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Holland, Dierdorff 1-2 in Veysonnaz Snowboardcross

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 17 2018
Nate Holland and Mick Dierdorff celebrate their 1-2 finish in Saturday's FIS Snowboardcross World Cup Veysonnaz, Switzerland. (FIS)
Nate Holland and Mick Dierdorff celebrate their 1-2 finish in Saturday's FIS Snowboardcross World Cup Veysonnaz, Switzerland. (FIS)

Nate Holland (Sandpoint, Idaho) and Mick Dierdorff (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) finished first and second respectively in the final FIS World Cup snowboardcross of the season Saturday in Veysonnaz, Switzerland.

The victory as Holland’s seventh career World Cup win and his first in more than two years. Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Mich.) was 14th; Jake Vedder (Pinckney, Mich.) was 22nd; Hagen Kearney (Telluride, Colo.) was 32nd; and Jonathan Cheever (Seagus, Mass.) was 33rd.

The World Cup snowboardcross season wraps up Sunday in Veysonnaz with a team event.

RESULTS
Men’s snowboardcross
Men's World Cup snowboardcross final standings
 

Holland, Dierdorff Go 1-2.

U.S. & Snowboard Offers Live Stream of Supergirl Pro Series

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 17 2018
Supergirl Pro

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, in partnership with Toyota, will offer live streaming of the Supergirl Pro Series snowboardcross and halfpipe competition March 17-18 at Bear Mountain, Calif.

The event is designed to not only showcase the best female snowboarders on the planet, but also to also serve as a developmental contest to help locate, nurture, mentor and encourage the next generation of aspiring snowboarding pros.

The snowboardcross event will be led by 10-time X Games Gold Medalist and four-time U.S. Olympian, Lindsey Jacobellis, as the voice of the event and its inspirational leader.

The half-pipe competition will be hosted by three-time U.S. Olympian and Olympic Gold Medalist, Hannah Teter.

Live Stream Supergirl Pro Series

Corning Wins World Cup Slopestyle Title

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 17 2018
Chris Corning won the final FIS World Cup slopestyle of the season Saturday and the World Cup slopestyle crystal globe. (FIS)
Chris Corning won the final FIS World Cup slopestyle of the season Saturday and the World Cup slopestyle crystal globe. (FIS)

Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.) took the victory and led three Americans into the top six in Saturday’s final FIS Snowboard World Cup slopestyle of the season in Seiseralm, Italy. With his fourth career World Cup victory, Corning also wrapped up the World Cup slopestyle title. Lyon Ferrell (Haika, Hawaii) picked up his first career World Cup podium in third.

Corning dominated the men’s event with a superb first run including a solid rail line featuring a backside 270 in 270 out, a switch backblunt to 50-50 to backside 360 out, frontside 180 to switch backside 360 out, followed by an equally impressive kicker game with a switch backside 900, a backside triple cork 1440 and a frontside 1080 to finish things off.

“I’m super stoked,” said Corning, who squeaked past Olympic Champion Red Gerard by 50 points to win the slopestyle crystal globe. “That’s why I came to Italy: to get this globe. I had to win today to make it happen, and I did. I’m also happy that Lyon (Farrell) stomped his run, and I’m stoked to share the podium with him.”

"I’ve been coming to Seiseralm for the last three years, and I just really enjoy it here," said Ferrell. "I was nervous for sure before dropping in, because I really wanted to put down a run here so ending up on the podium here is amazing, and I’m really happy now."

Judd Henkes (La Jolla, Calif.) was sixth; Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska) was 14th and Chandler Hunt (Park City, Utah) was 16th.

Corning also leads the World Cup big air standings heading into next weekend's final big air World Cup of the season in Quebec City. 

RESULTS
Men’s slopestyle
Men's World Cup slopestyle final standings 

Shiffrin Dominates World Cup Finals Slalom

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 17 2018
Mikaela Shiffrin fifth slalom globe.
Mikaela Shiffrin won her fifth FIS Ski World Cup slalom crustal globe following her seventh slalom win of the season in Are, Sweden (Getty Images)

Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) put on another dominating performance to win her seventh FIS Ski World Cup slalom race of the season Saturday in Are, Sweden.

