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Vonn Fights To Finish Ninth in Cortina Downhill

By Tom Horrocks
January, 19 2019

Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) continued to fight through the pain and build upon her return to top form, finishing ninth in her second FIS Ski World Cup downhill of the season in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Saturday.

“I think it was still an improvement, but not what I’m looking for,” said Vonn, who improved upon her 15th-place result from Friday in her first race of the season since suffering a knee injury in November while training at Copper Mountain, Colorado. “It’s just hard sometimes when it’s bumpy to trust my right leg, and I still have a lot of pain, so I’m fighting through it the best I can, but I just have to find a faster way through it.”

Austria took the top two spots in Saturday’s downhill with Ramona Siebenhofer winning for the second-straight day and Nicole Schmidhofer in second. Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec was third. Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.) and Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.) were 20th and 30th respectively.

Vonn displayed flashes of brilliance on the Olympia delle Tofane course where she has 12 career World Cup victories but admitted that the bumpy track and lack of speed training were challenging and forced her to push through the pain.

“In the middle section where it’s really wavy, it’s hard for me to trust myself, and trust my skiing,” she said. “I haven’t skied downhill since November, so it was a bit of a stretch to just come back and just jump right into the podium.

“It definitely hurts every time I push on my leg,” she continued. “It is what it is, and I’ll take it as a step in the right direction and tomorrow is another chance.

Sunday is indeed another chance as the women race super-G in Cortina, where Vonn has six career World Cup super-G victories. Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.), the current World Cup super-G leader, is also expected to start Sunday. In just her fourth career super-G start and first down the Olympia delle Tofane track in 2017, Shiffrin was fourth - a mere .03 off the podium. 

“I was hoping to come back and get a win here in my final season, but I still have a chance tomorrow,” Vonn said. “I have to stay positive and keep fighting. I’m still enjoying it. I love being in the start gate. I love feeling the adrenaline and going fast. It’s just not as fast as I had hoped.”

RESULTS
Women’s downhill

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

Sunday, Jan. 20
4:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 1 - Wengen, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
5:00 a.m. - Women’s super-G - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 2 - Wengen, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & 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 (NBCSports.com/Live, NBCSports.com/Gold andOlympicChannel.com) 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.

First Aerials World Cup Event of the Season: USANA FIS World Cup in Lake Placid

By Lara Carlton
January, 18 2019
Kaila Kuhn, Madison Varmette, Megan Nick, Winter Vinecki and Morgan Northrop at the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid, New York
Kaila Kuhn, Madison Varmette, Megan Nick, Winter Vinecki and Morgan Northrop at the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid, New York

The U.S. Freestyle Aerials Team will compete in their first World Cup event of the season Saturday at the Olympic Jumping Complex (OJC) in Lake Placid, New York. Sixteen athletes will represent the United States, five of whom are making their World Cup debut.

Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, Va.) and Jon Lillis (Rochester, N.Y.), current reigning World Champions, are ready to kick off the season with an event that feels like a homecoming.

“It’s really awesome to be back here in Lake Placid,“ said Caldwell. “A lot of us grew up here and began our aerials career in Lake Placid, so it's always pretty nostalgic and exciting to come back. It’s the first World Cup of the season and to have it on home turf makes it feel comfortable, and it’s really awesome to have a big team at the first event of the year.”

The Lake Placid event is always a team favorite, as most athletes partially grew up there, coming up through the Elite Athlete Development Program (EADP) and living and training at the Olympic Training Center (OTC). Roots run deep in Lake Placid, as U.S. Head Coach Todd Ossian first trained there in 1990, World Cup Coach Eric Bergoust in 1988, and World Cup Coach Emily Cook in 1992. “You have all generations here together, which is special - from the up and coming EADP athletes to both World Champions,” said Cook.

The course at the OJC is always top-notch and this year is no exception. “The hill crew here is amazing. The guys that chop it are always driving, they work hard and fast, are here early and stay late and there are lots of them,” explains Ossian. Additionally, Lake Placid has had a lot of early snow, which helps the course exponentially."

“It’s been really fun to go out there and see all the athletes from around the world that we don’t often get a chance to see. The site’s incredible, I just hope the weather stays warm,” said Megan Nick (Shelburne, Vt.).

A huge benefit for the U.S. Team at Lake Placid is the crowd. Many team members are from New England so there will be a lot of familiar faces cheering them on. Because of the rich history of aerial skiing in Lake Placid, the crowd knows about the sport, which is always fun for the athletes. “We love coming to this venue. I always loved jumping at Lake Placid. It really has a hometown feel,” said Cook. “Also the lights here are awesome. It’s like jumping in the day, so it’s a really consistent course for our athletes to train and perform on.”

