With exactly one year until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi the 42nd FIS Alpine World Championships has officially kicked off in Schladming, Austria. Over the course of 14 days the best skiers in the world will call Schladming home and compete for the title of World Champion. After a World Cup season full of highs and lows for our NASTAR Ambassadors the next 2 weeks will be the ultimate reward for their hard work.
Julia Mancuso kicked off her 6th World Championships on Feb. 5th with the women’s Super G. After a delay to the start of the race due to heavy fog Mancuso finished third, 52-hundredths behind winner Tina Maze. The women’s Super G was full of suprises and controversy as American power house, Lindsey Vonn, sustained sever injuries to her right knee after a nasty fall and had to be airlifted to an area hospital. Mancuso described her race as, “by far the most difficult race in my career.” She added: “It was not great conditions on top. It was really soft and the fog started to come, and I didn’t see much.”
Ted Ligety came into the World Championships with a point to prove. After two fourth place finishes and one sixth in the Super G earlier in the season Ligety finally brought the gold home this morning (Feb. 6th) in the men’s Super G. “I took a lot of risks, especially at the bottom where it was steeper,” Ligety said. “I didn't have to pay for that risk, so it was a good day,” said Ligety of his win. Ligety will now face off against “rival” and hometown favorite Marcel Hirscher in the men’s GS, “There's always a lot of hype about the rivalry between him and me in GS, and that's going to be the big challenge for me in GS: beating him on his home hill, in front of his home crowd. We will have challenges from other people, but I think it's going to be a big battle between the two of us,” says Ligety. With his phenomenal GS races this season, finishing first by a history breaking 2+ seconds at Alta Badia and Adelboden, Ligety is on track to be the one to look for during the World Championships.
Comeback kid, Steve Nyman, will be on the hunt for another podium finish in the Downhill for the men. Just over a year after tearing his Achilles tendon Nyman returned to the World Cup circuit this year and won his second DH Title in Val Gardena, proving he is still one of the best speed racers in the world. Look out for Nyman on Feb. 9th in the Men’s DH action.
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships
Feb. 4 – Opening Ceremony
Feb. 5 – Women’s super G
Feb. 6 – Men’s super G
Feb. 8 – Women’s super combined
Feb. 9 – Men’s downhill
Feb. 10 – Women’s downhill
Feb. 11 – Men’s super combined
Feb. 12 – Nations Team Event
Feb. 14 – Women’s giant slalom
Feb. 15 – Men’s giant slalom
Feb. 16 – Women’s slalom
Feb. 17 – Men’s slalom