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FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2016, file photo, Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, celebrates in the finish area after winning an alpine ski, women’s World Cup downhill, in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria. The Alpine director of the U.S. ski team said Wednesday Jan. 4, 2017 that Lindsey Vonn could make her World Cup return in Austria next week, two months after undergoing surgery on a broken arm. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca, File)

The network connected it to Vonn’s recent criticism of President Trump.

Lindsey Vonn, the most successful American ski racer in history, suffered a back injury while competing at the World Cup in Switzerland, threatening her participation in the Olympic games next year.

Fox News could barely contain its glee.

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Jens Burman, together with Swedish Nordic athletes Viktor Thorn and Karl-Johan Westberg (both of whom have been Salomon team members since their junior years), did two weeks of training in the French Alps in October. Part of that time was a day spent at Salomon’s Annecy Design Center (ADC). After working closely with Salomon technicians during that visit and selecting their best skis and boots, the Swedes are fully armed and ready for the upcoming season.

The visit to Salomon ADC was important for both the athletes and the Salomon Nordic staff. For athletes, it’s a chance to get a feel for what Salomon is all about and to discuss with the people behind the product creation process. For Salomon specialists, meeting the professionals of the sport and hearing their feedback is an important step in improving products.

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Sgt. Collin J. Zak was killed in a snowboarding accident at Monarch Ski Area, Colo. on Dec. 2, 2017.


SALIDA, Colo. — A snowboarder killed when he hit a tree at a Colorado ski area was a 23-year-old soldier from Ohio.

The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office says Sgt. Collin J. Zak of North Royalton was found unresponsive Saturday morning on the expert-rated Mirage run at the Monarch Ski Area. Ski patrollers performed CPR, but Zak was pronounced dead at the scene.

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  • The annual gathering of St Nicholases and Santas marks opening of the ski season at resort of Verbier
  • 2,656 men, women and children dressed for the occasion, making it a record Santa gathering in Switzerland
  • Now in its fourth year, it is very popular; resort offers daily pass to every skier who comes in costume

There are still a few weeks to go, but Christmas came early to the Swiss Alps today – in the form of multiple skiing Santa Clauses and St Nicholases.

Obviously there’s only one real Father Christmas, so any children witnessing the blur of red that whizzed down the slopes at Verbier needn’t be alarmed.

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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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It’s November and the snows are just starting to fall in the USA so it’s understandable the country’s skiers are a bit rusty.

So it is little wonder footage is emerging of a mountain of meaty fails as the crew find their ski legs again.

This was shot over the first few weeks of November in Oregon.

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Mikaela Shiffrin, of the United States, celebrates after completing her second run for a first place finish in the women’s FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup slalom race, on Nov. 26, 2017, in Killington, Vt. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

KILLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin had one of those days on Sunday, the kind her competitors on the World Cup have come to dread.

On a day when cold wind gusts and angry snow squalls raked Killington, Shiffrin won the first run convincingly, and then skied brilliantly on a brutal second course to distance herself further from her rivals.

Shiffrin, who was second in Saturday’s giant slalom to Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg, picked up her first win of the season, and made it look almost easy.

She finished with a combined two-run time of 1 minute, 40.91 seconds, 1.64 seconds ahead of Petra Vlhova of Slovakia. Austria’s Bernadette Schild finished third in 1:43.58, a distant 2.67 seconds back.

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Want to try a skiing holiday with your children? Mareike Graepel has all you need to know…

If you have ever been on holiday with children, you know that it makes no difference if you travel for three days or three weeks. But if you go on a skiing trip, packing is a completely different story: Ski gear; gloves; looped scarves; helmets; goggles; sunglasses; long underpants and shirts; very strong sunscreen; food and – just in case it might be too foggy to ski (during the winter) or too warm and not enough snow (around Easter) – swimming gear and hiking boots.

If all goes well, though, the entire family should be on the mountain and in the fresh air from nine in the morning and in the evenings the kids gratefully sink into their thick feather pillows and sleep around the clock.

