ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Feb. 7, 2017) – Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) led the Americans in the opening event of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, taking 14th in the super G.
After downhill training was canceled on Monday due to too much snow, Tuesday’s super G track was perfect. Twenty-seven-year-old Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria won the race—her first World Championships medal. Tina Weirather of Lichtenstein was second and Swiss Lara Gut took third in front of the home crowd.
Dressed in a new Spyder speed suit designed to look like superhero Captain Marvel, Ross overskied the course a bit, but plans to let her skis run in the downhill over the weekend. “I’m trusting my skiing and trying to return to my foundational skills and just have fun and enjoy it,” said Ross. “The best way to believe in yourself is remembering how passionate you are about it. I think I could have taken more risks out there—I overthought it a little and overskied it a little. I regret that, but I’m looking forward and staying positive and hoping for better in the downhills.”
Favorite Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) did not finish the super G, struggling to grip her pole at the beginning of the run before going too straight at a gate and skiing out of the course. “I stayed on my feet, so that’s the most important thing,” laughed Vonn after the race. “I’m definitely disappointed about today—I lost my pole and kind of lost my concentration there for a minute. Then I tried to go too straight to make up for the time I lost and that was a bad tactic—I went too straight over the roll and had no chance to make the gate. It happens!”
Vonn has had issues with her motor functions since breaking her arm in November and shared that she plans to duct tape her hand to her pole in Friday’s combined and Sunday’s downhill. But she doesn’t plan on letting the super G results phase her. “I felt good,” said Vonn. “I felt confident in the start. I wasn’t nervous. I was ready. I attacked. Sometimes it just doesn’t work—that’s ski racing.”
Young Breezy Johnson (Victor, ID) raced in her first World Championships event to take 28th. Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) did not finish.
Next, the women prepare for the alpine combined on Friday, while the men race their first World Championships event, a super G, on Wednesday. Both races will be streamed on nbcsports.com/live and broadcast live on NBCSN.