Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dual Race and Audi Winter Driving Experience

Not sure how this one fell through the cracks but I finally found the final video that we made from New Zealand.

-Enjoy

Dualrally from onions on top on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spotlight in "What's up, USANA?"

Before I came down to Chile, I headed to the USANA headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT to check out their facilities. I was quite impressed by the magnitude and quality of everything they are doing down there. I did a couple interviews, one of which is embedded into the "What's up, USANA?" blog post I have linked below. Check out their website and consider trying some of their products! It's a pretty remarkable company.

What's up, USANA?- blog post

Their website is www.usana.com


The last video from New Zealand should be up soon. I'll post it once it is finished!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Zealand 2012


I’ve been down in NZ for a little over a week and the camp is going well so far. I have only trained slalom but will soon be getting into gs and maybe some speed. We’ve had some great days on snow so hopefully the weather and snow will continue to hold up. The Fischer skis have been working great; I’m getting more and more comfortable each day I ski on them. I’m really excited about the potential I have with my new equipment and am looking forward to the upcoming season! Now if only I could sort everything else out...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Contest

I recently found out that I can no longer use Uvex products for skiing. Unfortunately, that means that I most likely cannot paint my helmet for the upcoming season, but that will depend on the company where I end up. This, combined with my recent switch to Fischer, also means that I will be virtually unrecognizable next season. I'll try and post some pictures when everything gets worked out so that someone knows who I am.

On a more important subject... Even though there will be no helmet painting competition, I will still have a t-shirt design contest. There is a poll on the main page of my blog that you can vote for or add your own idea to.

Thanks

Monday, July 9, 2012

Life now

This past season ended with a lot happening in a short period of time. World Cup Finals were hosted by Schladming, AUT. Did great in the one run of the team event I finished cleanly but unfortunately crashed out in the other two. Our team did end up in 4th place, an exciting end to the season as I hiked in the slalom over the weekend.

From there, I went and tested equipment over the next few days. It was great to get some different feelings under my feet and eventually led to my decision to switch to Fischer skis, boots and bindings. I'm really excited to get back into the gates and really see what I can do with these things!

After I left Europe, I traveled straight to Vail to get surgery on my other hip that was giving me problems throughout the season. The surgery went well, a much easier version of the first one I had last August. Now that I have a matching set of surgeries, hopefully I will never have problems with my hips again.

This trip to Colorado ended abruptly two days after surgery when I returned home to prepare for spring term at Dartmouth College. I look forward to school each year so that I can switch gears and focus on another important aspect of my life. Ten weeks at school is tough but it gets my mind away from skiing and allows me to rest my body while working my brain. I have finally finished my freshman year of college and it only took three years!!!

When school ended, skiing became the number one priority. I had rehabbed in Hanover and got to the point where I could get back on snow a soon as spring term ended. I went with the team on a short trip to Mt. Hood, Oregon in June and then followed it up by coaching a camp that Ted Ligety and Andrew Weibrecht have done the past few summers. I really enjoyed working with the kids both on and off the snow for ten days at the end of June. Hopefully I was able to inspire them while spending the necessary time sliding around on snow before I really get back to training.

Now, I am back in Park City, UT training to get into shape for our next on-snow camp in Queenstown, New Zealand. I leave a the end of the month, so I still have a few weeks to get to where I want to be. That will be the first time I really get back into training gates with my teammates since last winter. I look forward to being healthy going into this season.



*I will be having a helmet design contest for this upcoming season, start getting some ideas together! I will also be making new t-shirts so if you missed out last summer, this will be your chance. More info on both coming soon...*

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dan Nagy Memorial- LaCrosse, Wisconsin

This past weekend I went to LaCrosse, Wisconsin for the Dan Nagy Memorial FIS series. They don't get many world cup athletes around there (sorry Michael) so it was a lot of fun to come off my recent results and bring good skiing to their neck of the woods. I was accompanied by a few characters to say the least, making this weekend one to remember for everyone involved. There was the "absolutely killing it" announcer Warner Nickerson, lightning fast Will Brandenburg, Dodge boot star Charles Christianson and his younger brother Kieffer aka lil fawn aka Eskibro, former child star Michael Ankeny, future child star Matt Strand, Chris "Frank the Tank" Frank, Cochran Clansman Robby Kelley, Man camp attendee Cameron Smith, Taylor "Shiff-Cat" Shiffrin and two local heroes in Jake Lund and George Rolfs. Not to mention many stellar up-and-coming girls who participated in the race. Taylor Rapley NZL, Maisie Ide, Anne Strong, Sara Kikut and Anna Kikut all raced for top honors with the latter four headed to Dartmouth College this fall. Go Big GREEN!

The races were classic. Guys were charging out of the start house, through the farming fields for 6 gates, dropping off onto the "Damnation" pitch (read- super steep) and finishing on a flat that isn't really comparable to anything I've raced on. The transition from pitch to flats is key for carrying your speed and having a good run. The fastest guys had mistakes on the pitch but when it came to the transition, they were smooth and quick. This is definitely a hill for tactics as well as hustle and unfortunately for some, it proved too much at times. Even I hike twice run 1, day 2 to give me an awesome starting position of 74th for second run. Our other victims included Robby Kelley (hiked a lot day 1, run 1), Will Brandenburg (hiked and DQed day 1, run 1) and Michael Ankeny (hiked THREE times day 2, run 2- leading after the first). It's safe to say we set a trend for hiking that day with most every athlete who missed a gate hiking and finishing. We even inspired some of the officials with our actions throughout the weekend. This is a excerpt of an email sent by Mike Quinlivan:

