SCHEDULE The 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek will showcase over 700 athletes from more than 70 nations. These World Championships represent the largest and most impressive collection of ski racing talent in the world, second only to the Olympics.

*Note: Race schedule is preliminary and subject to change.

  • Men’s Competition
  • Women’s Competition
  • Medal Ceremony
DATE EVENT TIME/TV VENUE
Mon
Feb 02
Ladies’ DH
Training (1)
10:30 Red Tail Stadium
Opening Ceremonies 7:00 Championships Plaza
Tues
Feb 03
Ladies’ Super G 11:00
NBCSN-75px-Small
Red Tail Stadium
Men’s DH
Training (1)
1:30 Red Tail Stadium
Medal Ceremony 6:30 Championships Plaza
Wed
Feb 04
Men’s Super G 11:00
NBCSN-75px-Small
Red Tail Stadium
Ladies’ DH
Training (2)
1:30 Red Tail Stadium
Medal Ceremony 6:30 Championships Plaza
Thurs
Feb 05
Ladies’ DH
Training (3)
10:00 Red Tail Stadium
Men’s DH
Training (2)
11:00 Red Tail Stadium
Fri
Feb 06
Ladies’ Downhill 11:00
NBCSN-75px-Small
Red Tail Stadium
Men’s DH
Training (3)
1:30 Red Tail Stadium
Medal Ceremony 6:30 Championships Plaza
Sat
Feb 07
Men’s Downhill 11:00
NBC-75px-small
Red Tail Stadium
Ladies’ AC
(DH) Training
1:30 Red Tail Stadium
Medal Ceremony 6:30 Championships Plaza
Sun
Feb 08
Men’s Alpine Combined 10:00/2:15
NBC-75px-small
Red Tail Stadium
Ladies’ AC
(DH) Training
12:00 Red Tail Stadium
Medal Ceremony 6:30 Championships Plaza
Mon
Feb 09
Ladies’ Alpine Combined 10:00/2:15
NBCSN-75px-Small
Red Tail Stadium
Medal Ceremony 6:30 Championships Plaza
Tues
Feb 10
Nations Team Event 2:15
UniversalSports-75px
Golden Peak Stadium
Medal Ceremony 6:30 Championships Plaza
Wed
Feb 11
Open Day
Thurs
Feb 12
Ladies’ Giant Slalom 10:15/2:15
NBCSN-75px-Small
Red Tail Stadium
Men’s GS Qualifying 10:15/2:15 Golden Peak Stadium
Medal Ceremony 6:30 Championships Plaza
Fri
Feb 13
Men’s Giant Slalom 10:15/2:15
NBCSN-75px-Small
Red Tail Stadium
Medal Ceremony 6:30 Championships Plaza
Sat
Feb 14
Ladies’ Slalom 10:15/2:15
NBC-75px-small
Red Tail Stadium
Men’s SL Qualifying 10:15/2:15 Golden Peak Stadium
Medal Ceremony 6:30 Championships Plaza
Sun
Feb 15
Men’s Slalom 10:15/2:30
NBC-75px-small
Red Tail Stadium
Medal Ceremony 3:30 Red Tail Stadium
Closing Ceremonies 3:45 Red Tail Stadium

RACE GUIDE

DOWNHILL

The most exciting event in alpine ski racing, Downhill racers attempt to be the fastest down the mountain through a minimum number of control gates. Speeds in Downhill often exceed 80 mph on major courses and require a hill with at least a 750-meter vertical drop.

Downhill racers must have two training runs on a course before each race, although the second training run may be waived.

SUPER-G

Added to the World Cup calendar in 1983, Super-G was initially created in order to provide the Downhill specialists with an additional opportunity to score World Cup points, essentially giving the “speed” skiers two events, while the “technical” racers had Giant Slalom and Slalom.

A cross between Downhill and Giant Slalom, Super-G is a one-run event like Downhill, but with more frequent turns, similar to Giant Slalom. Unlike Downhill, however, there are no prior training runs for Super-G, just a racer inspection the morning of the race.