I tried skiing for the first time when I was three and a half, and have passed on her skiing obsession to my husband and daughters. Together they have tried the pistes and slopes in the Tyrolean towns of Galtür and Ischgl.

Four pairs of skies crunch on the snow, which is still frozen and slippery on the mountain. Two of those crunching sounds seem to swing in slow, big curves across the slopes, the other two – coming from two only half-sized skies – sound brief and small.

“Now, quickly down the slope! Speed up, girls!” I shout – and both children change their skies to the ‘chips’ position. That’s what the skiing instructors call it, when the children have to keep their skies parallel and not in the snow plough style, also known as ‘pizza slice’. Alva, the nine-year-old, tries to swerve properly already, Orla is only five and is still keeping her legs in the snow plough position. But now they speed down this short part of the slope at nearly 50 kilometres am hour – we measured their speed on a special slope near the ‘Idalp’, the largest hut on the mountain, the day before. It’s very apparent why skiing without helmets and proper clothing including gloves is unimaginable.

I am thinking back to times when I went skiing with the local sports club in my teenage years, in resorts like the Italian Plan de Corones in South Tyrol, wearing nothing but a strikingly green punk shirt and jeans when strapping on the skis. There are still people who ski without helmets but the percentage is low.

To ask the kids to go as fast as possible is not entirely altruistic – the slower the children get down this slope, the more they have to tramp up the sloping bit at the end – or hope that I will pull them up, looking like a biathlete-wannabe, who pulls a bunch of colourful and giggling mini people behind her.

“If you only knew how often I had to tramp up on the side of the slope,” I tell them for the umpteenth time and they roll up their eyes towards heaven behind their goggles. “We didn’t have conveyor belts to transport us back up on the beginners’ slope.“

I feel old. Several of these belts are in use by the skiing school, the Skisport Akademie in Ischgl, but are open to all beginners. There is also a children’s play area with a tyre carousel in the snow and a small platter lift. The children’s area is located very centrally in the resort – and most importantly already on the mountain, near the Idalp not down in the valley. This is perfect for families who want to enjoy the slopes themselves while the offspring practice with the instructor.

To learn how to ski is not very difficult here, guaranteed. Alva and Orla had their lessons in the next town, in Galtür, where there is also a beginners’ area and great instructors, male and female, who look after all novices, big and small.

Mareike with her husband and daughters Alva and Orla.

Today, there are no skiing lessons anymore, we are exploring the mountain as a family.

We picked easy slopes, marked with blue signs, and a few with a more advanced level marking, some red-sign-posted pistes. With more than 200 kilometres available just in Ischgl, the choice isn’t difficult – we could be on different slopes all day without repeating the same stretch at all. On top, there are freestyle fun packs, short beginners’ slopes, and ski routes for the advanced.

“Pleaaaase, can we take a black one too““ beg the children. That level of difficulty we decide to keep for the afternoon, at the moment it is still too icy and slippery – we need a bit of sunshine first to make the snow a bit softer.

A group is always as strong as its weakest link, a rule that applies particularly when skiing. Everybody waits for the slowest skier, at every turnoff or before difficult stretches. So, the three of us are standing there, waiting – for my husband. Alva and Orla find it easier to dart across the white snow crumbs, due to their weight and shorter skies, they are less scared of falling and are more agile in knees and hips.

The contrast between sky and earth could not be starker. While we let the sun warm us up a little on the side of the slope, we turn our faces towards the sun, and lean on our ski sticks. The deep blue of the sky, cut off by a sharp edge of pure white, only gets interrupted by the glaring yellow dot in it.

At the end of the piste, just before the six-people-chair-lift of the Höllkarbahn, as we continue our way down, I call across the fourfold crunching sounds: “Stop again, we forgot to put on sun lotion!” Normally we do this in the gondola on the way up in the morning, but we were preoccupied with the fact that the kids had signed up to take part in a ski race just before lunch.

