Alpine

Harjo Sets World Cup History

by
USSA
2016-01-15 17:41
 

FLACHAU, Austria (Jan. 15, 2016) – For one athlete, it was a career day, but for an American coach, it was a historic day at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom Friday. Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) was the top American finisher in 28th.

U.S. Ski Team coach Karin Harjo had the distinction of setting the first run course, becoming the first woman in World Cup history to set a slalom course. For Slovakia World Cup veteran Veronika Velez Zuzulova, it was a career day with back-to-back victories.

“As far as the history thing, it hasn’t really hit me yet,” Harjo said. “Probably because a lot of the time I just think of going out and doing my job, and just being another coach on the hill. That’s always been my mentality, being known as a good coach … verses being the woman that set the course. I understand it’s a huge milestone, but more than anything, I believe in working hard, believing in your dreams, and doing the best job you can.”

Zuzulova, who has been skiing on the World Cup circuit for 15 years, scored her fourth World Cup victory, and first back-to-back wins of her career; in dramatic come-from-behind fashion under the lights as heavy snow fell. Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter was second, maintaining her World Cup slalom lead over Zuzulova. Petra Vlhova of Slovakia was third.

For the Americans, Stiegler led the team in 28th. Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN) and Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) failed to qualify for the second run.

“(Paula and Lila) know exactly the mistakes they made,” Harjo said of the two young U.S. athletes who scored their first World Cup points under the lights in Tuesday’s slalom. “They know that they can compete at this level and they are confident moving forward, but they know that mistakes at this level are that much greater.

“For Resi … she knows exactly where she nailed it and exactly where she made mistakes,” Harjo continued. “And today, she made big mistakes on both runs, which is the first time all season she has done that … but in between, there were sections that she skied really, really well. She has an urgency to complete a full run clean, and she has splits that are right in there with the top girls.”

Back to the historic day, Harjo admits that it took an entire team to put her in the position to make World Cup history.

“As far as being the person who got the opportunity (to be the first women to set a World Cup course), I don’t know what I did differently than anyone else. Other than being surrounded by an amazing support system, coaching unit and team,” Harjo said. “That’s the thing too, when it comes to setting courses, its not just one person, it’s very much a team thing. It took their belief in me as a coach to do it, and that’s a lot more than just being lucky.”

Up next, the women compete in giant slalom Sunday. Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) and Megan McJames (Park City, UT) are scheduled to compete.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • U.S. Ski Team coach Karin Harjo had the distinction of setting the first run course, becoming the first woman in World Cup history to set a slalom course.
  • Former Swiss alpine skier and coach Marie-Theres Nadig had previously set two super G courses (Zauchensee and Cortina) when she coached, but no slalom.
  • FIS reported that it was not possible to track back all the course setters since 1968 when the World Cup was born, so they (along with Swiss TV) contacted Nadig to confirm. They also confirmed with Swiss coach Karl Frehsner.
  • Winner Veronika Zuzulova won back-to-back World Cup events for the first time in her career.
  • Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter was second, maintaining her World Cup slalom lead over Zuzulova.
  • Sunday’s giant slalom streams live on NBC LIVE EXTRA.

 

QUOTES

Karin Harjo – U.S. Women’s Coach
As far as the history thing, it hasn’t really hit me yet. Probably because a lot of the time I just think of going out and doing my job, and just being another coach on the hill. That’s always been my mentality, being known as a good coach … verses being the woman that set the course. I understand it’s a huge milestone, but more than anything I believe in working hard, believing in your dreams, and doing the best job you can.

As far as being the person who got the opportunity (to be the first women to set a World Cup course), I don’t know what I did differently than anyone else. Other than being surrounded by an amazing support system, coaching unit and team. That’s the thing too, when it comes to setting courses, its not just one person, it’s very much a team thing. It took their belief in me as a coach to do it, and that’s a lot more than just being lucky.

(Paula and Lila) know exactly the mistakes they made. They know that they can compete at this level and they are confident moving forward, and they know that the mistakes at this level are that much greater.

For Resi … she knows exactly where she nailed it and exactly where she made mistakes. And today, she made big mistakes on both runs, which is the first time all season she has done that … but in between, there were sections that she skied really, really well. She has an urgency to complete a full run clean, and she has splits that are right in there with the top girls.

LIVE STREAMING (times EST)

Sunday, Jan. 17
3:15 a.m. - Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1, Flachau - LIVE STREAM
6:15 a.m. - Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2, Flachau - LIVE STREAM

RESULTS
Women’s slalom