ALPINE COMBINED

Introduced to the World Cup circuit in 2005, Alpine Combined (formerly known as Super Combined) melds one run of downhill and one run of slalom on the same day to showcase the skills of the all-around racers, able to handle both the speed and technical aspects of the sport.

The Alpine Combined not only tests a racer’s versatility, but also his or her stamina, with often less than two hours between the conclusion of the downhill leg and the start of the slalom segment.

A hybrid of the traditional combined event, which features one run of downhill and two runs of slalom on two separate days, the Super Combined was designed to be a spectator friendly competition, where the winner was determined by the lowest combined time for the two runs, rather than the previous complex mathematical formula.

GIANT SLALOM

Giant Slalom is the event characterized as being the discipline requiring the most technical skill, skiers race down the mountain through a faster and more open course than in Slalom, which requires the execution of many short, quick turns.

The number of gates in a Giant Slalom course is determined by the vertical drop of the hill. The event is staged in two runs, with the total time of each run added together to determine the final finish order.

In World Cup competition, the finish list from the first run is cut to the fastest 30 racers and reversed to determine the second run start order. In Olympic or World Championships competition, all racers who finish the first run are allowed to take a second run, with the top 30 still reversed.

SLALOM

Requiring the quickest turns in all of ski racing, the slalom course is carefully designed to test the skill, timing, and judgment of competitors. The gates are placed in varying combinations, demanding great skill to achieve the best line of approach and exit with the different combinations. Contested in two runs, the competitor with the fastest combined time is declared the winner. Any skier that misses a gate is disqualified.

As with Giant Slalom, in World Cup competition, the top 30 racers in the first run are reversed to form the second run start list. In Olympic or World Championships competition, all racers who finish the first run are allowed to take a second run, with the top 30 still reversed.

COMPETING NATIONS

FLAG COUNTRY ABBREV.
al Albania

ALB

ad Andorra

AND

ar Argentina

ARG

am Armenia

ARM

au Australia

AUS

at Austria

AUT

  Azerbaijan

AZE

be Belgium

BEL

ba Bosnia and Herzegovina

BIH

br Brazil

BRA

bg Bulgaria

BUL

ca Canada

CAN

ky Cayman Islands

CAY

cl Chile

CHI

cn People’s Republic of China

CHN

hr Croatia

CRO

cy Cyprus

CYP

cz Czech Republic

CZE

dk Denmark

DAN

ee Estonia

EST

fi Finland

FIN

fr France

FRA

uk Great Britain

GBR

ge Georgia

GEO

de Germany

GER

gr Greece

GRE

ht Haiti

HAI

hu Hungary

HUN

in India

IND

ir Iran

IRA

ie Ireland

IRE

is Iceland

ISL

il Israel

ISR

it Italy

ITA

jm Jamaica

JAM

jp Japan

JPN

kz Kazakhstan

KAZ

kg Kyrgyzstan

KGZ

kr South Korea

KOR

lv Latvia

LAT

lb Lebanon

LIB

li Liechtenstein

LIE

lt Lithuania

LTU

lu Luxembourg

LUX

ma Morocco

MAR

md Moldova

MDA

mx Mexico

MEX

  Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

MKD

mt Malta

MLT

me Montenegro

MNE

mc Monaco

MON

nl Netherlands

NED

no Norway

NOR

nz New Zealand

NZL

 at Peru

PER

pl Poland

POL

pt Portugal

POR

ro Romania

ROU

za South Africa

RSA

sm San Marino

RSM

ru Russia

RUS

si Slovenia

SLO

es Spain

SPA

rs Serbia

SRB

ch Switzerland

SUI

sk Slovakia

SVK

se Sweden

SWE

tl Timor-Leste

TLS

 TPE_2 Chinese Taipei

TPE

ua Ukraine

UKR

us United States of America

USA

uz Uzbekistan

UZB

ATHLETES TO WATCH

The 2015 Audi FIS Alpine World Ski Championships will bring 600 athletes from 70 nations to Vail & Beaver Creek for two weeks of racing.