The U.S. has a long history of success at the OJC, the most recent being in a 2017 World Cup with Caldwell’s victory and Mac Bohonnon’s (Madison, Conn.) finishing second. “An added fun touch when you podium here is a picture up in the OTC. So when we come to [Lake Placid] to train and compete it’s exciting to see everyone who’s made it up on the wall,” explains Cook.

Athletes to watch Saturday will be reigning World Champions Caldwell and Lillis. Native New Yorker, Chris Lillis (Rochester, N.Y.), has been jumping well and thrives in the East, where his whole family will be supporting him in the crowd. This is his first World Cup competition since sustaining an injury during the 2016-17 season. “I’m really excited to be competing at Lake Placid. Coming off of a knee injury I couldn’t imagine a better place to compete for the first time than the place I’ve been jumping at my whole career,” said Lillis. Four athletes, previously of the EADP who now train with Park City Ski & Snowboard, will jump in their first World Cup events: Karyl ‘Dani’ Loeb, Karenna Elliott, Kalia Kuhn, and Megan Smallhouse. Additionally, EADP athlete Quinn Dehlinger will make his World Cup debut. 

Lake Placid Starters
Men

Alex Bowen
Chris Lillis
Jon Lillis
Eric Loughran
Nicholas Novak
Patrick O’Flynn
Justin Schoenefeld
Quinn Dehlinger

Women
Ashley Caldwell
Karenna Elliott
Kaila Kuhn
Karyl ‘Dani’ Loeb
Megan Nick
Megan Smallhouse
Madison Varmette
Winter Vinecki

Live scoring
Men
Women

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

Saturday, Jan. 19
7:00 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - Lake Placid, N.Y. - NBCSports.com & NBC Sports Gold

Sunday, Jan. 20
5:00 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - Lake Placid, N.Y. - NBC**

J. Lillis Previews Lake Placid

Johnson Third at USANA FIS World Cup in Lake Placid

By Lara Carlton
January, 18 2019

Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.) led the U.S. Freestyle Team with a third-place finish at the USANA FIS Freestyle World Cup moguls in Lake Placid, New York, Friday.

“I’m really excited. It’s been a long time since we’ve had three [American] girls in a super finals. It was really fun to ski with them. I’m just thrilled about getting on the podium again this season,” said Johnson, who shared the podium with first-time World Cup winner Jakara Anthony (Australia) and Perrine Laffont (France).

“Tess was just awesome, she just kept making the adjustments to make the difference,” explained U.S. Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza.

Five American women qualified for the two-run final: Johnson, Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.), Morgan Schild (Pittsford, N.Y.), Nessa Dziemian (East Hampstead, N.H.) and Alex Jenson (Park City Ski & Snowboard). Kauf was just off of the podium in fourth place, with Schild on her heels in fifth.

“It’s very exciting to have made it to the super finals,“ said Schild. “I did not expect to be back in the top six. I was happy to be able to put down a run top to bottom. It wasn’t my best run or my cleanest skiing but I have room to improve. And I have a couple of weeks to do that before World Champs. I’m just looking forward to staying healthy and continuing to push my boundaries in these next couple of weeks.”

Four men qualified for the final: Casey Andringa (Boulder, Colo.), Bradley Wilson (Butte, Mont.), Jesse Andringa (Boulder, Colo.) and Dylan Walczyk (Long Beach, N.Y.), with Casey Andringa and Wilson both making super finals. Casey Andringa had a career-best with a fourth-place finish. France’s Benjamin Cavet took the victory, followed by Sweden’s Walter Wallberg in second and Australia’s Matt Graham in third.

“I was psyched about my finals run,” Casey Andringa said. “It was the best run I’ve put down all season.”

“I felt like Casey really skied who he is today, his personality came out with that grab, getting that locked in was really sweet,” said Gnoza.

Gnoza characterized the Lake Placid event as all about the team. “We had five women and four men make finals, which was impressive. They all worked together, it started yesterday with qualifications and carried into today,” he said. “Everyone was down here cheering each other on. Whether they were in the finals or not, everyone was cheering each other on.

“It was really fun to watch the women train today, they were loading the lift together, lapping together and feeding off of each other’s energy. They were so excited to have three of their own in the finals. They know the day is coming when there will be multiple of them on the podium, they’re all working hard to get to that point,” Gnoza added.

