"He's my new pup," admits a slightly besotted Rahlves. "We got him this summer, a five-month old Siberian Husky. I bought my first house this summer, too-from my folks. They wanted to retire to Scottsdale, AZ and get away from the snow. I'd been looking at houses in Tahoe for about a year and a half, but no house ever fit me right. I got lucky and was able to buy an incredible place from my parents."
Buying the family home in Truckee, CA didn't bring many changes to Daron's hectic schedule. "My dad sold it to me in great shape-the landscaping was buffed and it had a new driveway. All I did was get some new couches. My girlfriend, Michelle, did a lot of decorating too. She's super creative and has great taste, so I let her go wild. It's cool to come home and see something new in the house."
'Kicking back' at home, plus daily skiing at Sugar Bowl (he's their skiing ambassador) over a four-day Christmas break helped Rahlves recharge his World Cup batteries. His 6th and 13th place finishes in the Bormio, Italy downhills meet the necessary Olympic team criteria.
Daron says, "I finally got my feeling back in Bormio, but I messed up huge in the second race. I was in second place at the last split, and then made a rookie mistake by going too straight and I just about missed the next turn. The speed is there, though and that's what matters now."
And will the folks leave the warmth of Arizona for Utah in February? "Yeah," says Daron of his second Olympic Games. "Michelle, my parents, and my sister will all be at Salt Lake City. I'm excited to have them there to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience."