Sunday, February 28, 2016

Marie-Michèle Gagnon Takes Victory in Soldeu El Tarter Alpine Combined

Marie-Michèle Gagnon takes her second career Word Cup win after two solid runs in FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Soldeu Alpine Combined, the first also coming in the combined in 2014 in Zauchensee. Since then, she earned just one other podium place, third place in the Crans-Montana slalom this season.
Swiss sensation Wendy Holdener finished second, 0.20 seconds off the pace, while French Anne-Sophie Barthet rounded out the podium, 0.61 out.
"I wasn’t expecting a win", Gagnon said. "I was surprised. I was hoping for a podium. That’s always a good result, and I knew that I was skiing strong. My super-G was pretty good yesterday. I started 52 and came 23rd. For me, I was pretty happy with that. And today, I was able to put down a pretty solid run in the super G and also, my confidence is good with slalom. After two weekends ago, I had my first podium in like four years in slalom, so it’s really good. Just having that confidence moving into alpine combined where both of the races were kind of like perfect snow, I would say. It was just really a good day, I guess".
Wendy Holdener has been on a roll lately, she earned her first career victory on Tuesday evening at the city event in Stockholm and followed up today with the second place finish.
"For sure, it’s my best week in ski racing", Holdener confessed. "Today, I had a good super-G. It wasn’t perfect, but it was really good for me. The slalom was 'so la la'. It wasn’t my best skiing, but I’m happy with today".
"I like the speed disciplines since I was a little child", continued the 22-year-old. "But for now, I have to get better in GS and after that maybe I have more time for speed disciplines, but at the moment, I like the alpine combined".
Rounding out the podium was Anne-Sophie Barthet who made an impressive move from bib 47 to earn her first World Cup podium finish.
"I can say that the last 10 years were a little bit difficult and so today it’s like we won a little bit", she reflected. "There was a lot of frustration during those 10 years and today was just one race, it managed to erase everything. Just a wonderful day and think maybe it can also be a fresh start".
But perhaps the most compelling story line of the day, was the amazingly quick return of American Lindsey Vonn, who had to be evacuated from the course after a mild crash yesterday, but returned in a big way today, laying down the fastest time in the super-G.
Also earning a lot of credit for their efforts, was the Organising Committee in Soldeu, which battled touch weather conditions all weekend and still hosted two successful races.

Second Win For Alexis Pinturault in Hinterstoder


Alexis Pinturault, who is definitively in the flow now was unbeatable, again, on the Austrian course of Hinterstoder and clocked the fastest time in both runs. But the conditions were completely different today for the 8th Giant Slalom of the season and the second one staged on the "Hannes Trinkl" slope this week-end, First of all, the course setting by Germany is turnier than on Friday, and high clouds came in during the night, which warmed up the atmosphere and made it more humid.
In second position, the Giant Slalom King Marcel Hirscher earned its 15th podium of the season and delighted the 11‘000 Austrian fans present in the finish area.
Slalom leader Henrik Kristoffersen claimed the 3rd place in today’s race.
"It was a good run and a strong runs", said Pinturault. "Second run was quite tough on the top, it was really bumpy, the snow was not the same as two days ago but I tried to push really hard and it seems to be one of the most perfect races for me. There is still three GS races so anything can happen, but it is going to be difficult, Marcel is too strong for me".
Marcel Hirscher secured 80 more points for both the Giant Slalom and the Overall ranking.
"Three races to go and hopefully I can gain many points next weekend, that would be amazing", said Hirscher. "I think Henrik is in a position that the overall is open until the last race of the finals. So many things are going forward in alpine ski racing and if you are not working each day on your performance, you will lose on your confidence".
Henrik Kristoffersen found the flow again and skied some very stronge sections. With this podium, he stays close to Marcel Hirscher in the battle for the Overall World Cup.
"280 points behind Marcel in the Overall is a lot", said Kristoffersen.“"I have only 5 races left, and Marcel is unbelievingly fast, even in Super-G, I think there is no chance… But I don’t focus on the Overall, I just focus on the next race. I look forward to Kranjska Gora. There is no long flat there, the course is steeper and I think it suits my skiing better. I’m ready and I’ll try to win races there".

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Wins Hinterstoder Super G


The Audi FIS Ski World Cup had it’s 6th men’s Super-G on the "Hannes Trinkl" track in Hinterstoder, and with very tight gaps in the season’s Super-G ranking, the suspense was intense.
In the end, it’s younggun Aleksander Aamodt Kilde that celebrated his second career-win in Hinterstoder, after his win in the downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen earlier this season. The Norwegian laid down a strong run and took the lead out of his bib number 12 and never left it.
"It‘s been a really good season", said Kilde. "I‘m really happy with what I‘ve done and it‘s unbelievable, actually. Winning races is always fun, but this one I really wanted and I probably had a little bit of a better feeling today than in Garmisch. When it comes again, it‘s a little bit easier to handle".
Kilde is now only 25 points behind his injured teammate Aksel Lund Svindal in the Super-G standings. With two races to come, one of them in his home turf, Kilde is becoming a globe favourite. "We‘ll see", said Kilde. "There are still races to come and you have to ski well because there are really good skiers on the hill, so you have to fight for it.It‘s been way over my expectations already, it‘s crazy".
As in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the runner-up is Slovenia’s Bostjan Kline. He finished second in Hinterstoder’s Super-G, only +0.24 behind Kilde. "I felt pretty good,“ said Kline. "I was a bit scared and I had some anxiety before the start, but in the start I felt good, really ready for it and confident. On the course, it was nice to ski and I had grip on the ice so it was nice; and in the bottom part, you could really make the turns and enjoy the super G".
Kline is definitively on the "one-to-watch" list for the future, but he doesn’t put pressure on himself. "I want to take small steps. I don‘t want to get in front of myself or expect too much. I want to still stay patient and to work on being the best someday, to beat Kilde!"
Overall World Cup leader Marcel Hirscher proved once again that he is not only an excellent tech athlete, but that he can be fast in speed disciplines as well. After his first win in Super-G at the beginning of the season in Beaver Creek, the Austrian claimed the 3rd spot on today’s podium and scored some important points.
"Most of the time, ski racing is not about fun", said Hirscher. "It‘s about skiing fast, and this worked out pretty well for me today. It‘s a big surprise to earn 60 points in the Super-G, I think no one could predict that. My goal was a Top 15, so to end up on the podium is really cool. With the experience, its getting easier in the speed disciplines, you get more confidence, you get the routine and the know-how, and that helps a lo".“

