature the debut of women’s nordic combined as a medal event at Junior Worlds, proof of the quick progress the sport is making towards hopeful future Olympic inclusion.

The team includes four men and four women on the jumping team, with five men and two women qualifying for the nordic combined team.

Selection was made from a series of qualifying events, including international events as well as world rankings through January 13.

Jared Shumate (Park City, Utah) is the unchallenged leader of nordic combined team. Shumate started the season with sixth and seventh places in the Steamboat Springs Continental Cup, both personal bests.

“I expect that he will fight for the top 10 in both individual competitions,” says USA Nordic coach Tomas Matura 

The rest of the nordic combined athletes will be competing in their first ever Junior World Championships. It’s a young team which will grow from the experience of competing on the world stage.

Tess Arnone (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) competed in last year’s exhibition event in Kandersteg, Switzerland. She will be looking to build on her 29th place last year and gain valuable experience as the lone U.S. entrant in the first women’s medal event. Arnone is currently ranked 10th in the Continental Cup standings – showing a very positive start to her season. Also, qualifying is Annika Malacinski (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) who had progressed quickly as a nordic combined skier after taking up jumping less than two years ago.

The women’s ski jumping team has shown great progress over the past year. The squad is young with some great up-and-coming talent. All four of the women’s team members qualified with their results at the Continental Cup level earlier this winter. 

“Last winter we had two athletes in the top 30 and our highest finish since 2013, Logan Sankey at20th. This year we have the potential to see all of these girls finish in the top 30,” said USA Nordic coach Blake Hughes.

Annika Belshaw (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Paige Jones (Park City, Utah) enter the new year ranked 10th and 13th respectively in the FIS Cup standings.

Andrew Urlaub (Eau Claire, Wis.), Decker Dean (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Greyson Scharffs (Park City, Utah) are all members of the USA Nordic Junior National Team, which was formed for the first time this past summer. They have progressed extremely well. Canden Wilkinson, the final member of the team recently moved away from nordic combined to specialize in jumping.

“He surprised us all with securing his spot for the Junior Worlds,” says USA Nordic coach Jan Druzina. “Our goal this season is to show consistency and good jumps in the competitions. A Top 30 finish is realistic, but we know surprises are always a possibility.”

Dean, Urlaub, and Scharffs are all coming off great finishes at the Park City, Utah FIS Cups. This should give them confidence as they head towards Lahti. 

The Junior World Championships will be held on the same venue that was used for the 2017 Nordic World Championships. The first event for Nordic combined will come on January 23 with jumping beginning on January 24.


Men’s Nordic Combined Team

  • Bennett Gamber, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Beckett Ledger, Lake Placid, N.Y., New York Ski Education Foundation
  • Niklas Malacinski, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Evan Nicholas, Lyme, N.H., Ford K. Sayre Memorial Ski Council
  • Jared Shumate, Park City, Utah, Park City Ski and Snowboard

Women’s Nordic Combined Team

  • Tess Arnone, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Annika Malacinski, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

Men’s Ski Jumping Team

  • Decker Dean, 18, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Greyson Scharffs, 17, Park City, Utah, Park City Ski and Snowboard
  • Andrew Urlaub, 17, Eau Claire, Wis., Flying Eagles Ski Club
  • Canden Wilkinson, 16, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

Women’s Ski Jumping Team,

  • Annika Belshaw, 16, Steamboat Springs, Colo, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Paige Jones, 16, Park City, Utah, Park City Ski and Snowboard
  • Anna Hoffmann, 18, Madison, Wis., Blackhawk Ski Club
  • Samantha Macuga, 17, Park City, Utah, Park City Ski and Snowboard

Timberline Resort and Ski Area Announced as Official U.S. Ski & Snowboard Training Site through 2023

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 15 2019

U.S. Ski & Snowboard has announced today that Timberline Lodge and Ski Area will serve as an Official Training Site for American ski and snowboard athletes through January 2023. This agreement will see athletes from U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the United States, training at Timberline Lodge and Ski Area through the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China, and beyond, providing invaluable snow access as athletes train to reach podiums.

