Alpine

Ross Leads Americans in World Champs Opener

by
Courtney Harkins
2017-02-07 07:04
 

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Feb. 7, 2017) – Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) led the Americans in the opening event of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, taking 14th in the super G.

After downhill training was canceled on Monday due to too much snow, Tuesday’s super G track was perfect. Twenty-seven-year-old Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria won the race—her first World Championships medal. Tina Weirather of Lichtenstein was second and Swiss Lara Gut took third in front of the home crowd.

Dressed in a new Spyder speed suit designed to look like superhero Captain Marvel, Ross overskied the course a bit, but plans to let her skis run in the downhill over the weekend. “I’m trusting my skiing and trying to return to my foundational skills and just have fun and enjoy it,” said Ross. “The best way to believe in yourself is remembering how passionate you are about it. I think I could have taken more risks out there—I overthought it a little and overskied it a little. I regret that, but I’m looking forward and staying positive and hoping for better in the downhills.”


Lindsey Vonn waves to the crowd after skiing out of the course. (Getty Images/AFP-Dimitar Dilkoff)

Favorite Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) did not finish the super G, struggling to grip her pole at the beginning of the run before going too straight at a gate and skiing out of the course. “I stayed on my feet, so that’s the most important thing,” laughed Vonn after the race. “I’m definitely disappointed about today—I lost my pole and kind of lost my concentration there for a minute. Then I tried to go too straight to make up for the time I lost and that was a bad tactic—I went too straight over the roll and had no chance to make the gate. It happens!”

Vonn has had issues with her motor functions since breaking her arm in November and shared that she plans to duct tape her hand to her pole in Friday’s combined and Sunday’s downhill. But she doesn’t plan on letting the super G results phase her. “I felt good,” said Vonn. “I felt confident in the start. I wasn’t nervous. I was ready. I attacked. Sometimes it just doesn’t work—that’s ski racing.”


Breezy Johnson skis in her first World Championships. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alain Grosclaude)

Young Breezy Johnson (Victor, ID) raced in her first World Championships event to take 28th. Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) did not finish.

Next, the women prepare for the alpine combined on Friday, while the men race their first World Championships event, a super G, on Wednesday. Both races will be streamed on nbcsports.com/live and broadcast live on NBCSN. NBC Olympic commentator Dan Hicks will anchor the coverage, alongside Bode Miller (Franconia, NH). Former World Cup skier Steve Porino will also be part of the broadcast action, along with reporter Heather Cox.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Laurenne Ross led the Americans in 14th place.
  • 27-year-old Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria won the race—her first World Championships medal. Tina Weirather of Lichtenstein was second and Swiss Lara Gut third.
  • Lindsey Vonn skied out of the course after going too straight at a gate.
  • Breezy Johnson was 28th in her first World Championships race. Jackie Wiles did not finish.
  • Next for the women is the alpine combined—one run of downhill and one of slalom—on Friday. The men race super G on Wednesday.

QUOTES

Laurenne Ross
I think I just overthought it a little bit and held back and didn’t ski aggressively enough. But that’s OK! My skiing was good; it just wasn’t quite as aggressive as I wanted it to be. It’s a pretty flat hill and this course specifically was fairly turny for how flat it is. And there’s a lot of terrain and you can’t really see the next gate—maybe like a quarter of the time when you’re on the hill. You really have to trust your inspection and you really have to know where you’re going. You have to make speed everywhere you can because there aren’t very many steep pitches to gain speed back on. I’m looking forward to (downhill).

I’m trusting my skiing and trying to return to my foundational skills and just have fun and enjoy it. The best way to believe in yourself is remembering how passionate you are about it. I think I could have taken more risks out there—I overthought it a little and overskied it a little. I regret that, but I’m looking forward and staying positive and hoping for better in the downhills.