Federica Brignone Wins Soldeu El Tarter Super G


It was a battle against nature today for the ladies’ Audi FIS World Cup super-G race in Grandvalira as the racers had to fight heavy snow and winds after waiting through a three-hour delay. In the end, Federica Brignone (ITA) came away with the victory, topping Laurenne Ross (USA) by 0.13 seconds.
It was the fifth podium for Brignone this season, but her first career podium in super-G.
"It’s incredible today", Brignone said. "I just can’t believe it, and it’s crazy. I know this was a tough race. It was not the best conditions for the best racers, the top 7, but then I took advantage of my luck and I just skied my best and tried to push. I knew it was just one minute of super G, so I tried to push every single turn".
"Actually, when I went down it was really good", Brignone continued. "You must not to go outside the race line because the snow was a little bit soft. In the last part, if you were going a little bit wide, you were kind of slowed down. A part from the top section, itt was so good for me because it was just steep and technical".
For Ross, the second place was an equally impressive mark on her career standings as it was just her second-ever World Cup podium. Rounding out the surprise top-three was Austrian Tamara Tippler, who also celebrated her second career podium finish.
"My skiing has been improving and I got on the lucky side of things today and I took advantage of it, and I’m really happy", Ross explained. "I mean, it’s an outdoor sport. It’s very rarely perfectly fair, but yeah, it started snowing pretty hard in the middle of the race and that definitely created some slow surfaces for the girls behind, but I mean that’s ski racing and if you’re on the good side of it, you have to take advantage of it and if you’re on the bad side, then just hope for the best next time".
All eyes were on the ongoing duel between American Lindsey Vonn and Lara Gut (SUI), who have been going toe-to-toe all season in the fight for the Overall World Cup title. But that fight took an unfortunate turn, when Vonn, racing with Bib 16 seemed to lean too far into a turn and slid into the fencing. Although the crash didn’t look serious at first glance, Vonn stayed down and had to be taken off the course by medical personnel. No immediate update on her medical condition was available.
Gut came down as the next racer after the delay to evacuate Vonn and skied a conservative run, finishing 16th, 1.15 seconds off the winning pace, but still picking up valuable World Cup points.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Alexis Pinturault Wins Hinterstoder Giant Slalom


Alexis Pinturault, who is definitively in the flow since his last Giant Slalom win in Naeba and his win in the Alpine Combined race & standings in Chamonix, was unbeatable on the Austrian course of Hinterstoder and clocked the fastest time in the addition of both runs.
"This win was unexpected", said Pinturault. "Especially after the big mistake I did right before the flat part. It’s never good to do mistakes before flats! I wasn’t sure it would be enough, but in the end, I was peasently surprised with my time".
In second position, the Giant Slalom King Marcel Hirscher earned its 13th podium of the season and delighted the 11‘000 Austrian fans present in the finish area.
"This is how World Cup Ski Racing should be", said Hirscher. "A nice hill, a very icy slope and tricky course setting. All in all, it was a very good day for me, a second place is the maximum I could reach today. Alexis showed what is the best Giant Slalom turn right now, and with my two stupid mistakes there was no way I could beat him".
Giant Slalom specialist Thomas Fanara came back to his top shape and claimed the 3rd place in today’s race. The Frenchman took 2nd in the World Cup Opening in Sölden, but struggle to claim top positions ever since.
"I had two difficult months between Sölden and now", said Fanara. "First I finished in the net in Beaver Creek, then in Val d‘Isère I skied strong but made a stupid mistake, the snow didn’t fit me in Alta Badia, and then you start to think and the confidence is gone. When you ski only one discipline like me, there is no other race to find your shape again. So you need to be patient. Here the snow conditions really suit me and everything just fit together today. I’m very happy to be back on the podium".

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wendy Holdener and Marcel Hirscher Wins Stockholm City Event


The Audi FIS World Cup City Event in Stockholm provided countless fireworks as the top 16 men and ladies’ battled it out on the slalom course on Hammarby hill overlooking the city. In the end, Marcel Hirscher (AUT) and Wendy Holdener (SUI) came away with the crowns, but host Sweden could hold its head high after an excellent performance.
It was almost a fairytale finish for the first-time World Cup venue as the Swedes pushed through the preliminary rounds and were in prime position to win both the men’s and ladies’ races when the semi-finals arrived.
The Swedes placed two ladies in the semi-finals with Frida Hansdotter and Maria Pietilae-Holmner both making the final four. But Swiss sensation Wendy Holdener played the role of spoiler in the Big Final, edging Hansdotter. It was Holdener’s first-ever World Cup victory. Pietilae-Holmner fared better in the Small Final as she earned the podium place after topping Norwegian Nina Loeseth.
"I love the atmosphere", said a happy Holdener after the race. "It's in the city with a lot of people and it's crazy, you have to go up and down and up and down and you go in a hurry and I like that".
On the men’s side, Marcel Hirscher was solid throughout a competition that saw several surprises. The first major upset came in the first round as current slalom World Cup leader Henrik Kristoffersen fell at the hands of his own teammate and speed specialist Kjetil Jansrud. City Event expert Felix Neureuther also failed to make the semi-finals, while Russian Alexander Khoroshilov, together with Swede Andre Myhrer were pleasant surprises in the final four.
Myhrer made it through to the finals after dispatching Khoroshilov in the semi-finals and the nearly 7,000 fans were clearly backing their countryman. But Hisrsher’s consistency was simply too much for the Swede to overcome, although the fans seemed happy with the silver lining for Myhrer.
At the end of the day, the Swedes can boast of a massive success for the City Event both on and off the slope. With three athletes on the podium, the results were ideal, while the atmosphere and the race conditions were perfect in Sweden’s capital city.
"The people are amazing and it's so close to the city. Usually people have to drive,two or three hours to get to a' ski race. So now here, it is perfect. We are where the people are and we can bring skiing a bit closer", said Hirscher after his victory.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Lausanne 2020 Inspired by Lillehammer 2016 To Create “Wow-factor” YOG

The Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee have been keen observers during the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, as they prepare for their own YOG hosting duties in four years’ time.
Ian Logan, the recently-appointed CEO of Lausanne 2020, has led a delegation of 20 colleagues in Norway, who have participated in the IOC Observer Programme, gaining a "behind the scenes" look at the day-to-day operational demands of hosting the Games.
For Logan and his team, observing Lillehammer 2016 in action has provided a unique opportunity to learn how things are done in a real Games-time setting.
"Our delegation came here to experience exactly what the Youth Olympic Games are", he explains. "It’s very important to see how the event differs, and to look at things like the cultural and educational programmes and understand how they fit into the Games".
The Lillehammer 2016 Observer Programme has allowed Logan and his team to study specific areas of Games operations, and he has been impressed by what he has seen as he prepares to lead the preparations for the 3rd Winter YOG in Lausanne in 2020.
"These Games have been very well organised", he says. "The atmosphere has been really good and all the athletes seem very happy. All the sporting performances have been very impressive, and it is great to see how the Lillehammer 2016 Organising Committee (LYOCOG) has brought everything together. The organisation and the logistics have all been very smooth, but what has really impressed me is the friendly atmosphere. That is definitely something we’d like to replicate in Lausanne as well".
In addition to the atmosphere, Logan also cites LYOCOG’s efforts to involve the whole of Norway in the YOG as something he would like to achieve for Switzerland in 2020, with the Lillehammer 2016 Change-maker and Young Leader programmes proving particularly successful in engaging the country’s young population.
"Youth involvement will be a big mission for us in the build-up to the 2020 Games", says Logan. "We would really like to involve the whole of the country, just as they have done here in Lillehammer. Switzerland is a country with 26 cantons and four languages, so it will be a challenge. But we are also smaller than Norway, so I think we can expect big involvement from the entire country. That’s the big challenge for us now".
Logan will accept the Olympic flag at the Lillehammer 2016 Closing Ceremony on Sunday night, when attention will well and truly turn to Lausanne as the next Winter YOG host city, and he admits that it will be a significant moment in the Organising Committee’s journey as they begin their preparations for 2020.
"There will be huge emotions when I accept the Olympic flag", he says. "Then, we need to start working. We have a briefing with the IOC in April, and we will work closely with them throughout the next four years. There is a lot to do, but we are confident that we will be able to deliver something special".
And as he looks ahead to the 2020 Winter YOG, Logan is in little doubt about what he would like Lausanne achieve in four years’ time.
"I would like to create a ‘Wow’ factor", he explains. "I want everyone to say, ‘Wow’, when they come to our Games. We want the athletes, the spectators, the local people and everyone else to be amazed. Then I will know that we have done something good".

