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U.S. Ski Team Update
News from the World Cup skiing circuit
Vail's Vonn wins U.S. record 33rd World Cup, clinches 3rd straight overall title


Vail's Vonn wins U.S. record 33rd World Cup, clinches 3rd straight overall title

Ligety grabs another giant slalom globe by finishing tied for 3rd in Garmisch GS

March 12, 2010 —  GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany - Vail's Lindsey Vonn did it again. The Olympic downhill champion locked in yet another accolade this season as she clinched her third straight Audi FIS World Cup Overall title with a stunning super G victory Friday.

Vonn's title came just an hour before her U.S. Ski Team teammate Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) clinched his second GS crystal globe in three years.

"It's so important to me [to win the overall]. The overall title is one of the biggest things you can win in our sport. I always try to give my best every day, but it's a long season," said Vonn, who had already clinched the super G title prior to the Olympics.

"The last few years have gone really well for me. It's so hard to say whether you'll be able to win the overall title. To stand here in the finish and have a title in my hand is so rewarding."

Vonn's super G victory marked her 33rd career win, breaking the American record of 32 wins previously held by Bode Miller (Franconia, NH). Additionally, it was the 11th win of Vonn's season, breaking her own mark of nine.

"I was so nervous because the overall title was on the line. To win the last race of the season and to break the U.S. record of 32 U.S. wins - I'm so happy. I'm ecstatic," Vonn said. "It's been an amazing season - and definitely a long season - but I'm so happy that I was able to ski well today and come through. Having the overall title is so rewarding and I am so happy."

Vonn had placed her name on the overall globe before her skis even left the start house on Friday. In order to take home the globe friend and competitor Maria Riesch of Germany would have needed to finish first or second in the race. But as Vonn readied herself to ski, Riesch was bumped to third by Swiss Nadia Styger, skiing three spots of the American. But that didn't stop Vonn from wanting to pull in another win for 2010.

"I knew what place Maria was in, so I knew the World Cup overall was already secured. But I still wanted to go out there and have a good end to the season," Vonn said. "I'm just really happy I had a good run and was able to end the season well."

According to Vonn, having a course set that was familiar on a race day plagued with tricky snow was a key factor in her win.

"Our coach Alex Hoedlmoser set the course and I definitely think he set it to our strengths as a team. The snow conditions weren't holding up as well as I would have liked and I was the last person to start, so I knew exactly what was going on," Vonn said.

In the end, Vonn was happy to accomplish so much this year, and said it did not come without the help of many.

"It means the world to me. If you had asked me at the beginning of the season if I'd have been able to do that, I would have said 'not likely.' It takes a lot of hard work, not only by me, but from the team, from U.S. Ski Team coaches, from my husband, from Red Bull and my ski company Head," Vonn said. "It's everyone working together to make as successful a season as possible and I couldn't do it without them."

On the eve of another season's end, Vonn also reflected on the success of her team and what they have to look forward to.

"I am really happy with the season as a whole for our entire team. We've had some amazing successes," Vonn said. "The U.S. is definitely a major force on the World Cup and in the Olympics and I'm really looking forward to next season and the World Championships back here in Garmisch."

Racing alongside Vonn for the U.S. on Friday was double silver medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) who went out while putting down a sensational run, charging and tucking through bumpy corners always looking for speed.

"I just had to go for it. I knew that to win today I had to be fast. I just went a little bit too straight and crashed," Mancuso said.

With the super G out of the way, the U.S. Ski Team has only the slalom to race in on Saturday to wrap things up for 2010 with Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) as the only U.S woman in the gate. After a season of numerous injuries and the World Cup overall title safely secure, Vonn will not start.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - March 12, 2010
Women's Super G

1. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:19.30
2. Elisabeth Goergl, Austria, 1:19.46
3. Nadia Styger, Switzerland, 1:19.87
4. Maria Riesch, Germany, 1:19.89
5. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:19.95
DNF Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA

Ligety win another GS crystal globe

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (March 12) - Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) added some more oomph to his trophy collection Friday as he clinched the second Audi FIS World Cup giant slalom title of his career with third in the season's final event. The victory places Ligety in some pretty illustrious company as he joins Phil Mahre to become the only American men to earn two World Cup giant slalom titles.

