Alpine

Watch Shiffrin’s Globe Quest on NBC

by
Megan Harrod
2017-03-09 22:42
 

SQUAW VALLEY, CA (Mar. 9, 2017) – The Audi FIS Ski World Cup returns to Squaw Valley for the first time since 1969, when local legend Billy Kidd took home slalom gold on home snow. This weekend, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) will lead the charge on a quest for gold and globes on a challenging, relentless Red Dog track in Squaw Valley for the final stop of the World Cup tour before World Cup Finals in Aspen.

As a part of its NBC partnership, the U.S. Ski Team expanded its broadcast to include both NBC as well as live coverage of the women’s slalom on Saturday on NBCSN, where Shiffrin could wrap up the World Cup slalom title.

 

Squaw has had a winter for the books with 625 inches of snow, which has presented some unique challenges. Even so, organizers have been up to the task and after a weekend snow dump, the weather is spring-like and clear. The Red Dog surface is in great condition, but with its terrain and length, it will provide an extremely technical and challenging race for the women.

The women will take on giant slalom Friday with slalom on Saturday – both on Red Dog. Shiffrin, who turns 22 years old on March 13, has the ability to clinch the World Cup slalom title if she grabs a top-three finish Saturday. That would be Shiffrin’s fourth slalom title in five years. How about that for a birthday present?!

Shiffrin is quite familiar with Red Dog, where she won a giant slalom title at the 2014 U.S. Alpine Championships. “I can’t wait to race in Squaw,” said Shiffrin recently. “It is so exciting to be finishing the season in the U.S. and Squaw has been one of my favorite places to race in the spring ever since U.S. Alpine Championships in 2014 when we raced there. That was my first time at Squaw and I fell in love with the place. There is so much skiing history and you can feel the passion for the sport everywhere you turn. People just love it there.”

Also competing this weekend for the Americans are the fierce and fiery Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY), currently ranked top 15 in the world in slalom, local rising star Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) – who was the junior U.S. slalom champ in 2014 – and Megan McJames (Park City, UT). Notably missing in this weekend’s competition is Olympic champion and local Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), who is still recovering from a hip injury.

"I was planning to ski here until a week ago,” she said. "But things weren’t going really well for me. It was hard to train. I just didn’t feel I could go 110% from start to finish. I’ll for sure check out the hill and be a fan again.”


Squaw kicked off the World Cup with a party at KT Stage Thursday night. (U.S. Ski Team-Tom Kelly)

While she won’t be racing, Mancuso has logged thousands of hours on Red Dog, starting when she was a young ski racer in the pre-dawn hours. And she had some advice for her fellow World Cup athletes.

"The biggest thing with Red Dog is just charging top to bottom,” she said. "It’s very challenging – there’s a lot of physical effort to get to the finish line. You have to be on that limit."

Fans can catch all of the weekend’s action via live streaming on nbcsports.com/live and on NBCSN and NBC.

Road to Aspen
After a weekend of speed racing, Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia trimmed Shiffrin's overall World Cup lead to 178 points going into a technical weekend in Squaw Valley. Shiffrin cannot clinch the overall in Squaw Valley, but can wrap up the slalom title. She holds a 145-point margin over Veronika Velez Zuzulova with two slaloms left on the schedule. Stuhec nearly has the downhill title in hand with a 97-point lead over Sofia Goggia and needs only to finish ahead of her in Aspen to gain the title. Goggia would need a win. Stuhec has a mere 15-point lead over Tina Weirather in the super G with the crystal globe on the line in Aspen. Tessa Worley has a 120-point lead over Shiffrin in giant slalom with two events remaining.

The Audi FIS Ski World Cup crystal globes will be awarded at the World Cup Finals in Aspen.

CONFIRMED STARTERS
Megan McJames (Park City, UT) – GS, SL
Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) – SL
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) – GS, SL
Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) – GS, SL

QUOTES

Mikaela Shiffrin
I can’t wait to race in Squaw. It is so exciting to be finishing the season in the U.S. and Squaw has been one of my favorite places to race in the spring ever since U.S. Alpine Championships in 2014 when we raced there. That was my first time at Squaw and I fell in love with the place. There is so much skiing history and you can feel the passion for the sport everywhere you turn. People just love it there.

I have skied Red Dog once for our U.S. Alpine Championships race in 2014 and then again last year during a spring training camp. I have been on it enough to know that it is a very demanding and fun hill to ski, but I haven’t skied it enough to feel like I know it backward and forwards.

Julia Mancuso
I was planning to ski here until a week ago. But things weren’t going really well for me. It was hard to train. I just didn’t feel I could go 110% from start to finish. So I decided I would be here to experience it and talk to all my friends. I’ll for sure check out the hill and be a fan again.

The biggest thing with Red Dog is just charging top to bottom. It’s very challenging – there’s a lot of physical effort to get to the finish line. You have to be on that limit.

BROADCAST AND LIVE STREAMING (times EST)
All events streaming at www.nbcsports.com/live

Friday, Mar. 10
1:00 p.m. – women’s giant slalom – run 1 – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
4:00 p.m. – women’s giant slalom – run 2 – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM

Saturday, Mar. 11
1:30 p.m. – women’s giant slalom – NBC
4:00 p.m. – women’s slalom – NBCSN – LIVE

Live streaming available on NBCsports.com/Live and the NBC Sports app, which is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

START LIST
Women’s Giant Slalom