LADIES TO WATCH

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Anna Fenninger Racing in Beaver Creek
ANNA FENNINGER
Austrian racer looks to sustain momentum of overall globe, Olympic gold

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ANNA FENNINGER, AUT

Fenninger impressed many people with her dominant performance in 2013-14, including herself. She started off the World Cup season with three podiums here in North America; a podium in St. Moritz, Switzerland; a win in Lienz and a second-place finish in Altenmarkt/Zauchensee, Austria; and a second-place finish in Crans Montana, Switzerland. And that all took place before the Olympics. By the time she arrived in Sochi, Fenninger was quite comfortable on the podium. Nevertheless, wins had been elusive, so by winning the downhill and claiming silver in the super-G, she even surprised herself.

“If someone had said to me (going into the Olympics), ‘You can go and win two medals,’ I would have said, ‘That would be nice,’” Fenninger said in Sochi. But the wins would keep coming. Fenninger ended the season with three more wins on the World Cup circuit, all in giant slalom, and a second-place finish in super-G. This earned the 25-year-old skier from the village of Adnet in Salzburg, Austria, her first-ever World Cup crystal globes for winning the World Cup season discipline title in giant slalom, as well as the 2013-14 World Cup overall title, among the most coveted prizes achievable in ski racing. But the standout season all started in Beaver Creek with her first podium of 2013-14, a silver in the super-G, so look for Fenninger to impress on that course once again in 2015.

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Lara Gut on the Raptor course on Beaver Creek Mountain
LARA GUT

Swiss speedster dominated Raptor course at 2013 test event

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LARA GUT, SUI

While the history book  has yet to be written as far as which women will find dominance on Beaver Creek’s Raptor courses, one could look to the World Championships test event of 2013 as an indicator of what’s to come. If one were to take that approach, one would look no further than Lara Gut. The Swiss skier was sensational in the speed events on Raptor Nov. 28-Dec. 1, taking top honors in both downhill and super-G, and actually achieving a faster time in training than her top-finishing downhill run in similar conditions.

“I like the snow and the slope here,” she said after the win. Gut went on to win her first-ever World Cup crystal globe (season discipline title) in 2014, as well as her first-ever Olympic medal with a bronze in the downhill in Sochi. At a press conference in Beaver Creek after winning the downhill, she hinted that the season could go on to be a turning point for her. “I crashed four years ago and didn’t go to the Olympics, and since then, I’ve been working so hard to be back,” she said. “I had to build everything again, my body, my skiing skills, my feeling on the snow. Now, I’m feeling good.” If Lara Gut is feeling as good in Beaver Creek in 2015 as she was in 2013, she will indeed be the athlete to beat in the speed events at the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships.

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Julia Mancuso on the Raptor Course on Beaver Creek Mountain
JULIA MANCUSO

Super Jules thrives under the pressure of big-time races

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JULIA MANCUSO, USA

You just never know what to expect from Julia Mancuso. Her success is spread out across the ski racing world; in her career she’s hit the World Championships podium in ’05, ’07, ’11 and ’13, in super-G, giant slalom and the super combined. She’s also raced to the podium at the last three Winter Olympics, earning medals in several different disciplines once again — in ’06 she won the giant slalom, in 2010 she sped to the downhill and super combined podiums, and she found her way onto the super combined podium once again in 2014.

“I was really surprised, actually, that I could get a medal,” Mancuso told ESPN after the race. With such a long career already under her belt, Mancuso may have surprised others, as well. But based on her success in big events, a Julia Mancuso appearance on the podium should not surprise anyone. “You can never rule out Julia Mancuso. She always throws down at big events.” said her teammate Alice McKennis. “When you don’t expect it she’ll show up.” Mancuso spends much of the off-season in Hawaii, where she’s an adept free diver — free diving is the art of going as deep as you can underwater without the use of a breathing apparatus. Mancuso says she can hold her breath for three and a half minutes. Now 30, Mancuso has a total of nine World Championship and Olympic medals in her collection. In 2015, will we see her make it to double digits in Beaver Creek? You just never know what to expect from Julia Mancuso.

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Tina Maze on the Raptor Course on Beaver Creek Mountain
TINA MAZE

All-around threat has the veteran savvy to win at Beaver Creek

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TINA MAZE, SVN

Tina Maze is among the most decorated ski racers participating in the sport today. The Slovenian star has notched 23 World Cup wins, and is one of only three women in history to win all five disciplines in a single World Cup ski racing season. She has multiple Olympic gold medals, World Cup globes, and world champion titles. But she also has earned something in ski racing that can’t be put on a shelf for display: Perspective.