The moguls team has one World Cup event left in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, before the World Championships Team is announced Jan. 29.

RESULTS
Men’s moguls
Women’s moguls

STANDINGS
Men’s World Cup
Women’s World Cup

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

Saturday, Jan. 19
5:00 p.m. - Men and women’s moguls - Lake Placid, N.Y. - NBC**

All streams are available via desktop (NBCSports.com/Live, NBCSports.com/Gold andOlympicChannel.com) 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.

Corning Wins Laax World Cup

By Andrew Gauthier
January, 18 2019

U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.) came out on top with another clutch performance in the FIS Snowboard World Cup slopestyle competition in Laax, Switzerland, earning his first slopestyle World Cup victory of the season.

“Winning Laax was amazing,” said Corning. “This contest is a really big one and to have some top guys there made it even better. I had so much fun everyday hitting the park and then having pow laps after. Laax is a beautiful place and I could not be happier with this week”

Resembling his performance at the World Cup event in Kreischberg, Austria, Corning put it all together on his last run with a cab 180 to a frontside 180 on 360 out, backside rodeo 540 - which has become a staple in his run - a cab 1260, frontside 1440, backside triple cork 1440 and a very technical backside 270 on 270 off.

Just like Corning, Judd Henkes (La Jolla, Calif.) was also able to land his run on his last opportunity putting him just outside podium contention in fourth. Lyon Farrell (Haiku, Hawaii) finished seventh, NIkolas Baden (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) 10th,  and U.S. Rookie Team member Sean Fitzsimons (Hood River, Ore.) 11th.

On the women’s side, Julia Marino (Westport, Conn.) represented the U.S. in the final round of competition. Unfortunately, Marino couldn’t put her run together quite as cleanly as needed to take the fight for podium spots to the talented international field. Despite landing her cab double-underflip 900 on both runs, it was the rest of her run that posed a challenge. Marino finished fourth behind Norway’s Silje Norendal in the top spot with Swiss riders Celia Petrig and Sina Candrian in second and third respectively.

Following the Cardona, New Zealand, and Modena, Italy, World Cup big air events, the friendly rivalry between Japan’s Takeru Otsuka and Corning is clearly developing into something special. With the 2019 FIS World Championships in Utah right around the corner, Corning jumps into first-place in the World Cup slopestyle standings ahead of Otsuka, who currently holds the top spot in the World Cup big air standings, right in front of Corning in second-place.

“It was a bummer Otsuka couldn’t be here, but I am happy to have that yellow bib back and be back at the top,” said Corning. “I love going for that globe and hope to keep the yellow bib the rest of the season!”

After snow earlier in the week, the weather decided to play nice in Laax complete with sun, occasional light snow and no wind. The conditions and creative course consisting of two rail features, four jump features, and even a snowboardcross inspired turn before the last rail made the competition a fun one to watch.

The U.S. Snowboard Team’s halfpipe athletes will compete in the final round of competition Saturday for both the men and the women. Expect Chloe KIm (Torrance, Calif.) and Chase Josey (Sun Valley, Idaho) to try to repeat their winning performances from 2017. With valuable FIS 2019 World Championship Team spots on the line, U.S riders will be looking to perform their best in Switzerland. See how to tune in and catch the action below.

RESULTS
Men’s slopestyle
Women’s slopestyle

WORLD CUP STANDINGS
Men’s slopestyle
Women’s slopestyle

START LISTS
Men’s Halfpipe
Women’s Halfpipe

HOW TO WATCH
*Subject to change
*All times EST

Saturday, Jan. 19
11:30 a.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe - Laax, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
 

Ross Ninth, Vonn 15th In Shortened Cortina Downhill

By Tom Horrocks
January, 18 2019
Ross Cortina 1-18-19
Laurenne Ross posted her best result of the season in Friday's FIS Ski World Cup downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Francis Bompard)

Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore) led the way for the U.S. Ski Team as Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) made her long-awaited, albeit, abbreviated return to the FIS Ski World Cup circuit with a rescheduled, and shortened, downhill in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Friday.

Overnight snow forced organizers to lower the traditional start on the Olympia delle Tofane course to the Tofana jump, which resulted in somewhat of a sprint downhill won by Austria’s Ramona Siebenhofer in one minute, 15.44 seconds, her first career World Cup victory. Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec was second and Austria’s Stephanie Venier finished third. Ross was ninth, and Vonn finished 15th. Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.) posted her fourth World Cup point-scoring result of the season, in 22nd.