As the only North American ski resort to stay open 12 months a year, Timberline will provide consistent, world-class access to snow for elite athletes on the alpine, moguls, halfpipe, slopestyle and snowboardcross teams. Timberline will play an integral role in the training of many future U.S. Ski & Snowboard Olympians.

“This partnership with Timberline provides our teams with the benefit of easy access to world-class on-snow training throughout the summer. Timberline is well-known for its great conditions throughout the year, and is so accessible for our teams, allowing them to gain critical on-snow training time at multiple points throughout the summer. Training at Timberline is a mainstay for our athletes, supporting the summer training they need, and is a critical component of our drive to be Best in the World,” commented U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Chief of Sport, Luke Bodensteiner.

The partnership with Timberline will give U.S. Ski & Snowboard a solid basis to work from in laying down training strategy for the next four-year cycle in preparation of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Access to a domestic, year-round snow surface is invaluable for athletes competing in seasonal sports including ski and snowboard disciplines.

As an official U.S. Ski & Snowboard training site, Timberline will host an estimated 160 U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes and personnel across 45 days each year. Because Timberline has extensive terrain and year-round snow coverage, the resort is ideal for setting up the many courses necessary for training multiple sports disciplines. The alpine team will have access to two lanes, primarily slalom with some terrain build as conditions allow. The moguls team will have access to flats, a bumps lane and a jump. The freeski and snowboard team will have access to the halfpipe as constructed, an airbag, park jumpline and rails, one 55-65 foot jump as constructed (with the option for more as space and snow allows) and access to three variations of down rails and six other rail features – side and straight on entrance as constructed.

In addition to providing training for national team athletes, Timberline is also instrumental in supporting U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s talent development pipeline. Each year the U.S. Snowboard Team’s Project Gold program brings together the top junior athletes in the country in snowboarding and snowboardcross for an annual progressive talent development camp. The top juniors in the country, selected from Hole Shot and USASA Nationals, get the opportunity to train with the U.S. Snowboard Team’s national team coaching staff. Three development camps for Alpine are held at Timberline each year: Women’s Development Team, Men’s Development Team and U16 National Development. These camps focus on skills development in slalom and giant slalom.

“Timberline has a long and storied history as a summer training site for U.S. Ski & Snowboard. From Tony Sailer, Billy Kidd, Steve and Phil Mahre to Ted Ligety; from Cindy Nelson and Picabo Street to Julia Mancuso, Mikaela Shiffrin, Red Gerard, Shaun White and Maddie Bowman - all have trained at Timberline in the summer, as well as virtually all other U.S. Olympic Alpine athletes," commends Timberline's president, Jeff Kohnstamm, "We are very proud of this tradition and have worked with U.S. Ski & Snowboard to formalize our relationship. This will further meet the needs of U.S. athletes and promote the world-class summer ski and snowboard training that is Timberline’s Palmer Snowfield."

Recharged Shiffrin Masters Kronplatz Giant Slalom

By Tom Horrocks
January, 15 2019

A rested, re-charged and pasta-fueled Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) finally mastered the one giant slalom course that has given her fits the past two years to pick up FIS Ski World Cup victory number 53 in Kronplatz, Italy, Tuesday.

“This is maybe the most difficult slope that we ski on the women’s side,” Shiffrin said of the Erta Trail, where she finally won her first World Cup GS on Italian snow. “It’s super cool for us to come here because it’s pushing the limits and showing that we can do this technical kind of skiing. For me, it was nice today because I didn’t have good results here last year, or the year before, so it was a bit of redemption on this track.”

Starting bib 5, Shiffrin came out fired up in the first run, building a 1.39-second lead over Tessa Worley of France, and 1.42 seconds over Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova. Worley posted the fastest second-run time to move into the lead ahead of Italy’s Marta Bassino, leaving Shiffrin as the final racer on course.

“The second run with the lead, I was trying to ski it as if I didn’t have a lead,” said Shiffrin, who took a 1.21-second win over Worley. Bassino was third at 1.57 seconds. “The surface was perfect today and it was really good to be aggressive. It’s an amazing trail and I really wanted to get to the finish, but do it the right way, so I’m really happy.”