“We all know that in ski racing, one finger or a hand can change the color of a medal,” Maze told reporters at the Sochi Olympics. And that she knows from experience. To earn her first-ever World Cup win, a giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, in 2002, Maze shared the top spot on the podium with not one but two other competitors. And in 2014, she again shared the podium for a career first win at the Olympics. “That’s the challenge of our sport, the hundredths count,” she said. But can she translate all that perspective into results at the World Championships in 2015? A good guess would be yes, as she’s been able to find big results at the big events. In addition to winning two gold medals at the Sochi Olympics, Maze was crowned world champion in GS in 2011 and in super-G in 2013.

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Mikaela Shiffrin on the Raptor Course on Beaver Creek Mountain
MIKAELA SHIFFRIN

Reigning world champ, Olympic gold medalist wants a special performance at home

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MIKAELA SHIFFRIN, USA

After winning an Olympic gold medal, where else is there to turn your focus? For Mikaela Shiffrin, that’s an easy question. “World Champs … that’s where my sights are set at this point,” Shiffrin said at the end of last season. And what a season it was. After starting with a win at the first World Cup of the season in Levi, Finland, Shiffrin was a force to be reckoned with all year long. She went on to win World Cups in Bormio, Italy; Flachau, Austria; Are, Sweden; and Lenzerheide, Switzerland; to pick up the World Cup slalom overall title for the second year in a row.

Along the way, she also notched a pair of podiums in Lienz, Austria, taking second in the slalom and third in the GS, and picked up an Olympic gold medal in Sochi, Russia. But for local fans of the Vail Valley native, her most exciting accomplishment (with the exception of, perhaps, the party-like atmosphere at Route 6 Cafe in Eagle-Vail when she won in Sochi) was her second- place finish in the GS at the Beaver Creek World Championships test event/World Cup. In front of the hometown crowd, “I just really wanted to ski as well as I could,” Shiffrin said. “This is my favorite hill … I couldn’t wait to get out of the starting gate.” There was no slalom race for the women at the event, so she hit the podium in GS for the first time in her career. Could it have been the beginning of a transformation into other disciplines? “Ideally, I would race my first super-G … at the World Championships at Beaver Creek,” Shiffrin said. “And win.”

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TINA WEIRATHER

When healthy, Liechtensteiner is a consistent World Cup podium force

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TINA WEIRATHER, LIE

In looking at the female ski racers who shined on Beaver Creek’s Raptor racecourses in 2013, one can not look past Tina Weirather, of Liechtenstein. Showing dynamic overall ability, Weirather notched a second-place finish against a tough field in the downhill, then went on to find the podium again for the first time ever in the giant slalom, something she considered to be a true achievement at the time.

“It was always my goal to get a podium in giant slalom,” she said after the race. “I think it’s the most important discipline, so I’m very happy.” Little did she know, 2013-14 would prove to be incredibly successful for Weirather, and she would go on to earn a win in the giant slalom later that season. Heading into the Olympics, she recorded seven more podiums, including two wins. On the eve of the Olympics, she was second in the downhill, super-G and overall season rankings and third in the giant slalom season rankings. But, as has happened several times in the young racer’s career already, injury plagued her at the Olympics, and Weirather was sidelined the rest of the season with a leg injury. At the 2015 World Championships, however, don’t put anything past Weirather. After all, she has world champion ski racers’ blood running through her veins. Both her mother and her father, Harti Weirather and Hanni Wenzel, notched World Championship wins during their ski racing careers in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Lindsey Vonn racing the Birds of Prey on Beaver Creek Mountain
LINDSEY VONN

Superstar still has something to prove in front of the hometown crowds

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LINDSEY VONN, USA

Vonn learned to ski downhill in Vail. And then she made a career of it. A member of Ski Club Vail since she was 11 years old, Vonn showed the world she had the potential to be a top contender when she won Italy’s prestigious Trofeo Topolino at the age of 14. Since then, she’s been on the World Cup podium 103 times, has earned a pair of Olympic medals, five World Championship medals, has won the Overall World Cup globe four times, and has won 13 individual discipline globes on the World Cup circuit. With her 59 World Cup wins, she’s second in the history books only to Annemarie Moser-Proell, who’s won 62 times. Well on her way to surpassing Moser-Proell, Vonn suffered a devastating setback after injuring her knee at the 2013 World Championships and hasn’t won a race since. She’s hoping the 2014-15 season, and specifically the 2015 World Championships, shifts her momentum in the other direction.