Despite dealing with a head cold the last few days, Ross posted her best result of the season. “It was the first race of my whole season were I haven’t come down last, so that was kind of nice,” giggled Ross, who has been struggling with her equipment setup the past couple of months. “So yeah, I think I’m kind of getting it together a little more.”

For Vonn, she said she felt good in her return and was somewhat thankful for the shortened course as the Tofana jump did cause her some knee pain in Thursday’s downhill training. However, she admitted that she didn’t quite execute to her fullest potential.

“I always have the highest hope...that it’s easy to come back and get on the podium, but things have to go my way,” Vonn said. “I didn’t execute as I had hoped so therefore I didn’t have the best result. Tomorrow and Sunday are two more chances, I know how to execute, I just need to actually do it.”

Up next, another downhill is scheduled for Saturday and the weather forecast is favorable for the women to run the entire length of the Olympia delle Tofane Course. The women will then race super-G Sunday, with current super-G standings leader Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) is scheduled to start.

“Today was a good place to start and I’ll just fix things for tomorrow and ski the course the way I know how,” Vonn added.

RESULTS
Women’s downhill


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


Friday, Jan. 18
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, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
6:30 a.m. - Men’s downhill - Wengen, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold

Sunday, Jan. 20
4:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 1 - Wengen, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
5:00 a.m. - Women’s super-G - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 2 - Wengen, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & 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 (NBCSports.com/Live, NBCSports.com/Gold andOlympicChannel.com) 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.
 

The Speed Queen Returns in Cortina

By Megan Harrod
January, 17 2019
Lindsey Vonn DH Training Cortina 1-17-19
Lindsey Vonn was 10th in Thursday's first run of downhill training as she makes her return to the FIS Ski World Cup in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Francis Bompard)

The speed queen of the FIS Ski World Cup tour, Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.), returns to action in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, a bionic woman with braces on each knee, for a showdown with the fastest women in the world on the Olympia delle Tofane piste - a classic, and a favorite on the women’s tour.

Vonn will kick off what she has said will be her last season of competition, a sort of victory lap retirement tour that will end at her favorite venue - Lake Louise - next November. This weekend, she looks to further close the five-win gap that stands between her and the legendary Swede Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86 World Cup victories. Vonn currently has 82 victories to her name and has won 12 times - six downhill victories and six super-G victories - in Cortina. She’ll have three opportunities this weekend to add to that total.

After returning to snow for training in early January in Reinswald, Italy, Vonn was feeling good and ready to race last week in St. Anton, Austria, but heavy snow forced a cancelation to the downhill and super-G events. The canceled downhill is rescheduled for Friday at Cortina d’Ampezzo, while the super-G has yet to be rescheduled. “I was really excited to race this weekend in St. Anton,” Vonn posted on Instagram last week, “but even more excited that it was rescheduled for Cortina next weekend...at one of my favorite venues.” In the first and only downhill training run for Vonn, she was a solid 10th place, while she took a conservative approach and skipped the second training run to rest her body.

For Vonn, Cortina has been a magical venue. Her first podium - a third place in downhill - was on January 18, 2004...15 years to the date of Friday's downhill. Her first victory in Cortina came in 2008 in downhill, and it was her 11th career victory. Not only is it a special place because she’s amassed 12 World Cup victories at the venue, but it’s also special because she broke the women’s all-time World Cup win record held by Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell’s record in 2015, as well as the record for most downhill victories with her 37th downhill win in Cortina in 2016. Vonn now has 43 downhill victories to her name. Vonn’s 12 victories at the venue are at least two more than any other skier at a single venue (10 by Renate Götschl). The only skier to have won more World Cup races at a single ski resort is Vonn herself: 18 in Lake Louise. Speed Queen, indeed!

Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.), fresh off her latest World Cup giant slalom victory in Kronplatz, Italy, Tuesday, has indicated she will not participate in the Cortina downhill events but will be in the start house for Sunday’s super-G. Shiffrin will be donning the red leader bib in the start gate, despite the fact that she didn’t start in the Val Gardena, Italy, super-G. Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.) and Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.) will also start in Cortina, and have been feeling strong in training prior to the weekend.

On the men’s side, the weekend series in Wengen, Switzerland, starts off with an alpine combined on Friday, but all eyes will be on the “twin towers” - the big boys - Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, California) and Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) in Saturday’s premiere event, the downhill. Bennett finished fourth in the last two downhill races in the World Cup - in Val Gardena and Bormio, Italy. The last American skier to finish on the podium of a downhill race in the World Cup was Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.), who won in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on January 27, 2017.