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tina Weirather Wins La Thuile Super G


Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather triumphed in Sunday's Super G race in front of ten thousand cheering fans. With bib 16, the 26-year-old put down a flawless run and set the time to beat in 1:17.73. She then watched her closest rivals fail to match her time. Switzerland's Lara Gut finished second, 0.57 seconds off the pace, while American Lindsey Vonn rounded out the podium, 0.64 out.
After a disappointing 35th place in Saturday’s downhill race, Weirather was eager to bounce back and showcase her exceptional talent.
"It was very different yesterday from today", explained Weirather. "First of all, I have more troubles this season in downhill than super-G. I think my super-G performances were always much better, so that was that. Also, the snow changed a lot and you know, I was really disappointed after yesterday, so I just kind of pushed the reset button and just tried it from new, and I think that worked well".
The snow conditions changed as the temperatures had increased. It was already 9 degrees in the finish area early in the morning and the course had to be salted. It held up well in the end.
"Yeah, it was bumpy, but less bumpy than yesterday, but still like different like there were turns where it was like compact snow and others where it was kind of soft, but we all knew that from the beginning", Weirather continued.
It was Tina Weirather's first win of the season, the fifth in her career.
Lara Gut also needed to put the frustration of a her 11th place in Saturday's race behind and find her rhythm again.
"Well, it’s skiing so we’re lucky we have many chance every weekend", Gut commented. "Yesterday, I didn’t ski the way I could and today I just took the chance and tried to do what you can. The course was nice. Well, the snow wasn’t easy to ski. It was really slippery, but it was a nice course set, so it was a nice super G to ski and sure I am happy about the podium. I am on the podium in super G twice in a row. I hope I can keep going like that".
The hunt for the overall gets tighter, as Gut managed to earn 20 points more than Lindsey Vonn on the day. She only trails Vonn by 23 points now: 1200 – 1177.
"I just skied a little bit conservatively because of the snow conditions", Vonn explained. "I didn't give myself enough direction and I think I lost some good speed there. But all in all I think it was a really good weekend. I fought back from some adversities and didn't pull myself out of the game mentally so that was a big victory for me".

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dominik Paris Wins Chamonix World Cup Downhill



The 9th Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill of the season was staged today in Chamonix. The famous “Verte des Houches” track was prepared perfectly and despite a very light snowfall, the race could take place under great conditions.
One man is feeling particularly good on this race course. After his second position on yesterday's Alpine Comined, South Tyrolean Dominik Paris claims the Chamonix World Cup Downhill win ahead of  Steven Nyman 2nd +0.35 and Beat Feuz 3rd +0.39.
"I like this course", said Paris. "but it’s a difficult one to interpretate, you never know if you are fast or not, so I’m very happy about my win. Things started to get better for me in January and Jeongseon was the trigger for me, the confidence is back since Korea".
American Steven Nyman skied a strong run out of bib number 12 and could hold on his podium spot until the last racer came through the finish line.
"In Jeongseon, I took a big step forward in my confidence", said Nyman. "I've been skiing well and I got rid of some questions that were in my head. I just started skiing faster and faster and getting on the podium in Jeongseon was really good for me. Today, Dom had a really good run and I was impressed with his bottom because I skied really well down there. So, hats off to him".
In third position, Switzerland’s Beat Feuz impressed his fellows again by claiming his 3rd podium of the season as he is coming back from injury.
"It’s incredible to be on the podium again", said Feuz. "I came into the season without training and made three podiums so far; Kitzbuehel, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and now here. It’s amazing. I had good and bad moments on this slope here in Chamonix. 4 years ago when we were here I was fast, but I also had slow runs, as this year in the trainings for example. So I didn’t really know and it’s a good surprise".

Nadia Fanchini Wins Second La Thuile Downhill



After a third place on Friday, Nadia Fanchini surprised again as she raced to victory in a shortened downhill on Saturday in front of seven thousand cheering fans. The 29-year-old Italian timed 1:24.80 to edge out American Lindsey Vonn at the top of the timesheet. History's most decorated female skier bounced back from yesterday's frustration and finished just 0.14 seconds off the pace to secure her an eighth discipline.
The Italian team had a strong showing as Daniela Merighetti hit the podium in third place, 0.72 seconds out.
The race was delayed by 15 minutes and the start lowered because of the wind.
It was Nadia Fanchini's second career World Cup victory. Her first win dated back to December 2008.
"I had my last victory at Lake Louise", Fanchini said. "Yesterday, I got third place. I never expected it, and I never believed I could race so wonderfully as I raced today. And in particular with Lindsey Vonn wanting to come back so hard. I never believed I would be on the podium. To tell you the truth, even a podium would have been enough today. Never thought I could win".
Lindsey Vonn managed to hold the nerves as her main concern was actually to cross the finish line today.
"I couldn’t see the time, so I was a little confused about what place I was in, but you know, I was really happy", Vonn confessed. "I kind of was more relieved that I made it down than really concerned about what place I was in and yeah, it was hard maybe to see my emotions, but I was definitely happy and relieved at the same time".
With the second place and only one downhill race left on the calendar, the 31-year-old secured the downhill crystal globe, making it a total of 20 globes in her career.
"It’s nice to be able to get the World Cup globe before the finals and it was also good for my self-confidence", Vonn admitted. "You know, I was a little bit unsure of myself after yesterday and it’s kind of hard sometimes to trust everything and I did that today. I charged. I attacked and it wasn’t perfect skiing, but I’m really happy with my second place. I’m also happy to be on the podium with two Italians in Italy. It’s really fun and everyone’s really excited. I think it’s really good for ski racing and I hope we come back and race here in La Thuile again".
Daniela Merighetti had already announced that this season was going to be her last and was hoping for a good result today in order to be in the top 25 in the downhill standings and qualify for the finals.
"Yesterday, I cried at home", Merighetti said. "Because I thought that today was my last race in downhill, but no. I’ll be in St. Moritz, too. I qualified for the finals. I am so happy and so proud (...) It is fantastic to share the podium with Nadia Fanchini, one of my teammates. Like in Cortina, it’s always a pleasure to race at home. The crowd is so hot and it's the first time in La Thuile, the organisation was perfect and the snow on the slope too, so it was impressive today".

Friday, February 19, 2016

Alexis Pinturault Wins Chamonix Alpine Combined

The 3rd Alpine Combined of the season was staged today in Chamonix. Due to challenging weather conditions, the slalom run has been done in the morning, and the athletes went down the famous "Verte des Houches" downhill in the afternoon.
At least since their podium sweep in Kitzbuehel, the French team is the absolute favourite in the Alpine Combined, and after the slalom run, three French atheltes were leading the ranking: Alexis Pinturault first, Thomas Mermillod Blondin (+0.36) second and Victor Muffat-Jeandet (+0.37) third.
In first position after the Slalom run, Frenchman Alexis Pinturault skied a very strong Downhill run and claimed the win +0.27 ahead of Dominik Paris and +0.57 of teammate Thomas Mermillod Blondin.
"I didn’t realise right away that I won", said Pinturault. "I saw the flags and heard the crowd screaming, but I couldn’t believe it. Finally I saw the timing board and yes, I won. For me it’s a very important win. First because I was leading in the first run and in the Alpine Combined standings, this means a lot of pressure, and then I had to ski a track that I’m not used to, I’m not a downhiller. So at the start I was really nervous, so the emotions in the finish were even stronger".
In second position, Italy’s Dominik Paris skied strong and made it to his second podium of the season.
"I did a mistake in the slalom", said Paris. "So at the beginning I was a little big angry. But in the end I’m very happy with my result, especially with the downhill run. At the beginning of the season I would not have tought that I would be on an Alpine Combined podium, I only train slalom 6-8 times a season. But as I saw there is a chance, I tried everything and pushed hard".
Another Frenchman and Alpine Combined specialist Thomas Mermillod-Blondin.earned the last podium spot. 
"Physically I’m not 100% due to my crash in Korea", said Mermillod-Blondin. "My hip still hurts and I’m struggling to let go and ski high speed. And with the two catastrophic downhill training runs I had, the confidence was defititively not at the highest level. But thanks to a good bib number I could control the damage in the slalom and then I just risked it in the downhill. I was not even sure to race today, so this podium is very special for me".

