PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 15 - News Release) - Two-time Olympic alpine racer Chip Knight (Stowe, VT), enjoying the best season of his career, has been named to the A Team, the U.S. Ski Team said Wednesday, while Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) and Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) have been promoted to the B Team.
U.S. Alpine Director Jesse Hunt said Knight, who turned 28 last Saturday, was being moved up because of his strong racing, especially in slalom, which include the first two top-10 World Cup results of his career. Gold medalist in slalom at the 1993 World Junior Championships and silver medalist the next year, Knight stands ninth in the current SL points after four races.
"Chip's had a tremendous start to the season; he's scored points in all four races and he's skiing the best I've ever seen," said Hunt, who was Knight's coach for the past four seasons before taking over as alpine director. In his 10th season with the Ski Team, Knight opened the season finishing seventh in the Chevy Truck America's Opening at Utah's Park City Mountain Resort. He was sixth in the naugural "knockout" slalom at Sestriere, Italy, before Christmas.
"He's an inspiration in the way he prepares," Hunt said. "He's leaving no stone unturned as he goes for more success."
Stiegler and Ludlow, who each scored the first World Cup points of their career, have been promoted to the B Team, according to Hunt.
In addition to a stunning 11th-place World Cup result in a slalom in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, in her second World Cup race last month, Stiegler was fourth in a Europa Cup slalom in Are, Sweden, won a FIS-B slalom in Goergl, Austria, and was third in another slalom in Goergl. She started the season finishing sixth in back-to-back Chevy Truck Super Series giant slaloms against race fields heavy with Europeans preparing for World Cup racing in Utah. (Her second sixth came on her 17th birthday.)
Ludlow, who has overcome several knee injuries in the last five years, scored her first World Cup points in the Chevy Truck Aspen Winternational over Thanksgiving and has kept rolling, including her first top-20. She's scored in three more World Cup races and had two podiums - a victory and a third-place finish - in Chevy Truck Super Series super Gs plus a second-place in a FIS-B giant slalom in Switzerland.
"We talk about wanting our athletes winning and being successful at every level and that's what Resi and Libby have been doing, and that's helped them start to break-through on the World Cup. The confidence they gain with Europa Cup and Nor Am or Super Series success translates into success at the highest level - on the World Cup tour," Hunt said. "Our criteria for the B Team is being ranked in the top 80 in two events; Resi's in the top 50 in slalom and GS and Libby's in the top 60 in downhill and super G, which shows how well they're doing."