With her victory, Shiffrin leads Vlhova by 496 points in the overall World Cup standings, and she moved atop the giant slalom standings as well, 10 points ahead of Worley. Shiffrin also leads the slalom and super-G World Cup standings.

Nina O’Brien (Denver, Colo.), who scored her first World Cup points earlier this season in slalom at Killington, Vermont, returned to the World Cup in Kronplatz and picked up her first World Cup giant slalom points, and finished 26th.  

“I think today, it was really nice to show myself that it didn’t take some magic skiing that I’ve never done before,” said O’Brien. “I felt solid in my skiing and that was good enough today, so I think that gives me, and hopefully the other girls a little bit of confidence for the next races.”

Up next, the women’s World Cup moves on to Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Friday with a rescheduled downhill from last week’s canceled race in St. Anton, Austria. Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) is scheduled to make her return to World Cup action Friday. Downhill racing will also take place Saturday in Cortina, followed by super-G Sunday. Shiffrin has indicated she will not start either of the two downhills, but as the World Cup super-G leader, she may be in the start house for Sunday’s super-G.

Women’s giant slalom

Women’s World Cup overall

All times EST
Preliminary schedule, subject to change
*Same-day delayed broadcast
**Next-day broadcast

Friday, Jan. 18
4:30 a.m. - Men’s alpine combined run 1 - Wengen, SUI - & NBC Sports Gold
6:00 a.m. - Women’s downhill - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. - Men’s alpine combined run 2 - Wengen, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 p.m. - Women’s downhill - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - NBCSN*

Saturday, Jan. 19
4:30 a.m. - Women’s downhill - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - Olympic Channel-TV, & NBC Sports Gold
6:30 a.m. - Men’s downhill - Wengen, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, & NBC Sports Gold

Sunday, Jan. 20
4:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 1 - Wengen, SUI - & NBC Sports Gold
5:00 a.m. - Women’s super-G - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - Olympic Channel-TV, & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 2 - Wengen, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 p.m. - Men’s downhill - Wengen, SUI - NBCSN**
8:00 p.m. - Women’s downhill - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - NBCSN**
9:00 p.m. - Women’s super-G - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - NBCSN*

All streams are available via desktop (, as well as mobile, tablet and connected television platforms. The NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Gold app and Olympic Channel app are available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Orig3n in Multi-Year Partnership

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 14 2019
U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Orig3n in Multi-Year Partnership

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the USA, and Orig3n, Inc., the leader in lifestyle genetic testing, are excited to announce Orig3n as the Official Genetics Partner of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team. A pioneer in genetics and regenerative medicine research, Orig3n arms individuals with knowledge of their minds and bodies at a genetic level. As the Official Genetics Partner of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Orig3n will help some of the world’s top athletes understand how to harness the power of their genetics in their journeys to podiums at the Olympics, World Championships and other events.

As part of the new agreement, Orig3n will work with the experts at U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s sports science lab at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Center of Excellence headquarters in Park City, Utah, helping U.S. Ski & Snowboard develop specialized programs tailored to each team member’s biology, in order to improve each athlete’s training and performance.

Fans of U.S. Ski & Snowboard will also have the opportunity to engage with Orig3n through domestic event activations. 

The partnership will officially kick off at the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships, presented by Toyota, to be held in Utah Feb. 1-10, 2019.

“We are excited to welcome Orig3n into our family of partners,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Dan Barnett. “Orig3n’s mission - to create a healthier future by helping us understand our bodies and minds on a genetic level - falls directly in line with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s mission of creating the greatest snow sports athletes in the world. With the integration of Orig3n’s genetic tests into our sport science lab, we will be able to give athletes an edge in their training and performance, allowing them to better understand their bodies’ potential strengths and areas for development. Athletes, trainers and coaches will be able to make more proactive nutrition and fitness choices, helping us continue to push the boundary of performance in our sports,”

“We couldn’t be more excited or proud to be working with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team to enhance the training and development of U.S. Olympic athletes,” said Robin Y. Smith, CEO of Orig3n. “This partnership is a great example of how genetic science can be used by everyone to enhance aspects of their health and wellness. In this case specifically, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is adopting cutting edge technology and innovative approaches in partnership with Orig3n to build the best training and development plan tailored to the athlete’s inherent abilities.” 

