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Double Medals for U.S. Women

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Feb. 3) -- Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA) said it best: "This is the best day of our lives!" Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) and Mendes went silver and bronze in the women's super G Monday as the women opened their campaign at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz. Clark missed the gold by a mere two-hundreths of a second behind Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister. After two events, the Austrians and Americans are tied 3-3 in the medal count.

Dorfmeister, starting 23rd -- just after Clark -- won it in the bottom section, which she won by .06 over Clark, who had won the top. Dormeister took the win in 1:27.48, with Clark at 1:27.50. Mendes was third in 1:27.63. Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) was 21st in 1:29.45.

"This definitely means a lot to be at the World Championships and to be on the podium," said Clark. "I've had a great season coming into these races, but to cap it off and be standing on the super G podium at the World Championsips means a lot."

Clark came in with strong experience on the course, including a super G World Cup podium. "Coming into the super G I knew this was a more technical course, she said. "St. Moritz did a great job preparing the course and knowing that it was more of a technical course was good for me."

Inspection is key on a course with as much terrain as the run down Corviglia. "When I inspected I just talked to my coaches and discussed what would be the best line to take," said Mendes. "I really didn't know it was an aggressive plan -- it was just what I set out to do and that's why I ended up being fast today."

Mendes won the middle section and was the split leader at the third intermediate, but dropped to 17th in the final section. "I don't really know what happened at the bottom -- I don't remember my run at all right now," laughed Mendes. "I'm happy with my third, I'm completely satisfied."

The medals were a step forward after disappointment for the women in the Olympics a year ago. "After the Olympics last year I learned quite a bit. I will never feel the stress again I felt at the Olympics. I think I was able to learn a lot from it and come into the World Championships feeling relaxed and ready."

St. Moritz, Switzerland
Feb. 3, 2003
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