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So if you’re a skier and a sports fan, you’ve been enjoying a nice run of both powder days and quality TV viewing the last few weekends (love that NFL Pro Bowl … why not just make it a flag football game?) and apparently there’s another big game Sunday night (not sure what). And the Denver Nuggets are now must-see TV seemingly every other night.
But by Sunday, after a mostly dry week, we could be getting some fresh snow here in the Vail Valley – snow that could last into the middle of next week. Luckily, Sunday’s game is on in the evening so you can still ski and be on your couch in time for all of those epic commercials.
Also will be nice to see Old Man Brady tie all-time Super Bowl losers Jim Kelly and Fran Tarkenton with four failures in the big game. He would already hold the record if only the Seahawks had fed Beast Mode the rock instead of passing and the Falcons’ Kyle Shanahan knew how to run out the clock. Brady’s five-win SB “record” will always have that asterisk next to it.
Anyway, as a Broncos’ fan, let me just get back to the weather. With all the snow of late, it’s been nice to have Sundays to ski (thanks, Vance Joseph), and this coming Sunday will be another in a long string of such soft and skiable Sundays.
“Dry weather will continue through Saturday, then snow will begin on Saturday night and it could last through Wednesday, February 6th, with the deepest accumulations in the southern mountains,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz reported Wednesday. Note of caution, Vail and Beaver Creek are in the northern mountains of Colorado, where lighter totals are expected.
There’s also the matter this weekend of EagleVail’s Mikaela Shiffrin closing in on her third straight overall World Cup title and tuning up for the upcoming World Championships. Shiffrin goes for win number 12 on the season in Maribor, Slovenia, with her trademark slalom and GS events scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2.
Vail’s Lindsey Vonn, who is tentatively back on the circuit after recovering from a knee injury (and considering retirement), will not be competing in Maribor, but she did land on the U.S. Ski Team squad for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Feb. 4-17 in Are, Sweden.
Vonn (2 golds, 3 silvers, 2 bronzes) joins Shiffrin (3 golds, 1 silver) and Ted Ligety (5 golds, 2 bronzes) for a total of 18 World Championship medals heading into Are next month. Shiffrin and Ligety got two of their golds, if you recall, right here at the World Championships in Beaver Creek in 2015. Vonn got a bronze in super-G at those Worlds.
Below find the U.S. Ski & Snowboard press release announcing the full squad for the 2019 Worlds, but first a quick rhetorical question (unless someone wants to answer it in the comments section): Why is Shiffrin alternately listed in this release as hailing from both Avon and EagleVail?
U.S. Ski & Snowboard this season started listing her as being from Avon after years of saying she’s an EagleVail skier. I had not heard that the Shiffrins sold their EagleVail place and moved to Avon, but maybe they did. As an EagleVail resident myself, I know for a fact we have not been annexed by neighboring Avon, and I’d like to keep it that way (unless the EVPOA crazies start acting up again), so what gives?
Could it have anything to do with Shiffrin skiing for Vail Resorts’ rival Alterra’s Ikon Pass and not wanting the word Vail (even if it’s prefaced by Eagle) in front of her name? Anyway, here’s that press release:
2019 Alpine World Championship Team announced
U.S. Ski & Snowboard has named 13 athletes to the U.S. Alpine Team that will compete in the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. 2017 World Championship gold and silver medalist Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) and bronze medalist Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) will headline the Team of six women and seven men, competing Feb. 4-17 in Åre, Sweden.
Continuing with his “winning at every level” mantra, Alpine Director Jesse Hunt is looking forward to seeing what this team can do on the world stage in Åre. “This team has the depth, experience and heart to bring home medals,” Hunt said. “Many of these athletes have had prior success at this venue in Åre, and with their progression and consistency throughout this season, medals are within reach. The staff has been working hard this season, and the teamwork is palpable – we are eager to support our veterans and up-and-coming athletes on the world stage.”
With 11 victories across four disciplines this season, Shiffrin is a force to be reckoned with and a multiple medal threat, currently leading the overall, slalom, giant slalom and super-G standings in the FIS Ski World Cup. All-time women’s World Cup winner Vonn – who just recently returned to competition from a knee injury – has five career World Championship medals to her name. Rising stars, including 2017 World Juniors downhill champion Alice Merryweather (Higham, Mass.) and Nina O’Brien (San Francisco, Calif.) will make their World Championships debut. 2015 World Juniors slalom champion Paula Moltzan (Prior Lake, Minn.), who currently skis for the University of Vermont and has had incredible success on the World Cup this season, also joins the 2019 squad.