Caldwell, Kern Fourth In Dresden Photo Finish

By Reese Brown
January, 13 2019
Team Sprint
Julia Kern (bib 4) works her way through the field in the women’s FIS Cross Country team Sprint in Dresden, Germany, Sunday. (Getty Images/Picture Alliance - Sebastian Kahnert)

In a race where the second, third and fourth place teams all had the same official time, the U.S. team of Sophie Caldwell (Stratton Mountain, Vt.) and Julia Kern (Waltham, Mass.) placed fourth in the FIS Cross Country World Cup team sprint in Dresden, Germany, Sunday. Sweden II and Norway were the other nations in the same time with Norway edging out the U.S. for third.  The race was won by Sweden I, with Sweden II in second.

“That was a super fun day out there,” said Caldwell. “Julia skied amazingly, and it was so cool for our team to be right in the mix. I tried to pace myself to catch the top three teams at the beginning of my last leg because I didn’t want to implode, and once I caught them, I tried to conserve as much energy as possible.

“I learned from yesterday that it’s better to be patient than be out on your own fighting the wind, so I gave one big final push in the finishing stretch and unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough for the podium,” Caldwell added.

“I think my race went well, I skied big, confident and aggressive so I could hold my position,” said Kern. “My goal was to stay out of trouble today and I achieved that which I was happy about. There was a lot of jostling around with it being such a flat and fast course with a huge head wind, so it was a constant battle to hold your position in the draft and not get tangled up.”

The second U.S. women’s team of Ida Sargent (Craftsbury, Vt.) and Hannah Halvorsen (Truckee, Calif.) did not advance beyond the semifinals.

On the men’s side the U.S. team of Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wa.) and Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, Vt.) did not advance beyond the semifinals. The men’s race was won by Norway I, followed by Norway II and Russia I in third.

The World Cup season continues Jan. 19-20 in Otepaa, Estonia, with a men and women’s sprint, and a women’s 10k and men’s 15k individual start.

Men’s Team Sprint Finals

Women’s Team Sprint Finals

All times EST

Saturday, Jan. 19
6:55 a.m. - Men and women’s sprint - Otepaa, EST - & NBC Sports Gold
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s sprint - Otepaa, EST - Olympic Channel-TV*

Sunday, Jan. 20
3:30 a.m. - Women’s 10k interval - Otepaa, EST - & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Men’s 15k interval - Otepaa, EST - & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 p.m. - Women’s 10k interval - Otepaa, EST - Olympic Channel-TV*

Kauf Third in Calgary; Growth From Entire U.S. Team

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 12 2019
Perrine Laffont, Yulia Galysheva and Jaelin Kauf
Perrine Laffont (France) came in first, Yulia Galysheva (Kazakhstan) came in second and Jaelin Kauf finished third. Athletes were awarded cowboy hats in honor of Calgary's nickname "Cow Town." (Matt Gnoza - U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

It was a successful return to competition for the U.S. Moguls Team in Calgary “Cow Town,” Canada, at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park. The U.S. had four men and four women qualify for finals: Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.), Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.), Olivia Giaccio (Redding, Conn.) and Nessa Dziemian (East Hampstead, N.H.) on the women’s side and Brad Wilson (Butte, Mont.), Casey Andringa (Boulder, Colo.), Hunter Bailey (Vail, Colo.) and Jesse Andringa (Boulder, Colo.) on the men’s.

Jaelin Kauf leads the Americans, skiing into a third place, just behind Perrine Laffont (France) in first and Yulia Galysheva (Kazakhstan) in second. “I had a lot of fun out here; the course was really nice, and we had great conditions. It was fun to put down three solid runs today. I made some mistakes, specifically top air, but I’m happy with how I’m skiing and competing, so stoked to end up on podium again,” Kauf commented on today’s competition.

