The Afghan Ski Connection
In the late 19th century, no soldier in the British Empire was more beloved than Field Marshall Frederick Sleigh Roberts, V.C., known to Rudyard Kipling readers as "Bobs." Roberts' most illustrious victory occurred in 1880 at Kandahar¿better known today as the stronghold of the Taliban. To lift a siege of British troops, Roberts led 10,000 soldiers over 320 miles of rugged terrain in 110-degree August heat. England bestowed on him the title: 1st Earl "Roberts of Kandahar." In 1911, British skiers organized one of the world's first downhills at Crans-Montana, Switz. Skiing was little known, so they asked Roberts if they could use his name. The Roberts of Kandahar race was born. The name proved popular. The Kandahar Ski Club was founded in 1924. Four winters later, a combined downhill and slalom was staged: the Arlberg Kandahar. Preceding the first World Alpine Ski Championships by three winters, the Arlberg Kandahar became the world's most famous ski competition. So great was the name's prestige that scores of hotels and restaurants were named Kandahar. There was a Kandahar binding, ski and boot, and Kandahar parkas. The Arlberg Kandahar has been run 63 times, and it is still a combined World Cup event in most years. ¿John Fry
Countdown to the Olympics
SKI Magazine has covered the history and controversy leading up to the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games like no one else can. And now it's available to you in an easy, organized database. Simply log on to skimag.com and type in the keywords "2002 Olympics" to access extensive coverage of the venues, people and events leading up to the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games. From "What Tickets Cost and What's Still Available," to "Olympicgate: Why It Happened," to the skinny on "Solitary Salt Lake City," skimag.com can plug you into the 2002 Winter Games, the athletes, Salt Lake City and the surrounding area.
Skiing's New Heroes
Don't know a Dinner Roll from an Off-Axis 720? Ask your kids. Or check out the U.S. Freeskiing Open, Jan. 24-27, at Vail, Colo. Founded by SKI's sister publication Freeze magazine, and heading into its fifth year, the U.S. Open is the biggest event¿with the biggest purse¿in the freeskiing world, showcasing competitions such as Slopestyle, Big Air, Skiercross and Halfpipe. The Open has developed into a casting call for future ski stars. "People gravitate toward originality. The U.S. Open is the event," says Jonny Moseley, the 1999 Slopestyle winner. For more information, go to skimag.com or usfreeskiing.com.
What Women Want
Finding a good ski designed for women in the male-dominated sport of skiing has long been like winning the lottery: You're hopeful, but you know it's a long shot. That's changing. Last year, K2 formed the K2 Alliance, a group of six women¿from a mother of three to a former World Extreme Skiing Champion¿to help develop female-friendly skis. After 12 months of testing, women got what they wanted earlier this season: the T:Nine Series, which takes its name from Title IX, the national legislation that brought equality for women in college sports. The new line features three models: Reflex ($375) for beginner to intermediate skiers, Flight ($500) for intermediate to advanced skiers and X ($625) for advanced skiers. Then, in a mid-season launch last month, K2 introduced the T:Nine Spire ($675), which K2 trumpets as the first women's-only expert ski. On average, the T:Nines are 15 percent lighter and 10 percent softer than most men's models. For more information, visit www.k2women.com. ¿Krista Crabtree
Nearly 80,000 skiers race NASTAR each season at 100 resorts. So who's the next Picabo?
Perhaps a young 2002 NASTAR finalist will follow in the tracks of Picabo Street's winning career. "NASTAR introduced me to racing," says Street, a 1998 Olympic gold medalist. "Maybe future Olympianss will be racing NASTAR this winter." Street, NASTAR's national spokeswoman, will host the 2002 NASTAR finals, March 28-31, in Park City, Utah. Below is a list of last season's nationally ranked racers and their handicaps. For current results, visit nastar.com.