Shiffrin build almost a half-second first run lead, then absolutely ripped down the second run to win by 1.58-seconds over Wendy Holdener of Switzerland, who finished second, and Olympic slalom champion Frida Hansdotter of Sweden in third.

“To finish with a run like that was just super special,” Shiffrin said after capturing her fifth World Cup slalom crystal globe, and her second-consecutive overall World Cup title this season.

“That’s just a dream,” Shiffrin said of her second overall title. “It’s so unbelievable in a way. But first I have a race to do tomorrow and I’m really excited for that, and after today, I’m really looking forward to going to the start one last time this season and hammering down.”

In winning the World Cup overall title last season, Shiffrin utilized her strong tech skills. However, this season she expanded her skill set to include select downhill and super-G events, which included winning her first World Cup downhill at Lake Louise in December. But as the season wore on, she re-focused her energy back to the tech events.

“It’s always difficult, there are always so many challenges during the season, and throughout the year all the girls kept picking up the pace and I felt like I had to step back from speed in order to stay on top,” she said. “But it’s so nice to be at this part of the season and feel like I still put out some of my best skiing.”

Up next, Shiffrin shoots for her 44th career World Cup win in giant slalom Sunday in Are.

RESULTS
Women’s slalom
Women’s World Cup slalom final standings

Ford Eighth in World Cup Finals GS

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 17 2018
Tommy Ford finished eight in the giant slalom at the FIS Ski World Cup Finals Saturday in Are, Sweden. (Getty Images/Agence Zoon - Alexis Boichard)
Tommy Ford finished eight in the giant slalom at the FIS Ski World Cup Finals Saturday in Are, Sweden. (Getty Images/Agence Zoon - Alexis Boichard)

Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) posted his second top-10 World Cup result of the season, a career-best eight-place finish, at the FIS Ski World Cup Finals giant slalom in Are, Sweden Saturday.

“I was training well in the summer and carried it over into Beaver Creek and the skiing stuck throughout the year,” Ford said, whose previous career-best was ninth in giant slalom at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia two weeks ago. “I kind of had a couple hic-ups here and there, but I’m glad to finish it on that note.”

Marcel Hirscher of Austria took his 13th World Cup victory of the season Saturday. Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen finished second for the 11th time this season. Victor Muffat-Jeandet was third.

Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) struggled with his set up in the first run, but found his groove in the second, posting the fifth-fastest second-run time.

“First run I skied on the old 35-meter skis; I trained on them a little bit this year and it was kind of stupid of me not to try them earlier in the year,” said Ligety, who finished 17th Saturday. “But today they set it more like a normal GS, whereas the rest of the year it’s been dead, dead straight – no turn shape anywhere.

“It was way, way turny, so that was a difficult task that first run,” Ligety said. “Second run I went on a different pair of skis, and I’m just trying to figure out the answer.

“It’s been a pretty tough one, that’s for sure. I’m glad it’s over,” Ligety said of the season. “It’s good to finish this one off, regroup and figure it out from there.”

With the World Cup season wrapping up Sunday in Are with men’s slalom and women’s giant slalom, Ford is looking forward to adding another national title to his trophy case next week.

“The season is not over,” Ford said. “We have Nationals coming up in Sun Valley, so I’ll be there soon.”

RESULTS
Men’s giant slalom
Men’s World Cup giant slalom final standings
 

Diggins Third with One to Go

By Tom Kelly
March, 17 2018
Falun mass start
Skiers charge out from the start in Falun.

With one race remaining, Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) remains third in the FIS Cross Country World Cup overall and distance rankings. Diggins skied to eighth Saturday in a 10k classic mass start in Falun, Sweden. Finland's Krista Parmakoski came from behind to pass Norway's Marit Bjoergen at the finish line for the win. Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) was 11th.

Diggins is poised to become only the second American woman to finish the season ranked in the top three. Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) was third in 2013.

Alexander Bolshunov of Russia won for the men with Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) 52nd in a 15k classic mass start.