“I’m lucky just to have the opportunity just to race at home,” Vonn said at a press conference at the beginning of the 2013-14 season. “2015 has been my long-term goal many years … I’ve always said that after 2015 I’ll re-evaluate and see where I am physically and mentally, and if I’m still enjoying it. If I’m still enjoying it, I’ll keep racing. If not, that could be a good time to retire, but I don’t foresee that happening. I foresee myself competing for a long time; I think this injury has only motivated me to continue racing longer. I feel like there’s a lot more that I have to accomplish.”

MORE U.S. WOMEN TO WATCH
Ross, Cook, Smith and McKennis are breakout threats in speed events

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LAUREEN ROSS
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STACEY COOK
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ALICE MCKENNIS
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LEANNE SMITH

In the 2012-13 season, American speed skiers Laurenne Ross, Stacey Cook, Leanne Smith and Alice McKennis all made the podium in World Cup downhill races. McKennis won at St. Anton, Austria, on Jan. 12, 2013. Smith took second in Val d’Isere, France, on Dec. 14, 2012, and then landed on the podium again one month later with a third-place finish in the downhill in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Cook notched a pair of second-place finishes in back-to-back downhills Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2012, in Lake Louise, Alberta. And finally Ross took second in the downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on March 2, 2013. That’s quite a bit of depth from a squad that also has Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso on its roster.

“It’s a different dynamic than I’ve ever seen on the team, and it’s showing in the results,” Vonn said at the beginning of last season. “Everyone is just in a really good mood,” Mancuso said in November. “They say you should have fun, it makes a big difference when everyone is doing well and skiing fast, a dramatic increase in just team spirit and happiness … Everyone is just a little more relaxed. It’s really cool to see,” Mancuso concluded. “It’s very special to be a part of this team right now. There’s a lot of good things going on,” Smith said. “… I’m lucky to be a part of it.” Cook said the members of the women’s team have a unique friendship, which has helped their success. “We value each other as people,” she said. “That’s something that I think is not that common in the athletic world, especially when you’re actually competing against each other. You want the best for your teammate, or your roommate, whoever it is that day. You want the best for them and then you want to do just a little bit better, and it’s a really healthy competitive
environment.”

MEN TO WATCH

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Travis Ganong on the Birds of Prey on Beaver Creek Mountain
TRAVIS GANONG

Squaw Valley skier is gaining momentum coming into 2015

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TRAVIS GANONG, USA

Sure, there are plenty of up-and-comers in the international men’s field, but what about the Americans? Experts would tell you to keep an eye on Travis Ganong. Amid all the excitement regarding the podiums at the Olympics, it’s important to keep in mind that a top-five finish in that field is something to take seriously, as well. In Sochi, it was Ganong who led the U.S. team in the downhill with a fifth-place finish.

“I’ve been methodically building my career over the last four or five years in the World Cup and getting better and better each year and lowering my ranking and gaining more confidence,” Ganong said. “Now I’m at a point where I know my skiing’s good and I can be relaxed. That’s a really fun place to be because then you’re just having fun every race.” And having fun is what drew Ganong to ski racing in the first place. He grew up minutes from Squaw Valley and loved skiing “cliffs, chutes, pillow lines … I couldn’t get enough.” He’s also known as the first guy to grab his fat boards on a race cancellation day. “I love freeskiing and big mountain skiing just as much as racing, and they both kind of help out the other,” he says. After slowly climbing through the World Cup ranks in 2013-14, Ganong finally reached the podium after the Olympics had ended, finishing third in a World Cup downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway, on Feb. 28. “I always told myself I’d get to this point,” he said after the finish. “It was just a matter of time.”