"Having two globes is awesome," Ligety said. "It's cool to have those and to be the best in giant slalom over the last couple of years is nice."

Ligety's GS title is his second in three years, having won in 2008. Phil Mahre is the only other American man to win two, taking back-to-back titles in 1982 and '83. Bode Miller won the GS crown in 2004.

The GS was won by Carlo Janka of Switzerland, who locked the men's overall World Cup title with the win, followed by Davide Simoncelli of Italy in second.

Ligety had a solid first run and, after falling slightly behind at the third interval, he picked up the pace in the second run to tie for third in the giant slalom race with Austrian Philipp Schoerghofer.

"It's always better to tie someone than be one hundredth behind, so I was happy to be on the podium," Ligety mused.

With a somewhat narrow 43 point lead on the giant slalom standings going into Friday's race, Ligety said things fell into place on game day for him to beat his toughest challengers for the title.

"I knew I had to have a good first run and I was pretty lucky in the sense that [Massimiliano] Blardone had a big screw up and then Marcel [Hirscher] got disqualified," Ligety said. "That opened it up for me and I skied decently in the second run."

While those advantages locked Ligety in the title run before his second run, the 2006 Olympic champ had no idea he had already won the globe when the time came for him to race.

"I didn't actually know that I had won the title no matter what at that point," Ligety said. "I would have gone harder had I known that, but I had a safe second run and was still pretty excited to get on the podium."

With the title Ligety added the 2010 discipline title to the first he won in 2008. He also capped the year with three consecutive World Cup podiums in GS to bookend a season that began with second in Soelden, Austria last October. Despite his success in GS, Ligety was looking for more with his slalom, but has one more chance in slalom Saturday to end on a high note.

"I don't feel like the year has been great otherwise, so it's definitely nice to walk away with the globe," Ligety said. "It's cool to be able to ski at this level for multiple years."

Wrapping up the race Ligety noted the future he hopes to have on the hill when 2011 World Championships are held here.

"The hill is actually pretty good. It's difficult on the top and then the bottom has a super long flat," he said. "It's a confidence booster to do well on the hill that you know you're going to have World Championships here."

Ligety and teammate Jimmy Cochran (Keene, NH) close out individual competition Saturday during World Cup Finals in Germany during the slalom event.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - March 12, 2010
Men's Giant Slalom

1. Carlo Janka, Switzerland, 2:20.87
2. Davide Simoncelli, Italy, 2:21.18
3 (T). Ted Ligety, Park City, UT, 2:21.44
3 (T). Philipp Schoerghofer, Austria, 2:21.44
5. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 2:21.49

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Riesch makes move as Vonn injures knee in GS; Guay wins season super G title


Riesch makes move as Vonn injures knee in GS; Guay wins season super G title


March 11, 2010 —  GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany - Germany's Maria Riesch finished third during the giant slalom at the Audi FIS World Cup Finals on Thursday, narrowing the gap in the hunt for the overall title to just 165 points. Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), who currently leads the title race, went out in the first run.

Germany's Kathrin Hoelzl was able to lock up the women's GS title, finishing second in the race behind Tina Maze of Slovenia.

Vonn crashed when her skis locked up in a right hand turn. According to U.S. Ski Team Medical Director Richard Quincy, Vonn suffered a small bone bruise on the outside of her right knee but expects to be prepared to race in Friday's super G.

Despite the pain in her knee, Vonn intends to race on Friday.

"I'm going to race tomorrow. I'm not going to back down from this. At this point, I'm used to fighting through pain," Vonn said.

Vonn needs only a top-7 finish in the super G to take the overall title. Riesch, meanwhile, would need a win and a second in the super G and slalom with Vonn finishing outside the top-15 in both races.

With her teammate out, Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) led the way for the U.S. team, finishing 25th. According to the racing mother, she had to let loose on the second run if she wanted to move up, but a loss of rhythm cost her time.

"I had nothing to lose on the second run. I just thought to link the turns and come into the arcs," Schleper said. "I knew I slayed the middle pitch, and I tried to tuck it out onto this flat but I just got a little jacked on the line. I kind of missed the timing of it."

For Schleper, training time with teammate and 2008 World Cup giant slalom champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) the last few days was an added benefit.