It was another picture postcard day in Falun. Diggins charged out at the start to set the early pace before Bjoergen and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg took control. Near the midway point, Norway took firm hold on the lead pack with Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen and Heidi Weng joining while Diggins dropped a few seconds back with the chase pack. Just past the halfway mark, Parmakoski moved quickly to challenge.

In the final stages, Bjoergen, Oestberg and Parmakoski took control of the race with Parmakoski charging past Bjoergen to take the win.

"Today was an OK race for me, not my best feeling, which tells me how far I’ve come when eighth in a classic World Cup doesn’t bring the same fireworks anymore," said Diggins, who now has five top-10 classic distance World Cup finishes this season. "Today I just went as hard as my body would let me and it was good to only lose 15 seconds on the winner of the day, because in a mini-tour every second counts."

While Diggins takes pride in how she has developed her classic skiing, what really gets her heart racing is putting on the skate skis Sunday to wrap up the 2018 World Cup with a freestyle pursuit. 

"I’m really excited for tomorrow - a pursuit style skate race is one of my favorite formats," she said. "My strategy is pretty simple - just go chase down as many seconds as I can and race the course as fast as I can! I’ll be starting bib #3 around some awesome girls, so I’m hoping we can work together to keep us moving at a fast pace."

The three-day mini tour in Falun wraps up Sunday with a 15k freestyle pursuit for men and 10k for women. Sweden's Hanna Falk is on top of the mini-tour after two days with Diggins fifth. The winner will get 200 bonus points for the overall World Cup.

RESULTS
Men's 15k Mass Start (starts 9:30 a.m. EDT)
Women's 10k Mass Start 
Women's Falun Mini-Tour Ranking 

WORLD CUP STANDINGS
Women's Overall 
Women's Distance 

Caldwell Third In Final World Cup Sprint Standings

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 16 2018
Sophie Caldwell
Sofie Caldwell finished third in the World Cup sprint standings this season. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Sophie Caldwell (Peru, Vt.) became only the second American to finish on the podium in the season-long World Cup sprint standings, finishing third overall after a sixth-place finish in season's final sprint in Falun, Sweden, Friday.

“Two years ago I set a two-year goal of being in the top three in the sprint World Cup,” said Caldwell. “At the time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to set a goal that big. But it’s really a dream come true to accomplish it. I’m so proud to be a part of this team where on any given day there could be a handful of people on the podium and to have a staff that works so incredibly hard for us.” 

Sweden dominated the women’s races Friday with Hanna Falk taking the win over teammate Jonna Sundling. Norway’s Marit Bjoergen was third. Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) was seventh with Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) ninth and Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska) 14th.

The men’s win went to Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo who took the sprint season globe and increased his stranglehold on the overall. Simi Hamilton (Aspen, Colo.) led the U.S. men in 14th.

In the women’s quarterfinal heats, Bjornsen opened it up finishing second in the first heat. In heat three, Diggins went up against Randall, who was skiing in the final sprint race of her career, and advanced. Randall, however, made a strong lunge at the finish but just missed finishing second and was not quite fast enough for a lucky loser spot. In heat four, Caldwell skied a smart race, waiting for her time and passing on the final small climb and sprinting up to the lead in the final hundred meters to win and move on to semifinals.

In the semifinals opening heat, Diggins and Bjornsen were paired together. Both battled heavy traffic through most of the heat as the field only broke up in the final few hundred meters. Bjornsen was able to work to the front by midway but Diggins was boxed in and unable to thread her way through the field. As the pack broke up coming into the stadium, Bjornsen dropped back and Diggins moved up with a powerful sprint, narrowly missing second with Sweden’s Hanna Falk taking the win. In heat 2, Norway’s Marit

Bjoergen set a much faster pace to take the win with Caldwell third and grabbing a lucky loser spot.

In the finals, Caldwell was on tails of Falk and Sundling, but eventually, she dropped back and finished sixth.

"I felt great today, and my skis were running fast thanks to our awesome team," said Diggins. "I got to lay down a solid qualifier and in my quarterfinal I got to just hammer away. My semifinal, I got stuck behind people as the course was only two skiers wide on the uphills and unfortunately, we were basically walking out there, which meant there wasn’t going to be a lucky loser time from our heat. I kept looking for ways to get around but was blocked in until the course opened up in the final 800 meters, but unfortunately it was too late for me to be able to make any solid moves."