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Marcel Hirscher on the Birds of Prey on Beaver Creek Mountain
MARCEL HIRSCHER

Austrian will try to roll to his fourth straight overall World Cup title

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MARCEL HIRSCHER, AUT

Winning the World Cup overall title is quite an accomplishment. Winning the World Cup overall title, and then defending that title the next season, and the season after, is a feat that puts a ski racer in the history books among the best of the best. At the 2015 World Championships, spectators will have a chance to watch a ski racer who is in the process of attempting to defend three consecutive World Cup overall titles when Marcel Hirscher takes to the slopes. The last time the world saw a man attempt to defend back-to-back-to-back World Cup overall titles was three decades ago in American Phil Mahre. For fans of all-American boy Ted Ligety, Hirscher has been especially hard to deal with as the only thing keeping Ligety from being purely dominant in giant slalom, rather than just being mostly dominant as he has been these last few seasons.

In 2012, it was Hirscher who snatched the giant slalom discipline title from Ligety, and in 2014 it nearly happened again as the title came down to the last possible moment. At the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, Ligety needed to win and have Hirscher finish off the podium. That’s exactly what happened, with Hirscher finishing fourth on the day. “I need some time to process everything that happened,” he said. “I’m really happy about the overall and am not really thinking about the GS cup at this point. The overall was my big goal this season and I couldn’t be happier that I was able to defend it.”

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Ted Ligety racing the Birds of Prey on Beaver Creek Mountain
TED LIGETY

Mr. GS has topped the podium at Beaver Creek for four years running

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TED LIGETY, USA

Having secured giant slalom champion status in both the Olympics and on the World Cup circuit in 2014, it’s safe to say Ted Ligety will be a favorite in that discipline heading into the World Championships. But that doesn’t necessarily sit well with him. “Being the favorite in alpine skiing is never easy, because it’s an event that’s so far from being guaranteed and not an event that’s super simple to win even if you’re the best in the world,” Ligety said in Sochi in February. “There are so many different factors out there. It’s really easy to go out of the course. It’s really easy for conditions to not match up to your technique.”

Ligety is only the second man in history to have two seasons with five or more World Cup giant slalom wins, behind Ingemar Stenmark, who did it three times. Ligety is also the only man in U.S. history to win two Olympic gold medals in alpine skiing. He won the GS in Beaver Creek in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, won the World Championships combined, giant slalom and super-G in Schladming, Austria, in 2013, and hit the podium in downhill and won a super combined last season. Medals and globes aside, a true testament to Ligety’s living legend status just may be the fact that he’s casually used as a point of comparison when 1964 Olympic slalom silver medalist Billy Kidd reminisces on the good ol’ days of ski racing.“Jimmie Heuga won the biggest races — he was just an incredible skier,” Kidd told crowds in Vail earlier this year. “He was the Ted Ligety of the 1960s.”

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Bode Miller on the Birds of Prey on Beaver Creek Mountain
BODE MILLER

American veteran continues to deliver amazing performances

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BODE MILLER, USA

Bode Miller has a lot of medals. He’s a four-time world champion and a six-time podium finisher at the Olympics. But who’s keeping track? Not him. “I’ve never been stuck on counting medals,” Miller said at the end of the 2014 season. “This was a really hard year with a lot of effort coming back to get fit and get ready and just battle through everything life throws at you.” Life has thrown personal and family issues his way, along with injuries and tragedy. He took the entire 2013 season off amid rumors he was set to retire, only to come back and hit the podium once in Beaver Creek in giant slalom, twice in Kitzbuehel, Austria, in downhill and super-G, and finally once again at the Olympics in Sochi, notching a historic sixth Olympic medal with super-G bronze. To cap it all off, Miller completed his first full World Cup season since winning the overall in 2008, and did it in spectacular fashion with a season-ending podium in the super-G in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

One last thing life is throwing Miller’s way, though, is age. He’ll be 37 at the Worlds, but he is still able to capture the attention of the world with his ability to produce jaw-dropping performanceson skis — but for how long can this last? “Everytime I ski hard I crash or make big mistakes,” he said in March. “Even though I’m old, I’m not broken down. Mentally I think I’m just as tough as any of these kids. I know I’m capable of top skiing and my body is holding up great. We’ll see how I feel in the fall, but right now I have no intention of ending my career.”