"I need more mileage and it would be great to train more with the men," Schleper said. "But just to get those two days with Ted was really motivating. I'm pulling for him all the way tomorrow."

While Ligety battles for his second giant slalom title on Friday, the women move on to the super G where Vonn has already locked up the discipline title, but intends to race in order to lock a third straight overall title. She will be joined in the start by 2010 double Olympic silver medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) will race.

Fans can catch the action live on

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - March 11, 2010
Women's Giant Slalom

1. Tina Maze, Slovenia, 2:10.72
2. Kathrin Hoelzl, Germany, 2:10.75
3. Maria Riesch, Germany, 2:10.93
4. Viktoria Rebensburg, Germany, 2:11.16
5. Andrea Fichbacher, Austria, 2:11.52
25. Sarah Schleper, Vail, CO, 2:16.11
DNF1: Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO)

Guay wins first Canadian title since 1982

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (March 11) - Canada's Erik Guay kept his stride Thursday, winning his second straight super G to notch the discipline title at the Audi FIS World Cup Finals in Germany, the first World Cup globe for a Canadian since Steve Podborski in 1982. Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) led for the U.S., finishing 16th.

Ligety was having a strong race until falling slightly off the race line into powder on the side of the track as heavy snow fell throughout the men's race.

"I feel like I skied well in places, but just made that one huge mistake. When you get off the track, especially when it's been snowing, you slow down a lot," Ligety said. "The snow on the hill was good and the light on the course was OK. It was just if you got outside the line it would definitely be pretty powdery."

However, for Ligety, being able to get on the hill in the super G meant having one more trip down the race slope before Friday's all-important giant slalom where he will be challenging for his second GS crystal globe.

"It's good to get on the hill. It's not the greatest speed hill for me, but we'll see how it goes in GS. It isn't the toughest hill in the world," Ligety said. "Hopefully I can hold on to the title and ski well tomorrow. To keep the giant slalom title is all that really matters."

In the GS globe race, Ligety leads the competition by 43 points, which he said serves as a little bit of extra motivation.

"I like my chances for sure. I was skiing well, so it's just a matter of how I will pull through. 43 points isn't a good enough lead to feel comfortable and that's good because I have to push myself," Ligety said.

Despite missing the super G points in the season finale, Ligety closed the season 14th in the discipline standings boosted by a second at the Val d'Isere, France World Cup in December. Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) wrapped the year in 18th for super G followed by Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) in 23rd and Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) in 25th.

Fans can watch live to see Ligety race for the globe on

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - March 11, 2010
Men's Super G

1. Erik Guay, Canada, 1:26.36
2. Ivica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:26.75
3. Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway, 1:26.99
4. Hannes Reichelt, Austria, 1:27.24
5. Georg Streitberger, Austria, 1:27.48
16. Ted Ligety, Park City, UT, 1:28.17

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Riesch closes overall gap by edging Vonn in downhill at World Cup Finals


Riesch closes overall gap by edging Vonn in downhill at World Cup Finals


March 10, 2010 —  GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany - Olympic Champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) started the wrap up of her 2010 season with yet another podium as she took second during the downhill at Audi FIS World Cup Finals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Wednesday. Maria Riesch of Germany took the win, closing the gap on Vonn in the World Cup overall standings.

"It was a tough downhill and I tried my best. But I didn't ski the best that I could have and made a couple mistakes and that's why Maria was the winner today," Vonn said. "Anyone can win these races and I have to ski my best if I want to continue to win. "

For Vonn, the day marked a special occasion as she received the crystal globe for winning the World Cup downhill title – a title she clinched last weekend with a win in Crans Montana, Switzerland. It marked her third consecutive downhill title after winning six of eight downhill races this season, including five straight to open the year.

"It was a great day. It's always nice to end the season well. I'm really happy with my second place today, but even more happy to be holding the crystal globe up there on the podium," Vonn said. "It's been an amazing season for me in downhill and I feel like I've been more consistent this year than in past years."

Now, the hunt is on for Vonn to also lock in the third consecutive World Cup overall title of her career. With a 225 point difference between her and her best friend Riesch, Vonn still isn't taking anything for granted and plans to kick things into high gear.

