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.
This we know about Daron Rahlves: He is the most accomplished American downhill racer of all time. A competitive streak runs so deep in his system that it’s like a thread spun directly into his chromosomal helix.
But can that explain why a 36-year-old father of 2-year-old twins would subject himself to the often violent rigors of ski cross, the newest sport—some would say “blood sport”—on this winter’s Olympic agenda? He already has a hall-of-fame résumé. What else is there to prove?