Lara Gut Wins La Thuile Downhill


Today, Lara Gut raced to her second downhill win of the season in La Thuile. The Swiss skier beat Austria's Cornelia Hütter by a commanding 1.02 seconds after finishing the technical "Franco Berthod" course in 1:35.57, under sunny skies. Home crowd favourite, Nadia Fanchini was third, 1.03 seconds behind Gut.
Lara Gut admitted she had the flu over the last two training days but she was confident she would have enough energy for at least two minutes to put in a strong run today. It was her 6th World Cup victory this campaign.
"It's a challenging course as we already said in the last couple of days, but I prefer challenges to highways", Gut said. "When you make a mistake on a straight course it's impossible to make up the time. Today my line wasn't ideal especially on top and I had to drift sometimes. I hope I can really arch my turns tomorrow. The more aggressive you are with the type of snow we have, the better it is".
Fastest in the final training session, Cornelia Hütter, who is still chasing her first World Cup win, proved she was comfortable on the new World Cup hill. She is now on seven World Cup podium finishes.
"It's definitely not easy here", Hütter said. "You have to be on the limit and push. The transitions between the steep and flat sections are very tricky. I am super happy to finish second".

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Vail Resorts Named Among World's 50 Most Innovative Companies By Fast Company

Vail Resorts has been named one of the world's 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2016 by Fast Company, honored for exemplifying "the best in nimble business and impactful innovation" according to the magazine.Vail Resorts was the only Colorado company to make the list and was also chosen by Fast Company as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the travel sector. 
"On behalf of our more than 25,000 brave, ambitious and passionate employees, we are incredibly honored to be recognized by Fast Company for our efforts to re-imagine every aspect of the mountain experience for both our guests and our employees. From our game-changing Epic Season Pass, to our groundbreaking social media application, EpicMix, to our sophisticated approach to personalizing our conversation with our guests and our use of acquisitions to create a highly impactful network of world-class resorts, we continually strive to raise the bar for the entire travel industry", said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. "Our success has been made possible because of our people, who lie at the core of all innovation, and all of the time and effort everyone at Vail Resorts commits to developing leaders at all levels of our organization".
Most Innovative Companies is one of Fast Company's most significant and highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. To produce the 2016 list, the magazine's editors spent a full year gathering and analyzing data on companies around the globe.
"This year's package, which includes top 10 lists in 27 sectors - emphasizes the breadth of companies with progressive, agile business models, cultures of creativity and ability to adapt in today's fast-paced world", said Fast Company editor Robert Safian. 

Vail Resorts was recognized for several key differentiators, including: 

Epic Season Pass. Introduced in 2008, the Epic Season Pass has singlehandedly changed the landscape of the ski industry, providing tremendous value to skiers and snowboarders with unlimited, unrestricted skiing at 12 mountain resorts, including some of the most iconic mountains in the world such as Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Park City. In December 2012, Vail Resorts embarked on a new strategy to create a pipeline of future skiers and snowboarders - and Epic Season Pass holders - by acquiring two small ski areas near major metropolitan areas with substantial populations of skiers: Mt. Brighton near Detroit, Michigan and Afton Alps outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. To expand upon this strategy, the third urban ski area, Wilmot Mountain, located 65 miles north of Chicago, was acquired just last month. Last year, with the acquisition of Perisher ski resort in Australia, Vail Resorts became the first global mountain resort company. The addition of Perisher unlocks a significant market of Australian skiers and snowboarders for the Company's U.S. resorts on the Epic Season Pass. Today, Vail Resorts sells more than 500,000 season passes in all 50 states and 80 countries around the world, creating the ultimate travel loyalty program. 

EpicMix. In August 2010, Vail Resorts unveiled EpicMix, a first-of-its-kind online and mobile application that enables skiers and snowboarders to seamlessly capture their mountain experience using an RFID chip in their hard-card lift ticket or season pass and passive scanners at each lift. Skiers are able to track their vertical feet, earn digital pins for accomplishments on the mountain and, this season, the Company introduced a new feature, EpicMix Time, which uses anonymized, crowd-sourced Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals to estimate lift line wait times in real time.

Personalized Marketing. Vail Resorts uses EpicMix and other guest insights to create a more personal, relevant and sophisticated dialogue with skiers and riders. The Company has been at the forefront of moving from traditional media to direct, digital and social channels to better inform and engage guests and ensure the effectiveness all of its messaging.

Sustainability. Vail Resorts has been on the leading edge of many environmental initiatives in the travel industry, which began in 2006 when the Company became the second largest corporate purchaser of wind power in the U.S. to offset 100 percent of its energy use. In 2008, Vail Resorts made a commitment to reduce its overall energy use by 10 percent and after having achieved that goal a few years later, the Company set its sights on tackling another 10 percent by 2020.

Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Kandahar Men's Alpine World Cup in Chamonix Mont-Blanc

After a 3-year hiatus, next Friday Chamonix valley celebrates a new edition of the Kandahar event on the mythical piste of La Verte in Les Houches.
Created in 1928, it was the first international alpine competition to combine Downhill and Slalom events. The Arlberg Kandahar takes place successively at St. Anton (Austria), Garmisch Partenkirschen (Germany) and, since 1948, at Chamonix Mont Blanc in France. A selection of internationally renowned resorts to organise what is one of the greatest events on the circuit.

This legendary race has become the main sporting event in Chamonix and is one of the reasons for the valley's celebrated skiing reputation. Today it is among the greatest downhill courses alongside Wengen and Kitzbuhel.
The Downhill event, which is on the World Cup circuit, will be held on Saturday February 20th and the Super Combined (Downhill and Slalom) on Friday February 19th.
The Verte is part of the historical heritage in the valley of Chamonix Mont-Blanc. A legendary piste at the heart of the Mont Blanc range, it is lined with pine trees. The surrounding green environment and orientation of the sun often make the piste an icy green color, hence its name. In reality it is a black run of 870 meters in vertical height and 3343 meters in length.
It is the only FIS authorised downhill piste in the Haute-Savoie included on the men's World Cup circuit. In France, only the resorts of Val d'Isère and Chamonix have a men's downhill piste on the World Cup circuit.
Chamonix offers a multitude of slopes for all levels in three ski areas : Brévent/Flégère, offering south-facing slopes and exceptional views of the Mont-Blanc chain, the Grands Montets, high altitude north-facing slopes which dominate the village of Argentière and the Balme area, wide open slopes at the top of the Chamonix valley, bordering on Switzerland. The resort of les Houches lies at the opposite end of the valley.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Crans Montana Slalom