Bjornsen continued her solid season with another top 10. "It was a beautiful day for sprint racing here in Falun," she said. "I have been feeling strong lately, so I was really happy to finish fourth in the qualifier! I felt super strong climbing all day today, which is always a good sign for me, and something I have started to feel this year. Sprint racing is always hit or miss for me, because I am not one for tactics, so it works out best when we just go super fast from point A to point B. Fortunately, I had a really strong quarter final, so we skied really hard from the start, and I was able to use my good feelings to qualify into the semi finals."

Like Diggins, Bjornsen was challenged by the narrow course and heavy traffic. "The semi finals turned into a tactical war, and I was feeling good coming into the final part of the course, but unfortunately got bobbled a bit on the final descent, and struggled to pick up the killer sling shot from there and then things ended up turning into a drag race sprint at the end, which didn't work out ideal for me. I certainly left the last sprint of the season dreaming of more, but feeling really confident in my skiing. I am excited to work on some more specific things this summer."

In the three-day mini stage race, athletes only receive half the normal World Cup points (50 for the win) with a bonus of 200 World Cup points to the series winner on Sunday. Diggins remained third in the overall standings with two events remaining, gaining a bit of ground on both leader Heidi Weng and second place Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg.

Caldwell put together an impressive sprint season, with three podiums including a win in Seefeld, Austria - site of the 2019 World Championships. She was in the top 10 in every sprint except Drammen, Norway a week ago.

"It was amazing to see Sophie step up to the third step in the sprint overall today," said Bjornsen. "I am darn proud of the step she made this year and constantly inspired by really strong teammates."

Action now shifts to classic distance racing on Saturday with a 15k race for the men and 10k for the women.

RESULTS
Women’s sprint
Men’s sprint
Women’s World Cup sprint standings
Men’s World Cup Sprint standings

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Adds ClimateCase and CatTongue Grips as New Mobile Accessory Partners

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 15 2018
master logo

Park City, UTAH – U.S. Ski & Snowboard has announced ClimateCase and CatTongue Grips as its newest partners in the mobile accessories category.

ClimateCase, the Official Insulating Smartphone Carrier of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, is an insulating smartphone carrier that can prevent a cellphone issue that almost everyone has faced at one time or another. After just 15 minutes below 32°F or above 95°F a cellphone may shut down completely to protect itself, leaving users vulnerable and out of touch. The ClimateCase was launched to address that issue by providing protection for smartphones from overheating and freezing.

“Prolonged exposure to harsh temperatures can permanently damage a smartphone and its internal battery,” said ClimateCase’s CEO Lisa Lambert. “With the ClimateCase, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athletes and staff can protect their phones from harsh conditions, both on and off the mountain. It also protects against accidental drops, so users are covered in most all situations.”

CatTongue Grips are the perfect anti-slip solution for a mobile device and can be used directly on the device or existing case. CatTongue Grips feel great in users’ hands and are functional and super durable for everyday use or for extreme athletes to use. There are over 50 designs as well as a customization option, so users can make each grip their own.

“As lovers of all things art, we wanted this product to not only have a fantastic grip, but to include fun, feel-good artwork and design for a more personal touch,” said Missy Kelly, co-founder and president of CatTongue Grips. “Plus, CatTongue Grips are recyclable, extremely durable, waterproof and can stand up to the variable terrain and conditions U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes encounter.”

For more information, visit climatecase.com and cattonguegrips.com.

Vonn Third In World Cup Finals Super-G

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 15 2018
Lindsey Vonn grabbed her 46th career World Cup super-G podium Thursday at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden (Getty Images/Agence Zoom – Alexis Boichard)
Lindsey Vonn grabbed her 46th career World Cup super-G podium Thursday at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden (Getty Images/Agence Zoom – Alexis Boichard)

Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) wrapped up her World Cup season on the podium Thursday, finishing third in the super-G at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden.

“It’s nice to close out the season with a podium in super-G,” said Vonn, who now has 46 career World Cup super-G podium finishes, “and to end the season on a high note.”