With the start numbers of 3 and 199 – no chronological order, we noticed, relieved – both kids wait for their signal at the race slope, lotion-ed up and everything. Among other parents, we wait along the spectators’ line, get mobile phones and helmet cameras ready.

“And here she goes,” says the announcer and he pronounces her name as if she was called “Orrrrrla”. Slowly and carefully she half circles the slalom sign posts.

And before she is halfway down the piste, Alva takes off.

She is much faster than Orla and speeds down the slope – and only just before she gets to the finish line, tries to avoid a collision with Orla and turns too fast, She straddles a gate – which catapults her high up in the air. Both skies go flying, she ends up flat on her back. I am relieved I did not take off my skies and dash down towards her.

When I stop beside her, she is already up, thank goodness, and a skiing instructor as well as another father who is a doctor apparently, check her for injuries. The tears stream down her face despite having remained unhurt, the shock is big – and the confusion. “What happened?“

After we have shown her the pictures and videos, her tears dry up quickly and she says, rather proudly: “Jeepers, I was fast!”

Alva and Orla have fun in the kids’ area in Ischgl.

For consolation (it is not clear who needs more comfort now, the parents or the child), we head towards a restaurant hut – the choice is huge, with 14 different ones in just this resort. At the Idalp, 1,300 people find a space and there is also a kindergarten for guests, so Mummy and Daddy can go skiing without having to worry about their smallies. But today, we pick a smaller, more rustic hut, with a DJ and a dancefloor outside and a hearty and comfy atmosphere inside, the Paznauner Taja. While stalking across the room in their heavy boots, the kids sway to the music and sing along – to a rather X-rated drinking tune, which they don’t understand yet, thankfully.

A total of 162 kilograms of chips get fried in Ischgl’s hut kitchens, 160 Germknödel (yeast dumplings) and uncountable amounts of vanilla sauce get prepared, 183 portions of Kaiserschmarren (a cut up pancake mix with raisins, applesauce and icing sugar) get cooked as well as 5,212 kilometers of spaghetti with bolognese sauce and mountains of parmesan. Alva picks a Germnknödel with vanilla sauce and covered in ground poppy seeds.

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One of the expert skiers in the Elevate Women’s Ski Camp skis powder in the ski area’s Rock Springs Bowl. About 60 women participate in each of the two women’s camps held each winter.

Snow whips at my group of six from all directions. Having just left the warmth of the waffle shack at the top of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s tram, it feels especially cold and wet. Still, standing in our skis, arranged in a line at the top of Rendezvous Bowl, we all begin disrobing our upper halves. Each of us is wearing between three and five layers, but in less than a minute we’re all down to our base layers. Then, Kori Richards starts a countdown: “3, 2, 1.”

At one, each of us removes our last layer, so that all we’re left with are our sports bras.

Something between a cheer and a roar erupts from my mouth. Similarly unspecific but equally joyful noises come from the rest of the group.

A camera is filming and, reveling in our silliness, we wave at it for several seconds, then we put back on our layers. We follow Richards, a 30-something ski instructor with a near-mystical power for noticing when I’m not pressuring the inside edges of my skis enough at a certain point of a turn, and ski away.

Usually in such conditions – poor visibility, strong winds, choppy snow – I’m a solid-but-hesitant skier, like most of the group. But, this run, we’re all on fire, skiing fast and aggressively, and judging by the exultant shouts that continue as we ski down, loving it.

Past the bowl, almost without pausing, we drop into a double-black-diamond run, un-groomed and full of tight trees. It’s like we’re all temporarily possessed by the type of skiers we’ve always wanted to be. Maybe this possession is our earlier silliness graduating to recklessness? But none of us hurts ourselves on this run, and we all agree it was the most fun and strongest run we’d each skied during our two-and-a-half days together. We’re not the same skiers we were three days ago, when the resort’s annual Elevate Women’s Ski Camp began.