As an attending volunteer official, I wholeheartedly echo Bill's compliments concerning this group. They conducted themselves as true ambassadors of the US Ski Team and US skiing. Their competitive fire is obvious, their spirit contagious, they mixed with all the athletes and parents. They finished, even if it required substantial hikes on very steep terrain, a huge example to young athletes; Nolan and Robbie skied second runs from way back of the pack and skied to win and demonstrated what it takes. Warner, who was announcing, did so in a fashion that was inspiring and incredibly motivating for all 104 men and 70 women, and Will joined him Sunday afternoon announcing and followed his lead. Every athlete on the course and through the finish go the full on Warner and Will enthusiastic reception; I highly doubt announcing at Nor Ams or World Cups is more insightful or fun for all to listen as these fellows. Folks could not help but be impressed by these USST and top US ski racing representatives and come away as wanting to be part of it. I think these ambassadors and I know the attending field and parents all came away with the WOW feeling after a great weekend of FIS racing and enjoying the sport.
Thanks again Mike!


Results-
Day 1 M
1st- Michael Ankeny, 2nd- Nolan Kasper, 3rd- Will Brandenburg
Day 1 W
1st- Maisie Ide, 2nd- Taylor Rapley, 3rd- Sara Kikut
Day 2 M
1st- Matt Strand, 2nd- Charles Christianson, 3rd- Kieffer Chirstianson
(Charles still doesnt have to retire, barely beating his brother again...)
Day 2 W
1st- Sara Kikut, 2nd- Maisie Ide, 3rd- Anne Strong

Complete results HERE


I want to give a big thank you to region 1, the officials, the race organizers, the parents, the other athletes and everyone else involved! You all made this weekend a lot of fun and have given me a great reason to come back in the future.

If you haven't already, check out Warner's recollection of the weekend on his site.
There's a whole different perspective and a bunch of great photos!

In other news

Today, I flew back to Europe for the last two slalom world cups of the season. One in Kranjska Gora on the 11th and WC Finals in Schladming on the 18th. I am currently in Soelden where I will be training a bit before the races... With the warm weather in Europe, the ants are out in full force and roaming around my room. Every time I kill one, two more show up and start picking up different pieces of dead ant. Maybe I should put some peanut butter on a stick outside of my room to draw them away. Stupid ants...



Pictures of the race courtesy of Dave Navin

Will B- Charging through the hill transition


Matt Strand- Looking for speed


Michael Ankeny (Twins?)


Robby Kelley- Stunning the crowd


Kieffer- Loves draggin' knucks... through the powder?
Those kids are shocked too!


George Rolfs- Killer inside knee


Jake Lund- Still got it


Me- Pretty sure I missed that red gate and hiked

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January

January is the big month for men's world cup slalom. We have five races in under three weeks and not much more for the rest of the season. It's very important to be skiing well and have the confidence to ski to your potential when it matters most. Last year, I wasn't able to ski how I wanted to in any world cup before Kitzbuhel. From Kitz to the end of the season I was no worse than fifteenth, including world champs and finals. So far this year has gone decently in my eyes. I have been top ten in two out of the 6 world cups that I've done with two more scoring results in the twenties. It's been a much better start than last year but I am hoping to really get rolling when Kitzbuhel comes around this weekend. Both Kitzbuhel and Schladming are two of my favorite races the entire season. On the tail end of one of the most iconic downhill races ever, Kitzbuhel slalom attracts a lot fans and brings a challenging hill that never lets you get a rhythm. When the snow is good, this is a wild race that brings the best skiers and best athletes to the top of the podium! It is supposed to start raining tomorrow so let's all hope for cold weather this weekend. Schladming is an individual race two days after Kitzbuhel finishes. It's the site of this year's world cup finals and next year's world championships so having this be my favorite race give me a mental advantage racing it more often. Being comfortable is huge in ski racing and since we race primarily in Europe, comfort is not so easy to come by. Schladming has a false flat out of the start then swings left onto a steep consistent pitch with only a slight sidehill when you get towards the bottom. This hill really shows which skiers are willing to push the line to go faster when even when the hill doesn't let up. To make this race even better, it is put on at night. Night racing is really the best way to run any slalom race for a few reasons.
the first reason is that the race is more fair because the light is much more consistent, even in adverse weather conditions. The second is that it draws many more fans because most people aren't working and can go watch the race and treat it more like a party. If the fans are enjoying themselves, the sport grows. Lastly, having a night race in Europe gives the fans back in the states a chance to watch during a normal hour instead of a 2-4am time slot depending where you live. If you don't get universal sports, you can always watch the races at www.fromsport.com.

I hope I can ski my best when it comes to these two races Sunday and Tuesday night. We are having a great training block in Soelden, even skied a little bit of gs (scary, I know). The tech team will be heading over towards Kitzbuhel tomorrow to compete in the Westendorf FIS night slalom that night. This is another race that is fun to compete in are great for fans to watch. It's sort of a warm up race for the next two world cups so a lot of the top fifteen are there. Everybody shows up and really charges because there are no repercussions for DNFing and there is a 5,000 Euro prize for first place.

I want to give a shout out to USANA for providing me with vitamins and meal shakes to take when the food in Europe is unbearable. Being healthy and feeling fueled is huge in skiing whether you are racing, on hill training or in the gym. USANA products help me stay energetic so I can train hard and ski my best!

Europe food is brutal, except wiener schnitzel... and leberkase. Nom nom nom.