Kauf sits behind Laffont in the FIS rankings at second by a mere three points. “Expect her back in yellow when we head back to Canada after this coming World Cup in Lake Placid,” says Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza. “The fight for yellow bib will be down to wire this season between Jaelin and Perrine. Jaelin is hungry for it, she maintains being seconds faster than rest of the field so she’s in contention for every event.”

Overall the women skied strong, “I’m really happy with how women skied in qualifications,” says Gnoza. “Olivia qualified in third and Jaelin in second. They’re getting their job done. Tess didn’t have the finals run she wanted but she made some corrections in her skiing to make it to the super finals, to finish sixth, which was impressive. Nessa has been skiing consistent top to bottom runs, skiing very scorable stuff.”

Olivia Giaccio continues to push the boundaries of moguls with her run, which has the highest degree of difficulty for the women of the World Cup circuit. It will pay off, in a big way, down the road. Hannah Soar (Killington, Vt.) came back from significant ankle injury, putting down some good runs and earning World Cup points. Regional skier Alex Jenson (Park City Ski & Snowboard Club) continues to ski strong and is on the brink of top breaking into the top-16 more consistently.

On the men’s side, Mikael Kingsbury (Canada) topped the podium, followed by Walter Wallberg (Sweden) in second and Daichi Hara (Japan) in third. Hunter Bailey achieved a career best with a fifth-place finish, skiing in his career-second World Cup finals. “Hunter was phenomenal and consistent in finals. I can’t be prouder for him and how he’s grown and trusted the process,” says Gnoza.  

Jesse Andringa had a career-defining moment, skiing in his first World Cup finals, finishing 13th. “It was pretty crazy making the final and skiing against the top dogs - such a fun and exciting experience,” said Andringa. “I had a small mistake and didn’t end up as well as I’d hoped but it’s exciting to see that I’m capable of skiing with all of these hot shots.”

Bailey and Andringa both made big statements today. “Those guys are going home with significantly lower bib numbers and significantly higher confidence,”Gnoza comments. Bailey cut his bib number from 35 down to 16 and Andrindga went from 40 to 22.

Casey Andringa continues to ski well. "He is developing into one of the top World Cup athletes for sure," said Gnoza.

The growth in performance from the national team goes deeper. Kalman Heims (Killington Mountain School), earned his first World Cup points with a 29th place. George McQuinn (Winter Park Competition Center Team), although didn’t have the run he hoped for, learned a lot about World Cup level skiing, which will pay off in the long run.

The first World Cup event of the New Year was a proving ground for the U.S. Team. “Having eight in finals is something I’m pretty proud of. We want to see more podiums, but part of the process is to get there first. We had a big step accomplishing that here in Calgary.”

Women's Moguls
Men's Moguls

U.S. Snowboard Team Convenes at 2019 Laax Open

By Andrew Gauthier
January, 12 2019
Chase JOsey in Laax
Chase Josey at the 2017 Laax World Cup. (FIS Snowboard - Miha Matavz)

Seven women and 18 men make up the U.S. Snowboard Team roster of athletes going head to head with the world’s snowboarding elite in slopestyle and halfpipe at the FIS Snowboard World Cup Laax Open in Switzerland, Jan. 15-19.

Entries include 19 different countries spanning five continents. The last time U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes were in Laax was in 2017. This year marks the fourth season of the Laax Open in its current form, though the resort has been a host of memorable top-level competition dating all the way back to 1993. According to president & CEO of Laax Ski Resort Reto Gurtner “The Laax Open brings all snowboarders together: the top riders, the amateurs and rising stars, the next generation of jibbers and all the boarder families. It’s a mountain lifestyle affair!”

The 2017 Laax Open did not disappoint with incredible performances in the halfpipe from U.S. Snowboard Team members Chase Josey (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.). The conditions were tough to beat with clear skies, no wind and a laser cut halfpipe. Josey arguably had the breakout performance of his career where he claimed his first ever World Cup victory with style and technicality. Josey landed five consecutive doubles, two of which were back-to-back switch doubles. Kim was also on one winning with a run that was almost exclusively switch and included one frontside 1080. Since 2017, Josey and Kim have gradually increased their amplitude, run difficulty, and experience. Knowing that Josey and Kim are clearly comfortable in Laax, this year’s competition is set up to be quite the spectacle.

