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Brennan Has Career Best Finish, Ligety Returns, And Shiffrin Makes History

Steven Kornreich

A few snow storms made for great skiing over the weekend in Utah, Elsewhere US Ski and Snowboard had a good weekend, including Ted Ligety’s first race of the winter, a career best for Rosie Brennan and a historic achievement for Mikaela Shiffrin.

Mikaela Shiffrin finished 4th in the downhill race at Lake Louise in Alberta Canada on Saturday, but as U.S. Ski and Snowboard Director of Communications Tom Webb reports her 1st place finish in the Super G on Sunday helped her achieve something no other ski racer has ever done.

“She becomes the seventh women to have achieved all of the world cup globe disciplines but becomes actually the first ever ski racer, male or female, to have won everything that is currently being contested. Having won downhill in Lake Louise last year, and then following it up with a Super G win this year she’s now ticked the box in every single discipline. Which really does set her apart. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that we’re watching one of the world’s greatest athlete of any sport currently performing. I think we’re very lucky to be able to be part of her world right now. It’s an amazing achievement.”

Webb also updated listeners on Lindsey Vonn’s status. Vonn injured her knee in a training accident at Copper mountain last month. Webb reports that it’s not the knee that has given her troubles before.

“She has said she’s definitely not out for the season. I think she was obviously extremely disappointed not to be racing at Lake Louise but will be back soon. We don’t have a firm date for her yet. She also had an incredible opportunity over the weekend to be celebrated at Lake Louise, known as Lake Lindsey, where they’ve named the downhill track after her. That really is quite something. That puts her stamp very firmly on one of her favorite venues. Lindsey actually surprised the world a little bit by announcing that she was going to be coming back to Lake Louise next year, whatever happens this season, having already announced her retirement.”

Meanwhile the men’s alpine team spent the weekend competing in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

“We saw Steve Nyman and Bryce Bennett tie for ninth place. That’s a really really strong result for those guys. After a good summer of training and getting ready for the winter for them both to get into the top 10, really is something.”

Ted Ligety competed for the first time this winter in Beaver Creek. The Park City resident finished 22nd in the Super G and 8th in the Giant Slalom.

“He wants to be winning, he want’s to be up on that podium, but I think again with the preparation that he’s had and the opportunity that he’s had to bring himself back into the team I think that’s a good result. I know he was pleased. I think he was particularly happy to have seen so many of his teammates also scoring world cup points. I know that he’s a figurehead for that team and him leading the charge sets the standard for everybody.”

U.S. Cross Country competed in Lillehammer, Norway over the weekend. Eric Bjornsen finished 3rd in the 15k classic pursuit, Sadie Bjornsen lead the US women’s team finishing 9th in the 10K freestyle, Jessie Diggins finished 12th on the race. Sandwiched between her two teammates was Park City resident Rosie Brennan. Brennan had a career best finish of 11th in the 10K freestyle, the career best race helped propel her to an overall finish of 15th on the weekend.

“Rosie’s also a really active member of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Not only is she an outstanding athlete she is one of our athlete liaisons and is right up at the top of the organization representing athletes. She’s a great athlete and also really helping shape the future of the whole organization.”

After a few competitions in North America, US Ski and Snowboard will shift their focus to competitions in Europe.

“Unfortunately, the Val d’Isere, France world cup weekend, the alpine weekend, has been just cancelled, due to lack of snow over there. We have a number of teams in action. We have the cross-country team in Beitostølen in Norway. The women’s alpine team in St. Moritz, Switzerland we haven’t heard any bad news about that not happening. Also, our mogul’s team are in their first competition of the season on December 7th in Ruka, Finland and again we have some really high hopes for success there. Particularly looking ahead to the world championships here in February which will obviously be happening for the mogul’s team up at Deer Valley.”

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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