– – –

For years, I avoided lessons because I thought skiing was something that could be learned on your own. I spent 10 years doing just that. I got better every season, but never had any breakthroughs. My progression was skiing the same intermediate runs faster rather than graduating up to more difficult runs. It’s fine to be stuck if you’re happy skiing intermediate runs, but I wasn’t.

This realization hit me on a January afternoon in 2007 in Taos, New Mexico, where I was researching a ski story. Taos’s public-relations department knew that I lived in Jackson, Wyoming, home of the ski resort generally regarded as the steepest and most difficult on the continent. They assumed I was more than an intermediate skier because, well, if you’ve lived and skied in Jackson for 10 years, which I had at the time, you have to almost actively work to not be an expert skier. Taos had a former national extreme skiing champ show me around the resort.

She hid well her frustration at my slowness and frequent falls on the resort’s ungroomed, steep runs. In a mid-mountain bathroom stall, I shed hot tears of shame. How could I not have more to show for 10 years of skiing on dozens of days every season in Jackson Hole?

I had also avoided women’s-only sports camps for years. I wanted to learn to ski more difficult runs more aggressively and with more speed. When I thought of a women’s-only ski group, the vibe that came to mind – fairly or not – was more adorable than aggressive. So, returning home to Jackson, it didn’t dawn on me to look at the resort’s women’s-only offerings. I went straight to the regular ski lessons – a ski camp, actually – that the resort is most famous for.

For as long as I can remember and across all aspects of my life, my modus operandi has been to go big. For example: Recently, I broke my wrist. Repairing it required a three-hour operation, a seven-inch surgical steel plate, 14 screws and 31 stitches. Why mess around with a single-day lesson when there’s a four-day camp? Also, I had done one-off lessons here and there. Although each of these gave me knowledge of what I was doing wrong, I felt like a day wasn’t long enough to effect lasting change.

The resort’s four-day Steep & Deep camp is a bucket-list item for many – more than 1,000 skiers (and snowboarders) come here every winter to scare themselves silly in it. About 90 percent of Steep & Deepers are men and about 100 percent have Type-A personalities. Being pretty Type-A myself, Steep & Deep grabbed my attention. Having been founded in the 1990s by then-world extreme skiing champion Doug Coombs, though, it had one problem: the requirement that campers be expert level. Also, its online description promised that the final day could include skiing Corbet’s Couloir, generally regarded to be the most difficult inbounds ski run in North America. The intent of this news was to get wannabe participants psyched up: “Yeah! Lucky you! Corbet’s!” But that wasn’t how I read it. My translation was, “You’ll probably end this camp on crutches.”

Still, I wanted to do it. I signed up for my first Steep & Deep four winters later, in 2011.

– – –

The camp was transformative, and not just for my confidence when I wasn’t put into the lowest group. Coach Bill Truelove taught me about “schmearing,” a type of turn in which you control your speed throughout the entire arc, and helped me learn how to do it.

Since my first Steep & Deep camp, I’ve done three more. And, after skiing at the resort on my own one day in 2013 and having a group from one of the women’s camps blow past me on a double-black-diamond run and seeing how much fun they were having, I’ve also done two Elevate women’s camps. The one in which my group stripped to sports bras – for a funny movie to be shown at the final night’s banquet – was my first.

In all six of the camps I’ve attended, my skiing has made multiple breakthroughs that have stuck with me long after each camp ended.

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Athletes who’ll be making the headlines heading into PyeongChang 2018

Ten athletes and two teenage talents have been named on the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Ones to Watch list for the upcoming Para Nordic skiing season, which will include the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games next March.

Selected by World Para Nordic Skiing, the Ones to Watch athletes are individuals who have the potential to make headlines, especially at PyeongChang 2018.

The list includes a mix of Nordic skiers who won Paralympic and World Championships medals, were prolific on the World Cup circuit, and are also strong spokespersons for the sport.

Ones to Watch for other winter sports, including Para ice hockey and wheelchair curling, will be announced in the coming weeks.

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