"I’m looking forward to the Laax Open because is consistently one of the best halfpipes in the world and really allows everyone to showcase their best riding,” said Josey. “This is my first year back at Laax since winning in 2017, so I’m excited to go out there, try some runs and aim at the podium again.”

Josey and Kim will be joined by an all-star cast including U.S. Snowboard Pro Team athletes, Jake Pates (Eagle, Colo.), Gabe Ferguson (Bend, Ore.), Taylor Gold (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Ryan Wachendorfer (Edwards, Colo.). In addition, U.S. Rookie Team members competing include Chase Blackwell (Longmont, Colo.), Lucas Foster (Telluride, Colo.), Jack Coyne (Edwards, Colo.), Jason Wolle (Winter Park, Colo.) and American Josh Bowman (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.).

For the women, Kim is leading the charge with U.S. Snowboard teammates Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, Calif.) and 2018 Toyota U.S. Copper Grand Prix and Dew Tour medalist Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, Calif.). U.S. Rookie Team member Tessa Maud (Carlsbad, Calif.) and American Zoe Kalapos (Vail, Colo.) will also be competing.

For slopestyle, U.S. Snowboard Team heavy hitters for both the men and the women are making their way to Laax including Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.), who is fresh off a second place in slopestyle at the Kreischberg World Cup slopestyle in Austria, and a second place at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado. Joining Corning in Laax is U.S Pro Team members Judd Henkes (La Jolla, Calif.), Nik Baden (Steamboat Springs, Calif.), Lyon Farrell (Haiku, Hawaii), and Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska). In addition, U.S. Rookie Team member Sean Fitzsimons (Hood River, Ore.) and Americans Grant Giller (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Will Healy (Riverside, Conn.) are set to compete.

For the women, coming off a second-place at the Dew Tour in slopestyle, Julia Marino (Westport, Conn.) will lead the way for the ladies with teammate Hailey Langland (San Clemente, Calif.).

With a stacked roster heading into the 2019 Laax Open World Cup, the current FIS World Cup standings are bound to see experience some change. In halfpipe, with the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper and the Secret Garden, China, World Cups in the books, Toby Miller (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) is ranked sixth and Josey is ranked eighth. To catch points leaders Jan Scherrer of Switzerland in first and Australian Scotty James in second, Josey will need to step up. If his past performances in Laax are any representation, this is not far fetched by any means. For the women, Kim is fourth and Mastro in sixth chasing the leader Cai Xuetong from China.

Currently, two Americans sit in the top 10 of the World Cup slopestyle standings following the Kreischberg, Austria, World Cup. Corning is fifth and Stassel is seventh behind slopestyle World Cup leader Takeru Otsuka from Japan. Miyabi Onitsuka from Japan leads the slopestyle standings for the ladies followed by Reira Iwabuchi of Japan and Austria’s Anna Gasser ranked third.

Men’s slopestyle
Women’s slopestyle
Men’s halfpipe
Women’s halfpipe

*Subject to change
*All times EST

Friday, Jan. 18
6:00 a.m. - Men and women’s slopestyle - Laax, SUI - & NBC Sports Gold
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s slopestyle - Laax, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV*

Saturday, Jan. 19
8:00 a.m. - Men and women’s parallel giant slalom - Rogla, SLO - & NBC Sports Gold
11:30 a.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe - Laax, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, & NBC Sports Gold

Hall, Gu, First, Second in Font Romeu

By Andrew Gauthier
January, 12 2019

Alex Hall (Park City, Utah) took the victory and Eileen Gu (San Francisco, Calif.) claimed her first-ever FIS Freeski World Cup podium with a second-place in Font Romeu, France, Saturday.

“I’m really stoked we got some amazing weather today after a tough week of wind,” said Hall. “Everyone killed it today and I was hyped to be a part of it and land on top!”

Gu also shared her excitement about her performance. “I'm over the moon after my first World Cup podium," she said. "I celebrated after getting invited to compete amongst my role models and didn't even dare dream that I would be able to podium alongside longtime idol and Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hoefflin. I am beyond happy to have been able to land a run I was proud of."