The Americans haven’t had a solid finish in Wengen on the classic 2.7 miles (4.4 km) Lauberhorn downhill - the longest downhill on tour - in quite some time. The downhill results in run times of two and a half minutes - 30-45 seconds longer than standard downhill races. With a schedule that has a holiday break and many of the Americans returning home for the new year, the Lauberhorn has been a bit of a conundrum for the men’s downhill team. Top speeds approach 100 mph (160 km/h) on its Haneggschuss, the highest speed clocked on tour. But, with Bennett’s fourth-fastest time in the first of two training runs on Wednesday, and Nyman’s fourth-fastest time in the second training run on Thursday, things could get interesting. Keep an eye on Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.) and Olympic champion Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) in Friday’s alpine combined.

Catch all of the action on the Olympic Channel, NBC Sports Network, and NBC Sports Gold.

AUDIO
Vonn Opening Press Conference - Cortina
Vonn, Post-Downhill Training Run 1 - Cortina

RESULTS
Women’s downhill training 1
Women’s downhill training 2
Men’s downhill training 1
Men’s downhill training 2

START LISTS
Women’s downhill 1
Men’s alpine combined

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

Friday, Jan. 18
4:30 a.m. - Men’s alpine combined run 1 - Wengen, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
6:00 a.m. - Women’s downhill - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - NBC Sports Gold
8:00 a.m. - Men’s alpine combined run 2 - Wengen, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & 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, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
6:30 a.m. - Men’s downhill - Wengen, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold

Sunday, Jan. 20
4:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 1 - Wengen, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
5:00 a.m. - Women’s super-G - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 2 - Wengen, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & 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 (NBCSports.com/Live, NBCSports.com/GoldandOlympicChannel.com) 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.

Moguls to Compete at USANA FIS World Cup Lake Placid

By Lara Carlton
January, 17 2019
Olivia Giaccio
Olivia Giaccio trains on the Wilderness Trail course during the USANA FIS Freestyle World Cup at Whiteface. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

The U.S. Moguls Freestyle Ski Team returns to home soil for the USANA FIS Freestyle World Cup in Lake Placid, New York, with qualifiers on Thursday and finals on Friday at Whiteface Mountain. Nineteen athletes will represent the United States on the Wilderness Trail course.

“I’m really excited for Thursday and Friday’s event this week,” said Olivia Giaccio (Redding, Conn.). “Especially so soon after Calgary, as I get to continue building the momentum I started there. I’m excited to lay down three super solid and consistent runs that are high quality. And I’m looking forward to seeing what my other teammates can do too.”

The Whiteface course grading sets up an ideal profile which will allow athletes to transition smoothly from the landings of the airs to the moguls. “Those athletes that can take advantage of that transition and ski that the cleanest will make their run,” said U.S. Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza. “Athletes will have to control their speed in order to stay in balance to perform show-stopping airs, which is what we want here.”

Lake Placid marks 2018 Olympian Morgan Schild’s (Pittsford, N.Y.) return to the World Cup circuit after an abrupt season-ending knee injury last year. Schild has a history of success at Whiteface, earning a third-place finish in 2017.

“I’m really excited to get the chance to ski again," Schild said. "The last 10 months have really challenged me emotionally and physically and I’m grateful for the fact that I can compete again on home soil, even more specifically in my home state, where I learned to ski. I love Lake Placid and I love the cold even more.”

Other women to watch will be Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.) and Giaccio. Both can handle the jumps well and really charge to have big and impressive bottom airs. Of course always keep an eye out for Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.), currently ranked second in the world behind Perrine Laffont of France. Expect a close battle for the yellow bib, which Kauf hopes to reclaim.

On the men’s side, both Hunter Bailey (Vail, Colo.) and Jesse Andringa (Boulder, Colo.) will look to build on their career best’s from Calgary. “They both can continue their momentum from Calgary, growing and learning from those experiences. Watching those guys week to week turn into World Cup contenders has been a fun process this season,” said Gnoza.

Native New Yorker Dylan Walczyk has been training well and has a lifetime of experience on this course, he’s very comfortable skiing the east. Brad Wilson (Butte, Mont.) and Casey Andringa (Boulder, Colo.) will look to keep climbing the FIS ranks, ramping up as they hope to compete during the 2019 FIS World Championships in Utah in February.

As the host nation, the U.S. has the opportunity to fill more World Cup starts than usual. Two regional skiers, Ian Beauregard (Killington Mountain School) and Kenzie Radway (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) will make their World Cup debut on the Wilderness Trail course. Kalman Heims (Killington Mountain School) will be skiing in his second World Cup after his Calgary debut. And U.S. Selections winners Alex Jenson (Park City Freestyle) and Ali Kariotis (Olympic Valley Freestyle and Freeride) will compete as well.