On the men’s speed side, 2015 World Championships medalist Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.), Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) and Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.) – who is currently ranked seventh in the World Cup downhill standings – will headline a strong crew of speed skiers, while Olympic champion Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah), and Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) lead the way on the giant slalom side. Brian McLaughlin (Topsfield, Mass.) will make his World Championships maiden voyage.
After missing out on the 2017 World Championships due to injuries, Nyman and Ligety return with their strong leadership and presence. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.), who has been skiing strong across multiple disciplines this season, also will be one to watch, having objectively qualified in downhill, super-G and giant slalom.
The last time World Championships were held in Åre was 2007, when the U.S. Ski Team won three medals, with Vonn grabbing silver in both downhill and super-G, while U.S. Ski Team alumni Julia Mancuso brought home silver in the combined. In last year’s World Cup Finals in Åre, Shiffrin won the slalom, while Vonn was third in super-G and first in downhill. It’s a special venue for Shiffrin, whose first-ever World Cup victory was in Åre in 2012, and she has won the slalom there four times.
Fans can follow all of the action in Åre, Sweden on NBC, NBCSN and the Olympic Channel, with live streaming on NBC Sports Gold.
2019 FIS SKI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM
(Name, hometown, ski club, birthdate, past World Champs Teams)
Alice Merryweather* (Hingham, Mass.; Attitash Race Team/Stratton Mountain School; 10/5/1996)
Paula Moltzan (Prior Lake, Minn.; Buck Hill Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail/University of Vermont; 4/7/1994; 2015)
Nina O’Brien* (San Francisco, Calif.; Burke Mountain Academy/Squaw Valley Ski Team; 11/29/1997)
Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.; Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation; 8/17/1988; 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.; Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 3/13/1995; 2013, 2015, 2017)
Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail/Buck Hill Ski Team; 10/18/1984; 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)
Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 7/14/1992; 2017)
Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.; Cochran’s/Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club; 3/27/1992; 2013, 2017)
Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.; Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation; 3/20/1989; 2011, 2015, 2017)
Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 7/14/1988; 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)
Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard; 8/31/1984; 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Brian McLaughlin* (Topsfield, Mass.; Dartmouth College/Green Mountain Valley School; 6/24/1993)
Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard/Sundance Ski team; 2/12/1982; 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
*Denotes first World Championships team
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Preliminary schedule, subject to change
*Same-day delayed broadcast
Tuesday, Feb. 5
6:30 a.m. – Women’s super-G – NBCSN
Wednesday, Feb. 6
6:30 a.m. – Men’s super-G – NBCSN
Friday, Feb. 8
5:00 a.m. – Women’s super combined downhill – NBCSN
10:00 a.m. – Women’s super combined slalom – NBCSN
Saturday, Feb. 9
6:30 a.m. – Men’s downhill – Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com
3:30 p.m. – Men’s downhill – NBC*
6:30 p.m. – Men’s downhill – NBCSN*
Sunday, Feb. 10
6:30 a.m. – Women’s downhill – Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com
4:30 p.m. – Women’s downhill – NBC*
11:30 p.m. – Women’s downhill – NBCSN*
Monday, Feb. 11
5:00 a.m. – Men’s super combined downhill – NBCSN
8:30 a.m. – Men’s super combined slalom – NBCSN
Tuesday, Feb. 12
10:00 a.m. – Team event – NBCSN
Thursday, Feb. 14
8:00 a.m. – Women’s giant slalom run 1 – Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com
10:30 a.m. – Women’s giant slalom run 1 – NBCSN*
11:30 a.m. – Women’s giant slalom – NBCSN*
Friday, Feb. 15
8:00 a.m. – Men’s giant slalom run 1 – Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com
10:30 a.m. – Men’s giant slalom run 1 – NBCSN*
11:30 a.m. – Men’s giant slalom – NBCSN*
Saturday, Feb. 16
5:00 a.m. – Women’s slalom run 1 – Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com
7:00 a.m. – Women’s slalom run 1 – NBCSN*
8:00 a.m. – Women’s slalom run 2 – NBCSN
1:00 p.m. – Women’s slalom – NBC*
Sunday, Feb. 17
5:00 a.m. – Men’s slalom run 1 – Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com
7:00 a.m. – Men’s slalom run 1 – NBCSN*
8:00 a.m. – Men’s slalom run 2 – NBCSN