Mikaela Shiffrin made a sensational comeback to the World Cup circuit by winning the 8th slalom of the season, after a two-month break due to a knee injury.
In the lead after the first run, the Olympic and world slalom champion powered down the technical course on challenging snow conditions. She posted an aggregate time of 1:29.20 to beat France's Nastasia Noens by 0.45 second. Canadian Marie-Michelle Gagnon, who was 10th after the first run, claimed third place 0.50 off the pace.
Shiffrin was back on skis only two weeks ago and admitted she was nervous to be back and that she wasn't sure if her skiing was already at the same level as before.
"A good comeback day", Shiffrin said. "That was a pretty incredible race and it’s weird. I’m kind of glad it’s over, but I also enjoyed skiing that last run. It was really rough and it was a challenge every single gate, and I kept thinking like ‘Am I in the course? Did I miss a gate? Am I out of the course yet?’ I finally came through the finish rethinking and like ‘No, I made every gate. Wow, that’s amazing,’ because it was just bumpy and a wild ride, and a good fight, and kind of the way it should be probably".
It was Shiffrin's 18th World cup victory in her career and the third this season in slalom after winning both races in Aspen.
Sixth after a solid opening run, Nastasia Noens confirmed her fine form this season and dealt with the spring-like conditions the best way to finally earn her career third podium.
"Yes, finally, I am on the podium", said a smiling Noens. "In Flachau it was so close (4th). I’m really happy. It was a difficult race but I like these soft conditions. So, yes, it was a great fight".
Gagnon seemed to be regenerated by a 10-day stay back home in Canada and raced to her third career World Cup podium.
"I’ve been adapting to different things", Gagnon said. "I was a bit inconsistent this season, but now I went home. I had a break. I recharged my batteries. I got to see my family and I’m just having fun and that’s the thing, you just gotta have fun because that’s when my best skiing comes out".

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Felix Neureuther Tops Slalom Podium in Yuzawa Naeba

Felix Neureuther claims his first win of the season in Yuzawa Naeba (Japan), ahead of André Myhrer (2nd +0.05!) and Marco Schwarz (3rd +0.24).
Felix Neureuther has a special relationship with the Yuzawa Naeba, since his father was on the podium there 41 years ago.
"It's of course a very, very good feeling", said Neureuther. "It was a tough race today, it started raining in the second run. You guys were so unlucky with the weather, one meter of fresh snow and then it became so warm and you guys did a really great job".
Sweden's André Myhrer finished 2nd, only +0.05 off Neureuther's pace. The 3rd of Alta Badia's Parallel Giant Slalom struggled to be constant in Slalom (4xDNF), but it looks like he found the key today.
"It was a tough day", said Myhrer. "First run was good visibility and second run we had really bad visibility and water on the goggles and didn't see much. I've been struggling for a while in slalom and I feel happy to be back on the podium. It was a tough day, but I managed to stay in the track and create some speed anyway and it was almost the top".
With Marcel Hirscher out after first run (straddled in the upper part), Austria was eager to get a revenge and three young guns did particulary well: Marco Schwarz (3rd +0.24), Marc Digruber (5th +0.54) and Michael Matt (6th +0.62).
"In the first run, I was in 12th position and I thought that I must go and push more", said Schwarz. "Now I am third place and it's great. When I came here, I thought it would be great for slalom and giant slalom. In the slalom, I like the flat parts, so that's my favorite".

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Alexis Pinturault Wins Yuzawa Naeba Giant Slalom

The Japanese resort Yuzawa Naeba can be proud of his come-back in the World Cup circuit. After a challenging week with more than a meter fresh snow, the course was rin a perfeft shape for the first Audi FIS Ski World Cup since 10 years in Japan.
In second position after the first run, Frenchman Alexis Pinturault skied a very strong second run and claimed the win +0.51 ahead of teammate Mathieu Faivre and +0.67 of Italy's Massimiliano Blardone.
This is Pinturault's second win of the season, after the Alpine Combined in Kitzbuehel. To win in a GS is special for the 25 years old athlete, especially on this kind of hill. "The race today was not really easy", Said Pinturault. "It was really difficult to attack and control because some gates were quite bumpy in the seconds run and there was also some nice terrain at the end. Some gates you have to control and some gates you have to attack so you really have to be smart". Today, Pinturault reached his 30th career podium finish.
Mathieu Faivre, 24 years old Giant Slalom specialist born in Nice, grabbed his first career podium today. "I'm very happy about my first World Cup podium", said Faivre. "I've had a good season so far with a lot of top 10s. I've been getting closer and closer and today, I am on the podium. The course was not easy, it was bumpy and there were a lot of gates where you could lose time, but I made it". With this strong performance, Faivre takes the 3rd place of the current Giant Slalom standings.
Even though we had a maiden podium, the good surprise of the day came from Massimiliano Blardone. With 37 years, the Italian is one of the most experienced on the World Cup circuit and he worked very hard to claim more podium placements in his last season. "For me, it was a special day today", said Blardone. "I am extremely happy. I've worked very hard to reach this podium. I want to dedicate this to my two kids and thank them for their support. What made the difference today was my experience. In this race, you needed to know at which points to hold back and at what point you can let go".

Friday, February 12, 2016

Lillehammer 2016 Opening Ceremony


















The Winter Youth Olympic Games Opening Ceremony will take place today in Lillehammer, and will start at 19:00 p.m. (CET). For the next 10 days, the best young athletes from 71 nations will compete in 15 winter sports at Lillehammer 2016.
A few hours before Friday’s opening ceremony, IOC President Thomas Bach said: "These Games are a great opportunity for Lillehammer to refresh and modernise the great legacy that the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympic Games left. But they are also a great opportunity to inform and educate young athletes".
The Lillehammer 2016 organisers and Norway’s National Olympic Committee have developed youth programmes to train volunteers for roles at the Games and to encourage young people to become more active and healthy. Many of the volunteers will take leading positions in sports clubs and communities after the Games.
The passion of the Norwegian spectators played a major role in the success of Lillehammer 1994. Bach praised the work of the organising committee in trying to recreate that warm welcome to the 1100 athletes aged 15 to 18 who will compete in 70 medal events from 12–21 February.
"We are very happy with how the Olympic spirit is building up and the athletes will appreciate the atmosphere and the facilities. We can already say that the organising committee has done a fantastic job and the stage is set for the young athletes and the spectators and visitors".

Follow the opening ceremony live on NRK3 or YouTube: http://bit.ly/OpeningLive

The Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, to be held between from 12 to 21 February 2016, will bring together more than one thousand athletes between 14 and 18 years of age from approximately 80 National Olympic Committees to compete in Bobsleigh, Luge, Ski jumping, Alpine skiing, Nordic Combined, Cross Country, Biathlon, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice hockey, Speed Skating, Shorttrack skating, Snowboard, and Freestyle (Skicross / Halfpipe).



Jackson Hole 50th Anniversary. Born to Be Wild Video Web Series Ep. 5

It’s been 50 years, and look what has been accomplished thus far. And we’re only getting started”, Travis Rice.
For 50 years Jackson Hole has been loyal to its own course, no matter how difficult. It’s the community, the mountain and a sense of place and passion that are the driving forces. Die hard locals, a legacy old west atmosphere and a dedication to the preservation of land and character remain the core values of JHMR. Enjoy episode #5 as we showcase the people, the mountain and the future of all those that embody the “Born to Be Wild” spirit of our community.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jackson Hole 50th Anniversary. Born to Be Wild Video Web Series Ep. 4

Jackson Hole has always drawn out the best in skiers and riders. Travis Rice, Pepi Stiegler, Doug Coombs, Tommy Moe, the Jackson Hole Air Force, Teton Gravity Research, and the ladies that dominate the Freeride World Tour, all call Jackson Hole home. Since 1966, Rendezvous Mountain has helped shape the evolution of modern day skiing and riding with the help of world champions, Olympians, and underground rebels who constantly challenged the boundaries of the sport.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Jackson Hole 50th Anniversary. Born to Be Wild Video Web Series Ep. 3

Corbet’s Couloir in Jackson Hole is North America’s most infamous ski run. It has been a test piece for thrill seeking adventurers for the last five decades. Anyone who has ever edged their ski tips into the gaping maw of Corbet’s knows the feeling. There is simply nothing like it in North American skiing. Steep, rocky and wild, Jackson Hole offers an unparalleled skiing experience, and it begins with Corbet’s Couloir.

