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LAKE LOUISE, AB – DECEMBER 02: Mikaela Shiffrin of USA takes 1st place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women’s Downhill on December 2, 2017 in Lake Louise, Canada. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

One day after getting her career first podium in a speed event with a third-place finish in the downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta, Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin did herself two better with her first downhill win.

The 22-year-old reigning overall world cup champion finished in 1:27.55 Saturday to win the Lake Louise downhill Saturday. Shiffrin’s time bested 2010 Olympic giant slalom gold medalist Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany, who finished second at 1:27.68, while Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin took third, finishing in 1:27.72.

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Four alpine skiers and two snowboarders will run to become the Athlete Representative on the Sport Technical Committee.

Bibian Mentel-Spee holds medal high
The Netherlands’ Bibian Mentel-Spee made history at Sochi 2014 as the first woman to win gold in para-snowboard at a Paralympic Games. She is the current snowboard Athlete Representative on the Sport Technical Committee.© •

World Para Alpine Skiing and World Para Snowboardhave announced the nominees who will run for election as athlete representatives on the Sport Technical Committee (STC) for the next two years.

Elections will be held at the upcoming World Championships for both sports, and all competing athletes are eligible to vote.

In Tarvisio, Italy, on 27 January alpine skiers can vote for their favourite candidate at an athletes’ meeting. Snowboarders can take part in elections on 5 February in Big White, Canada.


Alpine skiing

Kelly Gallagher, Great Britain

Mitchell Gourley, Australia

Adam Hall, New Zealand

Claudia Loesch, Austria


Joany Badenhorst, Australia

Bibian Mentel-Spee

Both Gourley and Mentel-Spee are running for re-election having been voted in as the first athlete representative on the World Para Alpine Skiing and Snowboard STC in 2015.

The chosen candidates will serve a two-year term, acting as liaison between the athletes and the decision makers in the sports, as well as a direct link to the IPC Athletes’ Council.

The candidates were nominated by their National Paralympic Committees because they have strong qualities of leadership, accomplishment, knowledge and respect, both on and off the field of play.

World Para Nordic Skiing will also hold athlete representative elections at the World Championships in Finsterau, Germany, on 13 February. The nomination process closes on 12 January.

The 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships get underway in Tarvisio, Italy, on 22 January, featuring 140 skiers from 30 countries in the last major competition ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

Big White will host the 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships from 1-8 February, where 80 athletes from 25 countries will compete for qualification slots for PyeongChang 2018.

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The IPC and PyeongChang agree to consolidate venue for Test Events and 2018 Paralympic Winter Games

Group of people pose in front of slopes
The Jeongseon Alpine Centre will host the Para Alpine Skiing and Snowboard competitions at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. © • PyeongChang 2018
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“This is a good move for everyone, especially spectators.”

The PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have announced that Alpine Skiing and Snowboard events will share a venue, with both taking place at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre in March 2018.

By holding both competitions in the same venue, spectators will be able to enjoy more events in one place, creating a rousing atmosphere for everyone involved.

It also ensures easier access and a safer slope width for Alpine skiers and provides separate courses for the events, which eliminates the needs to convert the snowboard track to a Slalom slope during the Paralympic Winter Games.

The original proposal was for the Alpine Skiing Downhill, Alpine Super G and Super Combined to take place at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre, while the Giant Slalom, Slalom and Snowboard would be staged in Yongpyong Alpine Centre. The idea of consolidating the competitions was originally discussed at the IPC Alpine SkiingAsian Cup held at Yongpyong in March of this year, and since then the discussions have moved into feasibility studies, planning and logistics so that the Test Events can also be held at this venue as preparation for the Games.

The Jeongseon Alpine Centre hosted the very first Test Event back in February for the men’s FIS Alpine World Cup but this will be the first time that the Para alpine skiers get to experience the venue and the atmosphere. The 2017 IPC Snowboard World Cup Finals will take place from 10-13 March while the 2017 IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup will be held from 11-18 March.

As a result of the consolidation there will be considerable cost savings for POCOG. The number of staff needed will be reduced from 682 to 332 and the overlay construction costs will also be reduced with less infrastructure needed in one venue instead of across two.

POCOG Secretary General, YEO Hyung Koo said: “We expect that this consolidation of events will bring about efficient Games preparation and operations at both the test events next year and the Paralympic Winter Games in 2018, as well as substantial savings.”