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
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FELIX NEUREUTHER

German tech specialist has come into his own in the past couple of years

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FELIX NEUREUTHER, GER

Felix Neureuther really hit his stride in his late 20s. Now a veteran on the circuit, Neureuther made his first World Cup start way back in 2003 when he was just 18. From that season up to the 2011-12 season, he had topped the World Cup podium twice, both in slalom events in 2010. And then he went off. Over the course of the last two seasons, Neureuther has notched seven World Cup wins. His father, Christian Neureuther, was also a champion ski racer, and won the same race in Kitzbuehel that Felix won in 2010 as well as achieving five other World Cup slalom wins during his illustrious career. But it was Felix’s mother, Rosi Mittermaier, who made their family among the most well-known ski racing legacies in Germany when she won gold in both downhill and slalom at the ‘76 Olympics. “In the upcoming season, I will continue where I stopped last winter at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide,” Felix said after finishing out last season. Felix landed on the podium in both slalom and giant slalom in Lenzerheide, beating out Marcel Hirscher in giant slalom, who was leading the discipline standings going into that race. “My motto is go hard or go home,” he said.

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Aksel Lund Svindal on the Birds of Prey on Beaver Creek Mountain
AKSEL LUND SVINDAL

Svindal has excelled at Beaver Creek following a horrific 2007 crash

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AKSEL LUND SVINDAL, NOR

Svindal’s intertwined with Beaver Creek’s Birds of Prey World Cup venue. After winning the World Cup overall title in 2007, Svindal was riding high as the best skier in the world. But on Nov. 27, 2007, Svindal hit the downhill course in Beaver Creek and it attacked back, at the Golden Eagle jump. He flew off the jump and his weight got so far behind him it looked like he could have nearly backflipped out of trouble. Svindal landed on the icy course with a back slap that was so hard it looked like it could kill a person. “I spent weeks in the hospital both in Vail and Oslo,” Svindal said. Last year, Red Bull presented a film from Antimedia in which Svindal reflected on the incident. “When I returned to Beaver Creek for the first race the next season, I was not able to overcome the fact that I was scared,” Svindal said. “I had to find a way to overcome my fear, outsmart myself. The section I’m afraid of, where I crashed, is only 10 seconds, and the full course is 2 minutes. If I thought full course, my thoughts went straight to the section I was afraid of. So I gave myself a choice — I could take it easy for the section that scared me, but then I had to really go for it the rest of the course.” The plan worked, and Svindal returned to Beaver Creek to win on the course that could have ended his career. He says he loves the Birds of Prey course — it’s among his favorite on the World Cup circuit. He has hit the podium in Beaver Creek 11 times since 2006.

PHOTO ATHLETE COUNTRY
Alexis Pinturault on the Birds of Prey on Beaver Creek Mountain
ALEXIS PINTURAULT

With seven World Cup wins already, young gun shoots for more success

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ALEXIS PINTURAULT, FRA

If the question on your mind is “Who’s next?” in terms of up-and-comers, Alexis Pinturault should be racing to the forefront of your thoughts. At 22 years old, the Frenchman landed on the podium in Sochi and scored three World Cup victories last season; the previous season he also had three World Cup victories. And he has spread himself out across the sport of ski racing well, with those victories coming in every discipline except downhill. Against two of the most accomplished giant slalom racers in history, Ted Ligety and Marcel Hirscher, Pinturault found a turning point in his career in 2013 by beating both men to find his first-ever World Cup win in the giant slalom. “It was a big race, a great race,” he said after the accomplishment, which had him flanked by Ligety and Hirscher on the World Cup podium in Garmisch, Germany, a picturesque moment for anybody. And after attaining a taste of greatness in the one-shot event element of the sport with an Olympic bronze medal in the giant slalom last season, expect Pinturault to be looking for glory in 2015. “Since I became world junior champion for the first time in 2009, everything happened faster in my life,” Pinturault said. “At that time my future in ski became clear.” You can bet Pinturault is hungry to remove the “junior” from his world champion title at Beaver Creek in February.