 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

PyeongChang 2018 Alpine Skiing Test Event

The excitement around PyeongChang 2018 has stepped up several notches after the first official HelloPyeongChang test event for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games was completed to widespread acclaim.
On 6-7 February the Republic of Korea venue hosted two top-class races as part of the 2016 FIS Ski World Cup – with the brand new Jeongseon Alpine Centre making its long-awaited debut.
The event showcased the first downhill ski races ever to be held in the country – and it was hailed as a tremendous success, with the showpiece in two years’ time now looking much closer.
"Today, we have put PyeongChang on the world map for World Cup alpine skiing", said the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) president Yang-Ho Cho, speaking in a press conference at the end of the first day. "And this is just the beginning. With the IOC and the FIS by my side, I am pleased to say that the journey to the 2018 Games has officially started".
Gunilla Lindberg, chair of the IOC coordination commission for PyeongChang 2018, noted that the event’s smooth running bodes well for the rest of the 28 test events to be held ahead of the Games.
"We’ve been impressed by the delivery of the competition by the local organisations", she said. "As this is the first time Korea is hosting the FIS World Cup downhill, this gives IOC the confidence for the rest of the events".
There were also positive words from FIS president Gian Franco Kasper, who said POCOG had got off to an "excellent start".


Saturday’s downhill race was won by the reigning Olympic super-G champion and downhill bronze medallist Kjetil Jansrud (NOR). 
Sports history has been written in South Korea as the country staged its first ever Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill in Jeongseon and Norwegian Kjetil Jansurd is the man that had the honor to step on the highest spot of this historical podium. This event is the first of 24 test event for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games.The conditions were perfect with cold temperatures, hard and grippy snow and a bright sunshine. Over 2000 curious and enthusiastic fans could enjoy the great atmosphere and the show offered by the fastest athletes in the world.
After winning both speed globes last season and leading both trainings held in Jeongseon on Thursday and Friday, Kjtetil Jansrud finally earned his first downhill win of the season. He recorded a time of one minute, 41.38 seconds to see off the challenges of second-placed Dominik Paris (ITA) and Steven Nyman (USA), who finished third.
In a post on his Facebook page, Jansrud heaped praise on the conditions – suggesting that the weekend had gone well from the athletes’ perspectives, too. "I guess you never get a second chance to make a first impression", he wrote. "And PyeongChang just aced it. This will be a fantastic venue".

On Sunday, a Super-G event saw the Swiss athlete Carlo Janka, who won gold in the slalom at Vancouver 2010, edge out Christof Innerhofer (ITA) and Vincent Kiechmayer (AUT) to take first place.
The Jeongseon Alpine Centre was officially opened on 22 January, when a ‘welcome day’ was held to inaugurate the facility.

The PyeongChang 2018 Games, which will take place from 9-25 February 2018, will be the third to be staged in Asia, and the first ever in the Republic of Korea, following Nagano (JPN) in 1998 and Sapporo (JPN) in 1972.
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee’s (POCOG’s) ‘New Horizons’ vision aims to expand winter sports in Asia and transform the local Gangwon province into a new winter sports and tourism destination.
From a logistical point of view, the concept for the 2018 Winter Games is one of the most compact ever seen.The vision for PyeongChang is based on a compact geographical area, split between a coastal and a mountain cluster.
The coastal cluster, centred around the town of Gangneung on the Republic of Korea’s eastern seaboard, will provide the setting for the events on ice (speed skating, figure skating, short track, ice hockey and curling), with the main Olympic Village complex and mountain cluster (comprising the skiing and snowboarding courses and the bobsleighluge and skeleton track) located only a 30 minute car journey away.
The Jeongseon Alpine Centre will be a venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, hosting the alpine speed events of Downhill, Super-G, and Combined. It will accommodate 6,000 spectators (3,500 seats, 2,500 standing). The technical events of slalom and giant slalom are scheduled for Yongpyong Resort.

GoPro Powder 8's Grand Nationals


February 6’s Powder 8’s Grand Nationals in Jackson Hole could not have been a cooler, current take on an old-school classic competition. A triumphant return of the historic event to Cody Bowl’s Powder 8 face was a perfect alignment of conditions, weather, qualified skiers and a whole lot of ski spirit.
A purely GoPro video from the day's event.

Jackson Hole 50th Anniversary. Born to Be Wild Video Web Series Ep. 2

The glorious story of Jackson Hole in four short minutes. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort was founded in the early 1960’s on the basis of little more than a dream by its original founders, Paul McCollister and Alex Morley. From these humble beginnings, their dream was fully realized decades later by the Kemmerer family, whose shared passion was matched only by their business savvy and an indomitable commitment to seeing the dream through to completion. Under their stewardship since 1992, the Kemmerer family has guided the Resort’s development towards what it is today, mindful all the way of staying true to its core identity, its humble ethos, and the belief in its authentic western sensibility.

 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Jackson Hole 50th Anniversary. Born to Be Wild Video Web Series Ep. 1


Over its nearly 50 year history Jackson Hole has evolved, but the spirit remains bold and wild, as the last true bastion for all those who dare to live this dream. Jackson Hole was kick-started in the early 1960's by the passionate dream of its founders, Paul McCollister and Alex Morley. From humble and rugged beginnings, this dream was fully realized decades later with the ingenuity of a family with historic ties to the Cowboy State. In their tenure of ownership since 1992, the Kemmerer family has invested greatly in the prosperity of Jackson Hole and the state of Wyoming. With vast improvements to operations, lifts and infrastructure, they have ushered Jackson Hole Mountain Resort into its present-day luster and world-wide iconic status as "The Big One".
This winter Jackson Hole is celebrating that "Born to Be Wild" spirit all season long with events, the opening of the brand new Teton Lift and a video web series produced by TGR.
Jackson Hole was founded on a simple but bold idea; having the courage and conviction of your dreams. Nearly fifty years later Jackson Hole continues to evolve as the last true bastion for all for those who dare to live this dream.


Jackson Hole has long been a Winter Destination Mecca for skiers and snowboarders.
Jackson Hole is located 11 miles from the town of Jackson in Teton Village in the U.S. state of Wyoming, near the western border with Idaho. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is ranked #1 Overall Resort in North America by the annual SKI Magazine Reader's Poll. Jackson Hole boasts one of the longest, steepest continuous vertical drops of any ski area in North America. You can ski 4,139 leg-burning, vertical feet from 10,450 feet down to 6,311 feet. The ski resort receives an average of 360 inches of snowfall per year and gets people out on the hill with eight chairlifts, a gondola and the famous aerial tram.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Helly Hansen Ski Free the Film

This collaborative film project aims to express the ultimate love for skiing, and the rush of freedom and excitement the participants feel no matter whether they are skiing in resorts, backcountry, or on big mountains around the world. The footage submitted during Helly Hansen’s 2015 Ski Free campaign ranged from skiing leisurely groomed runs to untouched waist high powder and high altitude randonnée expeditions overlooking the alps, all expressing a universal passion toward the sport.
The user-generated material compliments the film’s backbone story of meeting Helly Hansen Ski Ambassadors Aurelien Ducroz and Kaylin Richardson. The end result is a 12-minute edit showcasing the universal love of skiing from freeride world tour champions, seasoned powder hunters, families on vacation and Olympic athletes.