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The first ever World Para Alpine Skiing and snowboard events will come to Iran in January, signifying the development of winter sports in the country.

A ski slope in Iran
Dizin will host Para snowboard competitions and later Para alpine skiing events for the first time in Iran. © • NPC Iran

“In the future we will witness the attraction of more athletes to winter sports and we will have the chance to hold regional and international winter Championships.”

Motivated by the next two Paralympic Winter Games being held in Asia, the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Iran has taken quick steps to develop winter Para sports in the country.

From Tuesday (3 January), Iran will host three events in the Alborz mountain range near Tehran featuring around 10 Iranian athletes. These mark the first time Iran will host World Alpine Skiing and World Para Snowboardcompetitions and were a culmination of a talent identification programme held in the Asian nation two years ago.

“We began and also continue planning to support athletes’ activities in winter sports through participation in Nagano 1998Salt Lake City 2002Torino 2006Vancouver 2010, and Sochi 2014,” NPC Iran Secretary General Masoud Ashrafi said.

“For the last two years we tried to develop, encourage and attract more athletes to winter sports in our country. At this time, we are hosting three winter sports events in Iran, which is the result of our efforts to develop winter sports with the help of World Para Alpine Skiing and World Para Snowboard.”

The first event – a World Para Snowboard sanctioned event in Dizin – will take place 3-4 January; followed by two World Para Alpine Skiing competitions in Darbandsar (8-9 January) and then Dizin (16-17 January).

The competitions are modelled on other winter Para sport competitions, including athlete classification. Education and training workshops will also run alongside each event, aimed at strengthening coaches and officials in Iran. Ultimately, the NPC hopes the January events will lay a platform for development ahead of PyeongChang 2018, Beijing 2022 and beyond.

“In the future we will witness the attraction of more athletes to winter sports and we will have the chance to hold regional and international winter Championships,” Ashrafi said about his expectations of January’s competitions.

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Alpine Skiing World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher is expected to be out of action until December after breaking his left ankle.

The Austrian is likely to be in a cast for the next six weeks.

However, his doctor Gerhard Oberthaler estimates he will need up to 15 weeks to recover fully.

“If you have been in a cast for six weeks, your ankle is not immediately ready for ski training,” Oberthaler told the Austria Press Agency.

Hirscher, the winner of a record six consecutive overall World Cup titles, is set to miss the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden in Austria on October 29.

A start in the slalom race scheduled for November 12 in Levi in Finland is also doubtful.

The next set of technical races are due to be held in Val d’Isere in France on December 9 and 10.

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In the A.D. 1200s, the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde were home to ancestral Pueblo Indian people. Today, visitors come from all over the world to explore the archaeology preserved at Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde is not for summer visitors only. Between November and March, you’ll see another, quieter side of the park.

1. Escape the Crowds

In 2015, Mesa Verde got 547,325 visitors—but according to the park, fewer than 50 people visit on the quietest off-season days. After the ranger-guided tours end in the fall, enjoy the solitude and photograph Cliff Palace or Spruce Tree House bathed in golden light.

Mesa Verde Cliff Palace Winter Snow

Snow at Cliff Palace.

Mesa Verde Winter Spruce Tree

Solitude at Spruce Tree.

Mesa Verde Spruce Tree House Winter

Close up.

2. Ski Cliff Palace

For an archaeological adventure, ski the Cliff Palace road (closed in winter) on the mesatop. It’s a 6-mile, ungroomed loop—with a shorter option to ski to the Cliff Palace overlook, then return the way you came. On a sunny weekday in February, I didn’t see another person on the trail.

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Whistler BlackcombA view from Whistler Blackcomb. REUTERS/Andy Clark

The mountain resort operator Vail Resorts is buying Canada’s Whistler Blackcomb in a deal worth about 1.4 billion Canadian dollars ($1.1 billion).

Vail will acquire 100% of Whistler Blackcomb’s stock, paying shareholders 17.50 Canadian dollars in cash and 0.0975 of Vail Resorts common stock, with a total value of about 36 Canadian dollars per share.

“This relationship will bring greater resources to support our current operations and our ambitious growth plans, including the Renaissance project, the most exciting and transformative investment in Whistler Blackcomb’s history,” Dave Brownlie,Whistler Blackcomb’s CEO, said in a statement.

He will continue to lead Whistler Blackcomb as chief operating officer.

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WARPIG – A New Snowboard by RIDE from Ride Snowboards on Vimeo.

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