Gu had a smile on her face all day long and led the way with strong performances across the board from U.S. Freeski women. Caroline Claire (Manchester Center, Vt.) finished fifth and Maggie Voisin (Whitefish, Mont.) finished seventh out of a field of 18 athletes. Gu shared the podium with PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hoefflin and Giulia Tanno from Switzerland who finished in first and third place respectively.

For the men, Hall earned his second World Cup slopestyle victory of his career with two very strong runs, both scoring in the 90s. Coming fresh off an urban filming trip, Hall took those skills to the rail section displaying great technicality. Earlier this season, Hall showed his big air prowess placing second at the Modena, Italy, World Cup big air and then proceeded to land on the podium at the Dew Tour slopestyle competition in Breckenridge, Colorado, with another second-place finish. Phillipe Langevin of Canada finished in second-place and Andri Ragettli of Switzerland closed out the podium in third-place.

Hall was not the only American skiing well in Font Romeu, Mac Forehand (Winhall, Vt.), who recently earned his first World Cup podium at the Stubai, Austria, World Cup in slopestyle finished fifth. Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) was 12th, and William Borm (Chaska, Minn.) 15th.

The FIS World Cup standings have been shaken up following competition in Font Romeu. For the women, Eileen Gu jumps in front of Estonian prodigy Kelly Sildaru to the number two spot behind Hoefflin, the current World Cup leader. Voisin sits in sixth, Claire in eighth and Krass in 13th. For the men, current World Cup standings have three U.S. Freeski Team members in the top 10 including Hall in the top spot, Forehand in second, and Borm (Chaska, Minn.) in seventh.

Freeski slopestyle World Cup competition will continue for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes in Seiseralm, Italy, Jan. 25-27. Shortly after, the world’s top freeskiers will descend on Park City, Utah for the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships Feb. 1-10. Tune into NBC for all the action.

Men’s Slopestyle
Women’s Standings

Men’s Slopestyle
Women’s Slopestyle

Corning Second at Kreischberg World Cup

By Andrew Gauthier
January, 12 2019
Chris Corning on the podium in Kreischberg
Chris Corning (left) celebrates on the podium with Mons Roisland of Norway and Hiroaki Kunitake of Japan following the FIS Snowboard World Cup slopestyle in Kreischberg, Austria, Saturday. (Getty Images/AFP - Erwin Scheriau)

Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.) claimed his first World Cup slopestyle podium of the season at the Kreischberg, Austria, FIS Snowboard World Cup. It all came down to the last run for Corning and after slight bobbles on his first two runs, he was able to put it down and close out his final run with a very stylish cab 1260 Nosegrab in front of a high energy Austrian crowd.

“I am really happy with my result,” said Corning. “It was a tough contest and not landing my first or second run didn’t help. I was able to pull it all together on the last run. I just had to regroup and get pumped up and make sure not to give up on myself.”

U.S Snowboard Team athlete Judd Henkes (La Jolla, Calif) fought his way back after not making it straight through to finals from the qualifying round. Henkes had to compete in the semi-finals Saturday morning where he finished fourth, claiming the last spot on the finals start list. Henkes finished sixth in the finals with Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska) ninth. Norwegian Mons Roisland won the event and Hiroaki Kunitake of Japan closed out the podium in third place.

Currently two Americans sit in the top 10 of the World Cup slopestyle standings following the Kreischberg event. Corning is fifth and Stassel holds onto the seventh position behind slopestyle World Cup leader Takeru Otsuka from Japan.

FIS World Cup slopestyle competition will continue Jan.15-19 in Laax, Switzerland, followed by Seiser Alm, Italy, Jan. 24-26. After that, the world’s top snowboarders will descend on Park City, Utah for the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships Feb. 1-10. Tune into NBC for all the action.

“I am feeling good heading into the World Champs,” said Corning. “I think I will get the invite and I look forward to really showing what I’ve got and hopefully bringing home some World Championship medals in slope and big air on home turf.”

