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World Cup skiing update: Lack of speed training hurts Americans

December 3, 2010 |  6:49 pm



Simply stunning fall day here in Denver.

Not quite so nice a couple of hours away at Beaver Creek, Colo., where the men’s downhill had to be canceled earlier Friday because of high winds.

 That wasn’t the problem in last weekend in Lake Louise, Canada, in World Cup action where the Austrian and Swiss men took turns dominating the downhill and the super-G. Austria went one-two in the downhill on Saturday and the Swiss did the same a day later in the super-G.

 For the Americans, Bode Miller had the top result of the weekend, finishing eighth in the downhill. Ted Ligety, who finished 23rd in the super-G, had an explanation for the so-so results.


“The whole U.S. ski team in general, we haven’t had a lot of speed training,” he said Sunday at Lake Louise. “It’s difficult for us right now. We just need a couple more races to get some volume under our belts.”


Blame it on Chile.


“Normally we go down to Chile every year,” Ligety said. “And this year they didn’t have snow so we had to go down to New Zealand. We got some skiing in, but the speed guys were down there for two weeks and they maybe got four days in.


“That’s only skiing on the bottom part of it, not really getting true speed training. That was a big disadvantage. The Swiss guys had good training in Zermatt.”


 Ligety, who won gold in the combined at the Olympics in 2006, is a native of Park City, and an admitted major fan of the Jazz. We chatted about the NBA and the prospects of the Jazz, in the post Carlos Boozer era.


Back to Ligety. He already has competed in two Olympics and is looking at an extended career in the sport.


“I’m only 26, and there’s a lot of guys out there who are doing great at 36,” he said. “Hopefully I still have a lot of good years ahead of me."


 -Lisa Dillman