Lindsey Vonn
I stayed on my feet, so that’s the most important thing. I’m definitely disappointed about today—I lost my pole and kind of lost my concentration there for a minute. Then I tried to go too straight to make up for the time I lost and that was a bad tactic—I went too straight over the roll and had no chance to make the gate. It happens! I think going forward, in the races at least, I’m going to duct tape my hand to my pole. I can’t afford to lose it again.

I try not to let (my hand) affect me, but it definitely is difficult sometimes. When I try to do my hair or do simple things or I have a large water glass, I can’t get my hand around it. There are simple things I struggle with. In general, it’s fine. It’s something I have to deal with and I just hope it gets better. I don’t want to be like this forever.

I felt good. I felt confident in the start. I wasn’t nervous. I was ready. I attacked. Sometimes it just doesn’t work—that’s ski racing. I can’t let it get me down and I have to keep focusing on tomorrow and try to build my confidence and try to get the timing for the downhill right and I think I’ll be in good shape for Sunday.

Super G, I’ve had a struggle with it since coming back from injury. I knew I had to risk a lot to even get on the podium. Today just wasn’t my day and I’ll have more chances.

Breezy Johnson
They improved the hill tremendously. I’ve never seen improvement like that overnight—usually it takes quite a bit of time to get a hill ready. I think it was really awesome how hard they worked and how great it is out there. I’m really excited for downhill now with this awesome surface. I was a little nervous yesterday, so it was good that they didn’t run it so that we didn’t ruin the hill and they could really get time to make it this nice.

I’ve run down (the St. Moritz track) once and raced down it once. I know the snow, I know the hill and I’m really excited to charge for the downhill.

I didn’t really think about (the race) as the World Championships until people starting talking to me about it. I’m really excited to move forward and have all of the things I learned today for the downhill. I really like it—l like the terrain and the pitch. It suits me really well. The snow is awesome and I’m excited to ski on it. Every time I ski race, I just try to do as well as I can—just try to ski well and charge hard. That’s been working so far and I just want to do that as much as I can for the downhill.

BROADCAST + LIVE STREAMING (times EST)

Wednesday, Feb. 8
5:55 a.m. – men’s super G – NBCSN – LIVE
10:30 a.m. – men’s super G (encore) – NBCSN

Friday, Feb. 10
4:00 a.m. – women’s alpine combined, downhill run – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
6:30 a.m. – women’s alpine combined – NBCSN – LIVE

Saturday, Feb. 11
6:00 a.m. – men’s downhill – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
2:30 p.m. – men’s downhill – NBC

Sunday, Feb. 12
6:00 a.m. – women’s downhill – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
12:30 p.m. – women’s downhill – NBC

Monday, Feb. 13 
4:00 a.m. – men’s alpine combined, downhill run – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
6:30 a.m. – men’s alpine combined – NBCSN – LIVE 
11:00 a.m. – men’s alpine combined (encore) – NBCSN

Tuesday, Feb. 14
6:00 a.m. – team event – NBCSN – LIVE
11:00 a.m. – team event (encore) – NBCSN

Thursday, Feb. 16 
3:45 a.m. – women’s giant slalom, run 1 – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
7:00 a.m. – women’s giant slalom, run 2 – NBCSN – LIVE
10:30 a.m. – women’s giant slalom, run 2 (encore) – NBCSN

Friday, Feb. 17
1:00 a.m. – women’s giant slalom, run 2 (encore) – NBCSN
3:45 a.m. – men’s giant slalom, run 1 – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
7:00 a.m. – men’s giant slalom, run 2 – NBCSN – LIVE
10:30 a.m. – men’s giant slalom, run 2 (encore) – NBCSN

Saturday, Feb. 18
3:45 a.m. – women’s slalom, run 1 – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
7:00 a.m. – women’s slalom, run 2 – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
1:00 p.m. – women’s slalom, run 2 – NBC

Sunday, Feb. 19 
3:45 a.m. – men’s slalom, run 1 – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
7:00 a.m. – men’s slalom, run 2 – NBCSN – LIVE

RESULTS
Women’s super G