"For me, my eyes are set on the big crystal - the overall title - so I have to really try hard to beat Maria in these next couple races so that I can close the overall before the slalom," said Vonn, who has also locked the super G and super combined titles. "Anything is possible. Maria already said that I won, but nothing is over until it's over. So I'll just keep fighting and hopefully I can do it."

Winning the overall in mind, Vonn also noted it would be nice to notch out at least one more victory before the close of the year.

"I'm really happy with second place and for me it's a good end to the season. I'm going to try to ski better in the super G and finish out the season with at least one more win," Vonn said. "I'm happy. I'm skiing relaxed and I'm having a good time."

Following Vonn for the USA was none other than double Olympic silver medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) who said being tentative held her back in the downhill.

"I went out, had an OK run and I am happy about it," Mancuso said. "I really just wanted to charge. I think in the end I skied a little bit conservative but it was good to get another consistent finish."

However, looking at her season as a whole, Mancuso is happy to have her consistency back and plans to parlay it into a better season in 2011.

"It's nice to come into the finals skiing fast and hopefully I'll carry the momentum into next year," Mancuso said. "Things couldn't have gone any better at the Olympics. It was really hard coming back from a back injury. Of course I'll be looking to ski better next year, but it's good to end it this way."

It was the last World Cup races of the season for Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) and Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), who finished 16th and 21st respectively. Despite looking for more in today's race, McKennis was completely satisfied with her rookie season on the World Cup, which took her to both the Olympic Games and World Cup Finals. Both she and Cook will return to the U.S. to prepare for the U.S. Alpine Championships at Whiteface Mountain in New York.

"I'm stoked to be here. It's been an awesome season and I've had so much fun. I'm looking forward to summer, having some time off in the sun and getting ready for next season," McKennis said. "My first few World Cups I was pretty nervous, it was the big show. Now it seems really natural to be here."

In the men's downhill, Switzerland's Carlo Janka took the World Cup win to finish second in the World Cup downhill standings behind teammate Didier Cuche, who secured the men's title last weekend in Norway. U.S. men did not compete, opting instead to nurse some season-long injuries that had been nagging them.

The action in Garmisch-Partenkirchen continues Thursday with men's super G and women's giant slalom. Fans can catch the action live on

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - March 10, 2010

1. Maria Riesch, Germany, 1:34.82
2. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:35.30
3. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:35.95
4. Nadja Kamer, Switzerland, 1:36.04
5. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:36.13
16. Alice McKennis, Glenwood Springs, CO, 1:37.08
21. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CO, 1:37.73

1. Carlo Janka, Switzerland, 1:58.45
2. Mario Scheiber, Austria, 1:58.47
3 (T). Erik Guay, Canada, 1:58.52
3 (T). Patrick Kueng, Switzerland, 1:58.52
5. Hans Grugger, Austria, 1:58.56

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Miller shuts it down for season to rest ankle, plan for next season


Miller shuts it down for season to rest ankle, plan for next season


March 9, 2010 —  PARK CITY, UT – After skiing with injuries nearly all winter, five-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), who skied to an inspiring gold medal in the Olympic super combined, will miss the remainder of the season in order to focus on recouping his health.

"My ankle is still bothering me so I'm going to stay home and get treatment," said Miller.

Miller sustained a right ankle sprain in December while playing volleyball with teammates in Val d'Isere, France. After taking two weeks off from racing in late December and early January, Miller returned to the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup to notch his American record 32nd victory with a stunning super combined win at the famed Lauberhorn classic in Wengen, Switzerland.

He then posted a top 10 at the punishing Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria before battling his way through the Olympics with a historic gold-silver-bronze medal haul to lead the U.S. Ski Team with three of eight medals.

"My goal at the beginning of the season was to get ready for the Olympics and to win races in February," Miller said. "I just focused on that and I did that. If I wasn't injured, I would have a made a separate decision about going to World Cup Finals, but that's not the case. I feel like I accomplished everything I wanted to this season so it's nice to just be able to relax."

Miller has not yet decided on his plan for the 2011 World Cup season.

"The Olympics were a good experience but it's all been pretty positive in my career," he said. "I haven't made any decisions about next season. At some point, I'll sit down with Sasha [Rearick, U.S. Ski Team Head Coach] and see where we're at and what kind of program we can put together and I'll make a plan from there."

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