Lara Gut Wins Garmisch Ski World Cup Super-G.


Lara Gut wins Garmisch Ski World Cup Super-G. Viktoria Rebensburg came in second just +0.15 behind and Germany's Lindsey Vonn took third +0.23 seconds out.
Lara Gut gave it all out in the second run to claim her 17th career World Cup win in challenging snow and weather conditions. Gut has completed a dream weekend for the Swiss Team after Carlo Janka victory in Jeongseon Super-G.
The 24-year-old managed to get her rhythm back and ski with a free mind to clock the winning time of 1:20.51.
"Yesterday, I wasn’t really skiing", Gut said. "I wasn’t doing what I can. Today was just about less thinking and more skiing and yeah, that was the answer. I just tried to ski and it went out the way I wanted. I felt great, so yes, everything is fine again".
Lara Gut's career-best result in Garmisch was fourth in the downhill in 2013.
"It’s always fun to be on top and it’s the first time I am on the podium in Garmisch, so that’s something different", Gut continued.
Local favourite Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany raced another impressive run to her fourth consecutive top-3 finish, the second in two days on home snow.
"It’s so cool", Rebensburg said. "Being on the podium twice in a row here in front of a home crowd. It is unbelievable. The crowd was cheering so loud for us and it was just a nice atmosphere. I’m really thankful and I’m really enjoying this moment now".
Lindsey Vonn rounded out today's podium.
"You know, it was tough conditions today", Vonn commented. "The snow was soft and like spring and I didn’t risk everything. I probably could have, but I don’t know. I fe el like I’m older and wiser now and to get to the finish healthy and be in third is still a pretty darn good day and the Broncos game’s tonight, so if they can win, it’ll make up for my third place".
With three super-G wins under her belt this season going into today's race, Vonn was poised to become the first woman to win the first four super-G events of a World Cup campaign.
"I can’t win them all", Vonn said at the press conference. "I tried my best to ski my best every day and I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far this season. You know, today was just not one of those days where I really felt like putting it all on the line. I’ve had a great season so far and I want to keep it going, so it’s better to be safe than sorry".

Carlo Janka Wins Jeongseon Super-G


Swiss Carlo Janka claims the win in the South Korean venue Jeongseon ahead of Christof Innerhofer (2nd +0.82) and Vincent Kriechmayr (3rd +1.06).
Janka fully took advantage of his low bib and took over the lead from bib 7 on. With this win, the Iceman, who won the Overall World Cup and became both World and Olympic Champion in 2009/10, earns his first Super-G win, which is also his 11th career win.
"It was not an easy Super-G today", said Janka. "I took some risks and everything worked out. The course had some difficult things in it, some jumps and some waves, but I took it and did a good run I think. That was the key today for me".
Italy's Christof Innerhofer made it to the podium for the first time this season. After several good results in downhill this season (4th in Santa Caterina, 5th in Wengen, 4th in Garmisch) his 13th career podium surprisingly came in a Super-G race.
"Everyone knows that super G is different than downhill", said Innerhofer. "and we saw in inspection that it will not be an easy super G, especially on the first part. I looked at Carlo [Janka] on the TV and said, 'Oh, those are good lines,' so I tried to do the same. I had a good feeling in the middle of the run. My feeling was good and it wasn't bad skiing and when I crossed the finish line and saw the second place and I had a really big smile".
Austria's Younggun Vincent Kriechmayr from Austria rounded out today's podium, +1.02 off Janka's pace. The current 4th of the Super-G standings laid down a strong run and skied to his 2nd career podium.
"I'm really proud about the result today", said Kriechmayr. "I was fast in the last Super-Gs, but I'd always make a little mistake and today I didn't make a mistake, so it's third place. I always like tricky and difficult courses, and today it was like this. The waves are not easy and the jumps, all together it was a really hard and difficult race. I'm always smiling when I see something like this".

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Grand National Powder 8’s Competition Returns to Jackson Hole

After a 15-year hiatus, and in celebration of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s 50th Anniversary, the Powder 8’s competition returns with GoPro as the presenting sponsor and its biggest prize money yet. With $10k on the line for the winners and bragging rights to transcend skiing history, the event is one not to be missed.
Competitors will be judged on synchronization, the symmetry of their 8’s and overall style as they leave their mark on Cody Bowl’s pristine face of powder. Jackson Hole’s Powder 8’s was first won by the legendary local Pepi Steigler and Peter Habeler.
The competition will be on the Powder 8 face of Cody Bowl just outside the ski area boundary on Saturday, February 6th starting at 10:30am.



Jackson Hole has long been a Winter Destination Mecca for skiers and snowboarders.
Jackson Hole is located 11 miles from the town of Jackson in Teton Village in the U.S. state of Wyoming, near the western border with Idaho. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is ranked #1 Overall Resort in North America by the annual SKI Magazine Reader's Poll. Jackson Hole boasts one of the longest, steepest continuous vertical drops of any ski area in North America. You can ski 4,139 leg-burning, vertical feet from 10,450 feet down to 6,311 feet. The ski resort receives an average of 360 inches of snowfall per year and gets people out on the hill with eight chairlifts, a gondola and the famous aerial tram.
Forbes Magazine ranked Jackson Hole as the Top Ski Resort In North America For 2016.

And the Winner in Garmisch-Partenkirchen Downhill is...Lindsey Vonn


No surprises today at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The 31-year-old skied down the 2740-meter Kandahar course in 1:40.80, 1.51 seconds faster than Swiss's Fabienne Suter. Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg finished third, 0.34 seconds off the pace.
It is the second downhill victory in Garmisch-Partenkirchen for Lindsey Vonn, she won here also in 2012. She has also won three World Cup Super G races and one Slalom race on the Bavarian snow. She has only won more World Cup races in Lake Louis (18), Cortina d'Ampezzo (11) and Val d'Isère (6). Vonn skied one inch closer to the all-time wins record, earning World Cup victory No. 76 and her career 38th World Cup downhill victory.
"It was definitely a lot different today than it was in the training run", Vonn explained. "Pretty much a totally different course. It was about nine seconds faster, so I just had to be tactically smart in some sections and it was definitely bumpy. I know a lot of girls were having some trouble with the bumps and it was very flat light in some sections but I think I just executed well in the right places and was able to carry my speed through the course".
Switzerland's Fabienne Suter came second, while home crowd favourite Viktoria Rebensburg finished third, respectively 1.51 and 1.57 seconds off the pace.
Suter, who missed the speed races in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, after tearing a muscle just above her left knee in a training run, made her comeback in Cortina d'Ampezzo but had to be content with 18th place in the downhill. The 31-year-old demonstrated today she had completely recovered, by climbing onto the runner-up spot for the third time this campaign.
"You have to be brave because it was very dark and there were little bumps and you couldn’t see this", Suter said. "I’m happy I made it. I did well and I just enjoy this moment now . It’s nice to have a season with some podiums, I would like to do some more. Now we'll have some races in Switzerland with Crans-Montana, Lenzerheide and St. Moritz. I hope I can aloso perform well in Switzerland for all our fans, our friends", Suter continued.
Local hero Viktoria Rebensburg has been in scintillating form and landed her third podium in a row this season, the first one on the Bavarian snow.
"The first time on the podium in my home race in Garmisch means it is a really nice day for me", Rebensburg told reporters. "I really enjoy it now. Yeah, because it’s special for us, for sure. The people were awesome down here. Really good atmosphere and I really enjoyed skiing here".
"In the training run, there was less speed", she continued. "It was way softer and bally down here. Today, the good thing is it turned out pretty good and hard, but for sure, it was a huge difference compared to the first run, training run. You had to adapt. You had a way higher speed, but I mean, we saw it on the TV a bit and heard from the people around that for sure it’s different. Hey, then you just have to adjust to the conditions and try to get the best out of it".

