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Balancing Act

Balancing Act

By Stu Campbell
posted: 10/05/2000

Great skiing is all about balance, say legendary U.S. ski racers Phil and Steve Mahre. Mirror their technique, and you'll master timeless skiing fundamentals. Here, the Olympic medal-winning brothers offer sever tips that will help you ski better.

In U.S. ski racing, there are Phil and Steve Mahre, and then there is everybody else. No other U.S. racers have even approached their level of success. Had they been born in Europe, they would have lived like rock stars. Here they happily lead quiet lives, like regular guys. Such is the fate of American ski champions.

The brothers, now 43, are fraternal twins, but they're hard to tell apart. On snow they are all but identical, mirroring one another's style, exhibiting the same flawless, exuberant power they showed in the 1984 Olympic slalom at Sarajevo, when Phil edged Steve for the gold medal by a hair's breadth. Between them they own three Olympic medals (one gold, two silvers), three overall World Cup titles, one World Championship and 36 World Cup wins.

More than anything, the Mahres are fun to ski with. Witness the elegant simplicity of their turns and you say, "I can do that!" Their technique is the embodiment of timeless skiing fundamentals. Phil and Steve have been intimately involved in product development, earlier with K2, now with Volant. They appreciate, and in a profound way have influenced, how ski technology has evolved. As competitors they used the most intricate psychological strategies and sophisticated tactics imaginable. Yet their down-to-earth approach to the sport has changed very little in the 16 years since Sarajevo.Here, in their own words, is what Steve and Phil Mahre know and believe about skiing, and how they reached these conclusions. To them great skiing is all about balance¿at all levels and in all directions.

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