Lake Placid Starters
Women

Hannah Soar
Ali Kariotis
Olivia Giaccio
Nessa Dziemian
Alex Jenson
Tess Johnson
Morgan Schild
Jaelin Kauf
Kenzie Radway

Men
Dylan Walczyk
Bradley Wilson
Hunter Bailey
Casey Andringa
Thomas Rowley
Jesse Andringa
Jack Kariotis
Ian Beauregard
George McQuinn
Kalman Heims

RESULTS
Men's qualification
Women's qualification

START LISTS
Men's finals
Women's finals

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST.
** Next day delayed broadcast

Friday, Jan. 18
11:00 a.m. - Men and women’s moguls - Lake Placid, N.Y. -NBCSports.com & NBC Sports Gold

Saturday, Jan. 19
5:00 p.m. - Men and women’s moguls - Lake Placid, N.Y. - NBC**

Giaccio Previews #LPWorldCup

Seiser Alm Hosting Freeski, Snowboard World Cup

By Andrew Gauthier
January, 16 2019
Corning and Farrell
Men's slopestyle podium at the 2018 World Cup event in Seiser Alm, Italy including Fridtjof Tischedorf (left), Chris Corning and Lyon Farrell. (FIS Snowboard - Mateusz Kielpinski)

Thirteen freeskiers and eight snowboarders are ready to represent the U.S. at the FIS World Cup slopestyle competition in Seiser Alm, Italy Jan. 24-27. This is the third time that Seiser Alm Snowpark has hosted a World Cup snowboard and freeski event.

“I look forward to coming to Seiser Alm every year,” said Lyon Farrell (Haiku, Hawaii). “The park is absolutely epic, and the people are too. I am so excited to be headed back to compete!”

Joining Farrell in the snowboard competition are numerous U.S. Snowboard Team athletes including Brandon Davis (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska), Chandler Hunt (Park CIty, Utah) and Sean Fitzsimons (Hood River, Ore.). Also, Americans Eric Beauchemin (Harrisburg, Penn.), Will Healy (Riverside, Conn.) and Dave Retzlaff (Holly, Mich.) are set to compete.

For the freeskiers, U.S. Freeski Team member Colby Stevenson (Park CIty, Utah) will be leading the way alongside Americans Deven Fagan (Brownfield, Maine), Kernan Fagan (Brownfield, Maine), Peter Raich (Park City, Utah), Tim Ryan, (Waterville Valley, N.H.), Ryan Stevenson (Washington, N.J.), and Quinn Wolferman (Missoula, Mont.). For the women, Julia Krass (Hanover, N.H) is searching for the win with teammate Eileen Gu (San Francisco, Calif.) who is coming fresh off her first World Cup podium in Font Romeu, France. In addition, U.S. Rookie Team members Grace Henderson (Madbury, N.H.), Marin Hamill (Park City, Utah), Rell Harwood (Park City, Utah), and American rail master Taylor Lundquist (Park City, Utah) will compete.

The freeski men are chasing U.S. Freeski Team’s own Alex Hall (Park City, Utah) and Mac Forehand (Winhall, Vt.) who currently hold the top two spots in the World Cup slopestyle standings. Meanwhile, Gu will be looking to take over PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hoefflin from Switzerland, who is currently sitting in the top position in the standings. With Gu just behind Hoefflin and coming in with momentum from Font Romeu, look for Gu to step her game up in Seiser Alm. In addition, Krass will focus on significantly improving her current position - 13th in the World Cup slopestyle standings.

On the snowboard side, following the Laax World Cup in Switzerland, Farrell is currently sitting in ninth in the World Cup standings trying to catch his teammate and current standings leader, Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.) who is leading the World Cup standings in slopestyle. Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska) is in 12th and Sean Fitzsimons (Hood River, Ore.) is in 18th.

The 2018 Seiser Alm World Cup proved to be a very successful stop for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes topping the podium in three of four competitions. Caroline Claire (Manchester Center, Vt.) finished first alongside two-time Olympic medalist Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, Ind.), and Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.). U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes will be pushing to continue this success at the 2019 FIS World Cup slopestyle in Seiser Alm, Italy.