Kjetil Jansrud Tops First Korean Downhill Podium

Today, sports history has been written in South Korea as the country staged its first ever Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill in Jeongseon and Norwegian Kjetil Jansurd is the man that had the honor to step on the highest spot of this historical podium. This event is the first of 24 test event for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games.
The conditions were perfect with cold temperatures, hard and grippy snow and a bright sunshine. Over 2000 curious and enthusiastic fans could enjoy the great atmosphere and the show offered by the fastest athletes in the world.
After winning both speed globes last season and leading both trainings held in Jeongseon on Thursday and Friday, Kjtetil Jansrud finally earned his first downhill win of the season.
"I've got a knack for that this season", said Jansrud. "I pulled off the parallel in giant slalom, which was the first, so it's been a season for firsts, I guess, but I'm happy to be back winning for sure".
South Tyrolean Dominik Paris also showed that he is feeling good on the future Olympic slope as finished 3rd in yesterday’s training and could confirm his good shape on race day by claiming the 2nd spot on the podium +0.20 behind Jansrud.
"I'm very happy", said Paris. "First podium of the season. It's very special for me because I was not doing very well in the downhill, and then it's very good for me. I like the hill, it's pretty cool. It's fun, it has a lot of jumps. Also, the snow preparation was very good. It's a pretty good downhill".
The third place went to American Steven Nyman. The skier from Utah laid down an impressive run with bib 14 and took the lead. He was already 4th and 6th of the two official training held previously that week.
"It's a very responsive snow", said Nyman. "It's been very cold here and dry and the guy who prepped the hill, Tommy Johnson, he preps Beaver Creek, so it's very similar and a lot of fun to ski on. The racecourse, there's a lot of flow to it, it's a lot of fun to ski. You have to be clever when you're skiing, it's not controlled by the gate, it's controlled by the terrain".

The PyeongChang 2018 Games, which will take place from 9-25 February 2018, will be the third to be staged in Asia, and the first ever in the Republic of Korea, following Nagano (JPN) in 1998 and Sapporo (JPN) in 1972.
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee’s (POCOG’s) ‘New Horizons’ vision aims to expand winter sports in Asia and transform the local Gangwon province into a new winter sports and tourism destination.
From a logistical point of view, the concept for the 2018 Winter Games is one of the most compact ever seen.The vision for PyeongChang is based on a compact geographical area, split between a coastal and a mountain cluster.
The coastal cluster, centred around the town of Gangneung on the Republic of Korea’s eastern seaboard, will provide the setting for the events on ice (speed skating, figure skating, short track, ice hockey and curling), with the main Olympic Village complex and mountain cluster (comprising the skiing and snowboarding courses and the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track) located only a 30 minute car journey away.
The Jeongseon Alpine Centre will be a venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, hosting the alpine speed events of Downhill, Super-G, and Combined. It will accommodate 6,000 spectators (3,500 seats, 2,500 standing). The technical events of slalom and giant slalom are scheduled for Yongpyong Resort.

Winning run Loïc Collomb-Patton. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) took home his third victory in Chamonix with a powerful line featuring an impressive backflip.

Winning run Eva Walkner. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Eva Walkner (AUT) demonstrated her trademark powerful and technical skiing to once again bring home a victory at Chamonix for the former world champ.

Winning run Anne-Flore Marxer. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI-FRA) didn’t hold anything back out of the gate as her hard-charging line brought her into the top position on the podium as she made her way down to the finish with maximum speed.

Winning run Sammy Luebke. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

The North American snowboarders swept the podium with the reigning champ Sammy Leubke (USA) throwing down a huge line with two massive 360s to take first place.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Freeride World Tour Held 2nd Competion of the Season in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc


There was a mystical atmosphere today in Flégère ski area as the clouds parted an unveiled the snow-capped peaks of one of Europe’s most legendary freeride venues. Riders in each of the four divisions, male and female, ski and snowboard, raised the bar for their respective sports and shook up the the overall rankings for the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour.
After a rocky start, this winter has been kind to Chamonix as heavy snows have blanked the magnificent peaks of the Aiguilles Rouge range in recent days. More snow fell than expected last night and riders were unexpectedly treated to between 50-100cm of fresh snow over the at the 2500m elevation level. Despite the heavy snowfall, some parts of the Alaska-like Aiguille Pourrie face still had some hard snow exposed due to wind, causing trouble for some riders.

Ski Men

Overall ski men rankings were shook up today as top riders such as Jérémie Heitz (SUI) and George Rodney (USA) put all their eggs in one basket and lost their bets after crashing on big airs. Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) took home his third victory in Chamonix with a powerful line featuring an impressive backflip. Young gun Logan Pehota (CAN) also fired some tricks after stomping an impressive line resulting in a second place finish. Fabio Studer (AUT) brought his new school style to the competition venue and impressed spectators with stylish spins, bringing him into third place.

Ski Women

Eva Walkner (AUT) demonstrated her trademark powerful and technical skiing to once again bring home a victory at Chamonix for the former world champ. The talented Silvia Moser (ITA) set the bar high with two massive airs that she took larger and more stylishly than any riders – male or female. The desire to win was evident in Matilda Rappaport (SWE) as she skied with incredible authority and very smooth style which earned her a third place finish.

Snowboard Men

The North American snowboarders swept the podium with the reigning champ Sammy Leubke (USA) throwing down a huge line with two massive 360s to take first place. Following closely into second place, Jamie Rizzuto (CAN) made extremely quick work of the face, terminating his hard-charging line with a massive air. Veteran shredder Ralph Backstrom (USA) took a creative line and found perfect transition on the featured face, putting him in third place.

Snowboard Women

The female snowboarder field stepped it over the last stop in Vallnord-Arcalis, Andorra. Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI-FRA) didn’t hold anything back out of the gate as her hard-charging line brought her into the top position on the podium as she made her way down to the finish with maximum speed. The current leader and world champion Estelle Balet (SUI) took a beautiful line in excellent snow with a sizeable cliff but was not able to retain the top spot on the podium, resulting in second place. Rookie Marion Haetry (FRA) didn’t demonstrate any lack of experience as she was able to negotiate a very technical line with very little hesitation, scoring her a third place finish.

The next stop on the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour will take place in Fieberbrunn Kitzbuheler Alpen, Austria on March 6, 2016.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Salomon Freeski TV: The Skier's Haute Route

For Mike Douglas and Alexis Godbout, a ski touring trip through Switzerland's Urner Alps was about much more than simply exploring a beautiful mountain range on skis. It was a chance to push themselves and expand their definition of what it means to be a freeskier.
The Uri Alps, Urner Alps in German, are a mountain range in Central Switzerland and part of the Western Alps. They extend into the cantons of Obwalden, Valais, Bern, Uri and Nidwalden.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Salomon Freeski TV: Riksgränsen

Get a history lesson on Swedish freeskiing while watching Henrik Windstedt and Leo Ahrens ski laps at the world's most northern resort, lengendary Riksgränsen.