Men’s Slopestyle

Men’s Slopestyle

Ford Solid Sixth in Adelboden GS

By Megan Harrod
January, 12 2019
Ford Solid Sixth in Adelboden
Tommy Ford shed his signature beard - and some hundies along with it - skiing to a solid sixth place in Adelboden, Switzerland. (Alexis Boichard-Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) continues to show consistency and strength in his skiing, with a sixth place in Adelboden, Switzerland on the legendary - and extremely challenging and technical - Chuenisbärgli slope on Saturday.

On what is regarded one of the most difficult giant slalom tracks on the FIS Ski World Cup tour, Ford displayed a work of art, laying down beautiful arcs and some very composed and confident skiing in the first run, to land in fifth place, .39 seconds off of the leader, Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen. Despite a “one cheek sneak” hip check on a right-ski turn about three-quarters of the way down, Ford remained calm and even made up five tenths in the last split, where many athletes looked exhausted and out of gas.  

Starting 26th in the second run, Ford knew his first podium was within reach and took his classic TFord zen moment in the start house before kicking out of the gate with a .05 advantage and guns blazing. Thomas Fanara of France had already laid down a super fast and solid run, but despite some small mistakes, Ford was able to make up some time on Fanara from the second to third split, with a mere .27 second deficit going into the final pitch. Though Ford’s legs were likely screaming, he held it together and crossed the finish line in third, .75 seconds off of Fanara’s pace.

The stage was set for another massive duel between none other than first-run leader Kristoffersen and Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, while Hirscher was determined to establish himself as the king of giant slalom once again, and he did just that. Kristoffersen finished in second, by a whopping .71 seconds, while Fanara rounded out the podium in third, 1.04 seconds back.

"It was a good fight...kind of a rattly second run," Ford said. "My legs - I could feel them there - you probably saw my head bobbing a couple of times. The weather was all over the place, but all in all, I'm keeping it consistent...the speed is there."

Adelboden’s Chuenisbärgli slope has not necessarily been a favorite of Ford’s in the past. In fact, his previous best result at Adelboden was 19th place in 2017. Of his career six starts on the track, he has DNF’d three times. Ford’s sixth-place finish at Adelboden is further proof that he is skiing more balanced and consistent than ever, in what has been the most successful season of his career.

In six starts so far this season - five giant slalom and one parallel giant slalom - Ford has finished no higher than 16th place. In giant slalom, his worst finish has been 14th - both at Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria and Beaver Creek, Colorado. His other three finishes?! Sixth in Adelboden, fifth in Alta Badia, Italy, and sixth in Val d’Isere, France. Ford now sits in ninth in the giant slalom title race. In what is an incredibly deep and talented men's tech field, these results are nothing short of impressive. 

The giant slalom skiers have a little bit of a break between now and their next race in Garmisch, Germany on February 3rd, so Ford will take time to rest and recharge. "Sleep a little, lift a little, see Laurenne for a couple of days, and maybe do some super-G (FIS races)," Ford commented in regards to what's next, after his second run Saturday. 

For the Americans, Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) also finished in the points, landing in 16th. "First run was pretty bad, especially on the bottom here," Ligety reflected. "Second run was a step in the right direction, but there's still a lot of work to be done...just kind of stuck in this little vicious cycle, so I need to break that right now." Ligety will head to Wengen, Switzerland next for the alpine combined. "My slalom has been feeling good, so for combined, things could look good. Then, we're having a little break and then going to train for a couple of days before Garmisch."

Ligety has been dealing with a little bit of a nagging back issue since the giant slalom in Alta Badia, Italy, "It's the same area on my back...I don't have radiating sciatica down my leg or anything, I just popped a disc out pretty good - so I'm just dealing with that. It feels OK...definitely on the vulnerable side," Ligety said. 

Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.), Nick Krause (Northboro, Mass.), Brian McLaughlin (Topsfield, Mass) and River Radamus (Edwards, Colo.) also started but did not qualify for a second run. Up next, the men will ski slalom on Sunday in Adelboden.

Men’s giant slalom

Men’s World Cup overall
Men’s World Cup giant slalom

All times EST

Sunday, Jan. 13
4:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 1 - Adelboden, SUI - & NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 2 - Adelboden, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, & NBC Sports Gold