Italy’s Sofia Goggia won her second career World Cup super-G by 0.32-seconds over Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg. Vonn was 0.53 back on the soft, bumpy and rutted course that will also be used for the 2019 World Alpine Ski Championships.

Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein finished sixth in Thursday’s race and wrapped up her second career World Cup super-G title.

With her World Cup season in the rearview mirror, Vonn looks ahead for her run at Ingemar Stenmark’s World Cup record of 86 victories.

“My focus now it just to try to beat Ingemar’s record,” Vonn said. “I’m four (wins) behind and I feel like I’m in a good place, picking up steam, confident and relatively healthy, so that’ll be my focus from here on out.”

Up next, the team event takes place Friday in Are, followed by slalom and giant slalom events for the men and women Saturday and Sunday.

RESULTS
Women’s super-G
World Cup super-G standings
 

Vonn Third in Super G

Having Belief in Yourself

By Tom Kelly
March, 14 2018
Bryan Fletcher

In the wax cabin outside the stadium, Bryan Fletcher pulled on his cross country race bib one more time. In a few minutes, he would step to the starting line for nearly the 200th time in his international career. Nearby, a technician labored over his Atomic skis, prepping them for the grueling 10 kilometers of cat and mouse that was about to play out at Holmenkollen, one of the most hallowed venues in nordic sport.

Nordic combined is a small sport, but an intriguing one. It blends the explosiveness of launching off a ski jump, soaring like a bird through the air, combined with an inexplicable 25 minutes of maximum aerobic output on the cross country trail.

Holmenkollen is a special place to Bryan Fletcher. It was here six years earlier where he became only the fifth American to win the King’s Cup - the most prestigious prize in nordic combined. It meant an audience with the King and his named etched forever in the annals of his sport.

Today was a different day. A final race at Holmenkollen then up to Trondheim to close out his career. While it didn’t end up like that storybook day in 2012, it was still highlighted by a great pride in sport - pride in community.

“My gratitude extends to everyone big and small who have been a part of my journey in nordic combined,” said Fletcher. “This community is one that I have been lucky to be a part of for so many years. It's amazing in so many ways and I truly cannot thank everyone enough. I am humbled that I got to follow and learn from the best mentors and role models as I came up with the sport. I would not be who I am today if it wasn't for them.”

It was a quiet close to a career with humble beginnings. As a young boy with cancer, Bryan longed to be up on the ski jumps in Steamboat Springs. Despite doctor’s orders, mother Penny just wanted her son to be happy. Skiing provided that joy. So he jumped. And with that passion he beat his cancer.

His career as an athlete has provided a lifetime of lessons for Fletcher. “This sport has taught me more than I ever could have imagined and I am quite certain the life lessons are not over yet,” he said. “To say it was the good times that taught me the most would be a lie. It was the challenges I faced along the way that taught me the most about life, myself, and what I am capable of achieving. Every setback along the way challenged me to be a better version of myself personally and athletically.”

It was the lesson cancer taught him as a child.

One of the hallmarks of sport is passion for athletes to give back. As a childhood cancer survivor, his work with cc:Thrive has given him the chance to help others. And as one of the most respected athletes in his sport, he has helped inspire a new generation as a two-time Olympian.

“That day in Holmenkollen was a dream come true and a memory that will fulfill me for a lifetime,” reflected Fletcher. “Winning the King's Cup put me among some pretty amazing company. But I cannot wait to see who of the future generation will get to share that company.”

Fletcher tells a story of that day at Holmenkollen as he broke out into the lead. Every time he quickly glanced back to see the chase group, his vision was obscured. So he just kept charging.

“The reality is that I had the upper hand because that day I had 100-percent confidence in myself,” he stated with conviction. “That day solidified the belief that I could be among the best in our sport. It proved to me the power the mind has in the sport. That day I believed I could win and so many things played out to perpetuate that belief.”

In his final races at Holmenkollen and in Trondheim, Fletcher was toasted by the leaders of his sport. At the same time he focused on leaving his legacy to the young combined skiers who joined him in PyeongChang - their careers just beginning.

“If I could impart one piece of advice to the younger generation,” said Fletcher, “it would be to always believe in yourself.”