STANDINGS
Men’s World Cup freeski slopestyle
Women’s World Cup freeski slopestyle
Men’s World Cup snowboard slopestyle
Women’s World Cup snowboard slopestyle

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
*Same-day broadcast


FREESKIING
Sunday, Jan. 27

6:30 a.m. - Men’s and women’s slopestyle - Seiser Alm, Italy - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Men’s and women’s slopestyle - Seiser Alm, Italy - Olympic Channel-TV*

SNOWBOARDING
Saturday, Jan. 26

6:30 a.m. - Men’s and women’s slopestyle - Seiser Alm, Italy - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Announces Lip Care Partner Aubio Life Sciences

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 16 2019
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Announces Lip Care Partner Aubio Life Sciences

U.S. Ski & Snowboard has announced a new year-long lip care partnership with Aubío Life Sciences. Aubío will be an associate sponsor of 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships, presented by Toyota, and will be activating at the events as well as at Mammoth Grand Prix, U.S. Alpine Championships and NASTAR Nationals. As the official cold sore treatment gel of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Aubío will provide high quality lip care to some of the world’s greatest athletes.

“Winter sports can be hard on your skin, so we are excited to be partnering with Aubío Life Sciences, making life on the road and competing comfortable for our athletes and staff. Aubío’s Cold Sore Treatment Gel is Labdoor Sports certified, and we are proud to partner with a company as committed to safety as we are,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Chief Marketing Officer Dan Barnett.

The latest venture for the billionaire philanthropist, serial entrepreneur, and environmental activist John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell Hair Systems and Patron Spirits, is Aubío Life Sciences. Aubío focuses its vision on helping people to manage troublesome skin conditions. “I have invested in this company to make a tremendous difference, and I hope that people will be very pleased with wonderful results and the high quality behind Aubío,” said DeJoria.

Inside the Mind of a World Championship Athlete

By Melissa Fields
January, 16 2019
Lillis and Caldwell
Jonathon Lillis and Ashley Caldwell proudly swept gold in aerials at Freestyle World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. (Sierra Nevada - Pepe Marin)

With only two weeks to go until the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships, presented by Toyota kicks off in Utah, many of the athletes expected to compete are well on their way to ensuring they are in the best possible physical condition to pull off a podium-worthy performance. But while the principles of physical preparation - getting enough sleep, eating well, avoiding overtraining, etc. - are fairly similar, the way each athlete readies themselves psychologically for this huge event - considered second only to Olympic competition - are very different.

For freestyle aerialist Ashley Caldwell (Park City, Utah), the 2019 World Championships holds significance in a number of ways. First, having lived and trained in Park City for the past seven years, she’s looking forward to competing in her own backyard. Second, this season Caldwell is recovering from shoulder surgery after she injured it the day before competing in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. And finally, she not only won the aerials competition at the 2017 World Championships but did so by landing a full-double-full-full, the most difficult jump successfully completed by a female aerialist ever.

“My signature style is to perform the hardest tricks and that’s my plan for the 2019 World Championships, but this injury has put me on the little different trajectory."
 - Ashley Caldwell

Caldwell will have competed in just one other event this season prior to stepping into the White Owl jumps start gate during the World Championships next month. And so to alleviate some of the obvious pressure this event will present, Caldwell is looking forward to staying as busy as possible in the days leading up to the competition while stretching just a little more or going to bed just a little earlier. She hasn’t decided whether or not she’ll go for a repeat performance of a full-double-full-full - Caldwell considers several factors when deciding what jumps to perform and often doesn’t make a final decision until the day of competition. “But then again, Deer Valley is the most hyped-up event of our season where you get to feel like a rock star,” she says. “And the weather could be terrible, my shoulder might be feeling not great and yet because the crowds are so great and the volunteers are so great, I could be pushed to want to do something really awesome.”

Mogul skier Bradley Wilson’s (Park City, Utah) sentiments for Deer Valley are similar to Caldwell’s. “Deer Valley has been a World Cup moguls venue for so long, and I grew up watching and competing in plenty of events there, including seeing Jonny Moseley pull off the Dinner Roll and Shannon Bahrke win two medals there during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games,” he says. “Because of that, the Champion moguls run is really considered a hallowed ground for moguls skiers. I don’t know any athlete that doesn’t look forward to competing there.”

But sacred or not, because of its length, pitch and size of the jumps, Champion is also considered one of the most challenging moguls courses in the world. Wilson admits that it’s taken him a while to figure out how to keep the pressure presented by any one event - World Championships and others - from holding him back. His strategy: focusing on performance rather than results. “In judged sports like moguls, getting too results oriented can take away a lot of the fun of competing,” he says. “And so I have learned to just show up and do what I know how to do.” And when his day to compete in the World Championships arrives, Wilson figures he has two choices.

