Calling all ski racers, fans, and aspiring NASTAR greats. Just in time for Birds of Prey, the stateside kickoff to the men’s World Cup season this weekend in Beaver Creek, Colorado, you can now live vicariously through your favorite racers, test your racing know-how, and make wagers—all on Fantasy Ski Racer, a new website created by U.S. Ski Teamer Steven Nyman. His goal? “I want to connect the fans more with the sport.”
Following in the footsteps of the fantasy football frenzy, FSR works like this: players pick which skiers they think will finish in the top ten at a race. Points are awarded based on how accurately a player predicts the race’s outcome. Bet on a dark horse and snag extra points. It’s also possible to create leagues with friends.
While we get ski racing’s allure—come on, it's blood, guts, glory, and the last lingering vestiges of old school ski culture—the masses don’t. And, in terms of pure human athleticism, ski racers are some of the best athletes in the world. So why hasn’t the US caught on? According to World Cup founder, Bob Beattie, part of the problem “is that the public doesn’t know the racers.” Fantasy Ski Racer is about to fix that. Says Nyman, “I think it will help the public get to know the skiers because you’re always rooting for different people in different events.”
The site will also feature tips from World Cup racers, live interviews with athletes, an extensive social networking push, and a super slick logo available in sticker form that we predict will shortly be ubiquitous at ski resorts around the globe. Bode and LV aside, Fantasy Ski Racer is exactly what the sport needs to tip into the mainstream.
There’s still time to make your FSR picks for this weekend’s festivities at Beaver Creek (the downhill is today at 11am) and the ladies races in Lake Louise. The top scorer of any race this weekend will win a pair of POC gloves. Visit www.fantasyskiracer.com to make your selections.