 

MORE U.S. MEN TO WATCH
U.S. men’s team will bring experience and depth to Vail/Beaver Creek 2015

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ANDREW WEIBRECHT
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MARCO SULLIVAN
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STEVEN NYMAN

The U.S. Ski Team’s men’s squad has had some impressive results in recent years. But like the sport they’re competing in, these guys are very unpredictable. Who would have placed a dime on Andrew Weibrecht to secure a silver medal at the Olympics? Who could picture Marco Sullivan on the downhill podium in the 2012-13 season? And forget about podiums, how about an American that’s not Bode Miller or Ted Ligety actually winning a race in the 2012-13 season? Not many would have guessed Steven Nyman to lead the field for the first time since 2006 at the famed Saslong downhill in Val Gardena, Italy. But all of these glorious moments happened, and all of these athletes can find glory again at the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships.

At 34 years old, Sullivan was on the fence about coming back at all next season. But the opportunity to race a World Championships on U.S. snow has made him commit. Weibrecht was also close to retiring in 2014, repeatedly asking himself whether or not he should continue ski racing right up to the eve of his silver-medal performance in Sochi, which renewed his faith. Nyman says slalom skiing now causes him physical pain after suffering broken bones in his legs, causing him to lose optimism about his potential in the super combined. But it’s moments like Sullivan describes that keep the men together and pursuing greatness in skiing. The men’s alpine squad had just landed in Sochi “when a somber-faced older Russian man came over and asked if he could take our picture,” Sullivan said. “Of course we obliged, but his reasoning is what sticks with me. He said he wanted to take our picture because our big smiles were so nice to see.”

SPECTATOR INFO

All 2015 World Championships racing events are free and open to the public, with the Red Tail Stadium featuring 3,500 total seats. The Beaver Creek racecourses feature a common mid-mountain finish area and can be accessed by shuttle bus service, with snowshoes, skis or snowboards. Concessions and restrooms are available at the Red Tail Stadium.

Parking & Getting to the Red Tail Stadium

Spectator parking is available in the complimentary parking lots (beginning with the Event Parking/Rodeo and  Bear Lots) located at the base of Beaver Creek Resort and throughout Avon. For the World Championships, we will be employing outlying Park & Ride lots in order to accommodate as many race fans as possible.

Regularly scheduled free shuttles will bring spectators to the Covered Bridge stop in Beaver Creek Village where special the Race Finish Bus will take you to the Red Tail Stadium. Race shuttles run every 5-10 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to the completion of that day’s race. Skis and snowboards are not permitted on the race shuttles.

From the shuttle drop location, there is a short hike to the Red Tail Stadium. ADA access to the venue is available upon request. Please allow one hour of travel time from the base of Beaver Creek Resort to the Red Tail Stadium in order to not miss any of the action!

Ski/Snowboard Access

Beaver Creek Mountain has a mid-mountain finish and all spectating areas in Vail & Beaver Creek can be accessed by skis or snowboard. Check back soon for detailed maps showcasing recommended viewing locations accessible by skiing/snowboarding. Please note a valid Vail or Beaver Creek lift ticket or Epic Pass is required to ride lifts needed to reach the Red Tail Stadium or designated on-hill viewing locations.

TRAIL 2015

SNOWSHOE TO RED TAIL STADIUM

Join us on our unique Trail 2015, the only place to receive the Trail 2015 official pin of the day.

Spectators may snowshoe up and down Dally ski run (AKA “Trail 2015”) from Beaver Creek Village to Red Tail Stadium, 2,015 meters long, which is approximately a 30-45 minute hike. Atlas Snow-Shoe Co., our Official Snow Shoe Partner, will have demo tents set up at both the Start and Finish of the Trail providing free Snow Shoe demo’s to anyone who wants to hike up to the Race Stadium. Dally is located just west of Chair 6, coming from the direction of Larkspur Bowl. Trail 2015 can be accessed just west of the maze of Chair 6. Snowshoers will be sharing Dally run with skiers and snowboarders, please be aware of your surroundings. Please note that snowshoers are not allowed on Dally Road because of bus traffic.

TRAIL 2015 MAP