The freeskiers who invented it don’t have to like it, but skiercross— make that ‘ski cross’—is now an official, FIS-controlled Olympic event, and former World Cup racers like Daron Rahlves are among the favorites. Burning questions remain, like how baggy should your clothes be, what exactly are the rules, and who’ll win the first gold medal.
Still, the appearance of Rahlves and Puckett in Olympic ski cross conjures images of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon getting together for one more buddy movie. And how ironically nonsensical is it that two elder statesmen lead a U.S. ski cross team that, in just its second year, is a relative infant in a relatively infant sport? And the team is led by a coach, Tyler Shepherd, who is several years younger than his two star players.
The freeskiers who invented it don’t have to like it, but skiercross—make that ‘ski cross’—is now an official, FIS-controlled Olympic event, and former World Cup racers like Daron Rahlves are among the favorites. Burning questions remain, like how baggy should your clothes be, what exactly are the rules, and who’ll win the first gold medal.
That transition might include all the appearances of retirement: parenting, dabbling in commercial real estate and victory-lap stuff like starring in ski movies and promoting sponsors. But Rahlves never relinquished that genetic exigency to compete. He believes, for example, that if rules could be bent to allow an officially “retired” racer to enter, say, just the World Cup downhill held annually at Beaver Creek, Colo., “I still could kick some ass.” And he probably could.
On the runup to this weekend's always-thrilling Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbuhel, Austria—and just a few weeks before the 2010 Olympics—Bode Miller has received a couple of well-desrved boosts. For starters, of course, he took his first World Cup win in Wengen, Switzerland, last weekend—his first in close to two years.
After an early season full of some season-ending (and in some cases, life-threatening) crashes on ski racecourses, a big debate has sprung up among racers, spectators and the sport's governing body about how to make ski racing more safe while keeping it
No bloody lip this time: Lindsey Vonn took the super combined World Cup race today in Val d'Isere, France. It was her third win of this season, and her 25th career win. Germany's Maria Riesch was second at 1.16 seconds behind; Vonn and Riesch now share the overall lead, with 521 points apiece.