“I can let it take my breath away or I can just smile and enjoy it. I’m going to choose to take the second option.”
 - Bradley Wilson

Snowboardcross athlete Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.) maintains her perspective by considering every competition - X Games, World Cup, the Olympics and World Championships - in the same way. “Yes, World Champs has a bigger crowd, marketing and TV time,” Jacobellis admits. “But the field will include all the same athletes I have been racing with for years. I just focus on what I have to do and remember how long I have been doing this and have been successful.”

The 2019 World Championships’ mixed gender snowboardcross team event will present a new and different aspect of competition for Jacobellis, but one that she’s fully embracing and looking forward to.

“I am so excited to mix things up. The men and women always train and race on the same course and the ladies are fully capable of being in the mix with the men. We are still figuring out what the race format will be, but it will be a really fun and exciting race, especially as a spectator - the ultimate relay race!”
 - Lindsey Jacobellis

As of press time, halfpipe skier Brita Sigourney was actually still working on getting back into competition headspace. She had just returned from a two-week break - spent powder skiing in Japan with her parents and boyfriend - and was at Copper Mountain for her first day back in the halfpipe. “Because every competition was an Olympic qualifier, last year was really stressful and so I decided to take a break this year, which I’ve never done before,” Sigourney says. Sigourney’s plan leading up to the World Championships include “skiing like I know how” at the X Games (January 24 – 27), and taking care of herself. “I’m not as young as many of the athletes and need to take more time managing some aches and pains,” and having fun. “Park City is where I live and I’m really excited to get to compete in front of my friends, my family and my boyfriend’s family.”

Spectator Information Guide: https://2019worldchamps.com/general/

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

**Next-day broadcast

Friday, Feb. 1
1:00 p.m. - Men and women's snowboardcross finals - NBCSN

Saturday, Feb. 2
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - Olympic Channel
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s freeski big air - Olympic Channel

Sunday, Feb. 3
1:00 a.m. - Men and women’s skicross - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Team snowboardcross - Olympic Channel
3:30 p.m. - Men and women’s freeski big air - NBCSN**
5:00 p.m.-  Team snowboardcross - NBCSN*

Monday, Feb. 4
3:00 p.m. - Parallel giant slalom - Olympic Channel
7:30 p.m. - Parallel giant slalom - NBCSN*

Tuesday, Feb. 5
3:00 p.m. - Parallel slalom - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard big air - NBCSN

Wednesday, Feb. 6
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s freeski slopestyle finals - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - Olympic Channel

Thursday, Feb. 7
12:00 a.m. - Men and women’s aerials - NBCSN*
9:00 p.m. - Team aerials - NBCSN

Friday, Feb. 8
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard halfpipe - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s moguls - NBCSN

Saturday, Feb. 9
1:00 p.m.- Men and women’s freeski halfpipe - NBC
9:00 p.m.- Men and women’s dual moguls - Olympic Channel

Sunday, Feb. 10
2:00 a.m. - Men and women’s dual moguls - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - Olympic Channel
4:30 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - NBC*

EVENT SCHEDULE
All times MST (local time)

Friday, Feb. 1
11:00 a.m. - Snowboardcross final - Solitude Mountain Resort

Saturday, Feb. 2
1:00 p.m. - Skicross final - Solitude Mountain Resort
7:00 p.m. - Freeski big air final - Canyons Village - Park City Mountain

Sunday, Feb. 3
11:00 a.m. - Team snowboardcross final - Solitude Mountain Resort

Monday, Feb. 4
1:00 p.m. - Parallel giant slalom final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain

Tuesday, Feb. 5
1:00 p.m. - Parallel slalom final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain
7:00 p.m. - Snowboard big air final - Canyons Village - Park City Mountain

Wednesday, Feb. 6
11:00 a.m. - Freeski slopestyle final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain
7:00 p.m. - Freestyle aerials final - Deer Valley Resort

Thursday, Feb. 7
7:00 p.m. - Freestyle team aerials final - Deer Valley Resort

Friday, Feb. 8
11:00 a.m. - Snowboard halfpipe final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain
7:00 p.m. - Freestyle moguls final - Deer Valley Resort

Saturday, Feb. 9
11:00 a.m. - Freeski halfpipe final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain
7:00 p.m. - Freestyle dual moguls final - Deer Valley Resort

Sunday, Feb. 10
11:00 a.m. - Snowboard slopestyle final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain