Tag Archives: US Ski Team

Wheaties: Mikaela & Gretchen

wheaties cereal box mikaela shiffrin ski racer olympic gold medalxgretchen frasier ski champion wheaties cereal ad advertisement 1952xgretchen frasier ski champion wheaties cereal ad advertisement 1953

The only thing better than Mikaela Shiffrin gracing the Wheaties box . . . Gretchen Fraser representing the cereal brand the 1950’s.  Breakfast of Champions!

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Women’s Olympic Downhill: It’s On!

cindy nelson ski race downhill 1976 winter olympics innsbruck austriaIn a setting of grandeur, pigtailed Cindy Nelson thrusts out over the downhill course on which she won a prized bronze medal for the U.S.  From Sports Illustrated coverage of the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

Up late to watch the women’s downhill live from Sochi.  Rooting for Julia Mancuso all the way!  I think my dream podium would be:  Mancuso gold, Maria Hoefl-Riesch silver, Anna Fenninger bronze.  Lindsey Vonn will be missed, of course.  Very, very sad for Tina Weirather, out with a leg injury incurred in training a few days ago – she deserves to continue her winning season.

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U.S. Women’s Olympic Alpine Ski Team

us american women olympic ski team 1936 olympics garmisch partenkirchen germany davos switzerlandFebruary 11, 1936 Press Photo:  The American Olympic Games Ski-ing Team, ladies’ contingent, at Davos, Switzerland, where these fair young women enjoyed training on the lofty Parsenn, under the expert tutelage of Swiss ski runner Otto Furrer.  From right to left:  Mr. Otto Furrer, Trainer (Switzerland); Miss Helen Boughton-Leigh, Captain; Miss Clarita Heath; Miss Grace Carter; Miss Elizabeth Woolsey; Miss Lillian Swann; Miss Ellie Eyre Smith; Miss Marian McKenn; Miss Mary Bird.  Photo credit:  J.P. Caspar, Davos

Alpine skiing debuted at 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany with a single event – the Combined comprised of downhill and slalom.  The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will feature five alpine ski events for each gender:  Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super Combined.

Congratulations to the team of women who will be representing USA:  Stacey Cook, Julia Ford, Julia Mancuso, Megan McJames, Laurenne Ross, Mikeala Shiffrin, Leanne Smith, Resi Stiegler, Jacqueline Wiles.  Lindsey Vonn and Alice McKennis will be missed!

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Ski Legend: Andrea Mead Lawrence

andrea mead lawrence ski racer bad gastein austria 1952 winner giant slalomJanuary 27, 1952 Press Photo:  THE WINNER RELAXES – Andrea Mead Lawrence of Rutland, Vt., is shown taking things easy after posting another victory in a tuneup ski match for the Olympics.  The famed woman skier removes her goggles after winning the giant slalom at Bad Gastein, Austria.  She competed against the top women skiers from six nations.

Contrary to the description in the photo caption, I do not think Andrea Mead Lawrence is “taking things easy” — all I see is the look of the fiercely intense competitor.  Just weeks later, she went on to win two gold medals at the Winter Games in Oslo, Norway – the first and only American to win twice in a single Olympics.

It goes without saying that Andrea’s confidence brought the gorgeous US Ski Team uniform to life with mad style (and a remarkably tiny waist).  And let’s not forget the race sponsor, Pez – of candy dispenser fame – is an Austrian brand founded in Vienna.

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Ski Canada: Mt. Norquay, Banff

ski vintage banff canada mt mount norquay rope tow ski liftSki tow on Mt. Norquay – Banff   Photo:  Canadian Pacific

After exciting action on the new and challenging Raptor course in Beaver Creek, Colorado, women’s FIS World Cup alpine ski racing has moved north to Lake Louise, Canada.  If the weather cooperates, there will be training runs to monitor today and tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that Lindsey Vonn is able to safely return to competition and the rest of the U.S. women’s speed team regains their winning form of last winter.

The men have traded places and are now in Beaver Creek waiting for the snow to stop to train on the demanding Birds of Prey course.  Three races will be televised this weekend on NBC – such a treat in this country to have ski racing on a major network.  Tune it and enjoy!

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Olympic Uniforms: 1948 U.S. Women’s Ski Team

us women's ski team 1948 olympics st moritz fraser mead rytting1/31/1948 Press Photo:  OLYMPIC GAMES OPEN IN ST. MORITZ.  The United States women’s ski team, wearing for the first time their light grey Olympic suits.
Team members L-R:  Gretchen Fraser, Paula Kaan, Dodie Post, unidentified, Brynhild Grasmoen, Andrea Mead, Ruth Marie Steward, Suzy Harris Rytting, Ann Wynn.

At St. Moritz, Gretchen Fraser won the gold medal in Slalom and the silver medal in Combined.  Andrea Mead was only fifteen years old at this, her first Olympics.  Four years later at Oslo, she won both the Giant Slalom and Slalom and remains the only American skier to have won two gold medals in a single Olympics.  With the strength of the current U.S. Alpine Ski Team, I would not be surprised to see this remarkable record finally broken at the 2014 games.  And I look forward to see what the team will be wearing at Sochi – on the hill and on the podium.

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Last Look: 2013 National Team Uniforms

asksel lund svindal ski race norway uniformNORWAY:  Aksel Lund Svindal filling out his vibrant yellow speed suit and clean white and black outerwear by Phenix.

julia mancuso laurenne ross ski race usaUNITED STATES:  Julia Mancuso in black, Laurenne Ross in vivid green, uniforms by Spyder.  The green was kind of fun but I am hoping new uniforms have a more patriotic look.  I do have to give the USST and Spyder a nod for infusing inherently uptight uniforms with a sense of relaxed American mountain lifestyle.

maria hoefl riesch ski germany bogner milka pinkGERMANY:  Maria Hoefl-Riesch wears Bogner vivid pink outerwear and the snow tiger suit which is a long-standing tradition for the team.

nadia fanchini italy ski argentina race coach schladming 2013ITALY, ARGENTINA:  Bold letters in black and white clearly identify these teams in uniforms by Kappa.  Nadia Fanchini of Italy at left.  I quite like the graphic impact and utility of this strong look, especially Argentina’s stylized execution.

tina maze slovenia ski world champion schladming uniform milkaSLOVENIA:  It’s a good thing World Champion Tina Maze carries herself with such presence because this uniform by Halti is a lot to pull off.

austria ski anna fenninger michi kirchgasser milkaAUSTRIA:  Anna Fenninger in bright blue, Michaela Kirchgasser in white, outerwear by Schöffel.  The Austrian kit, like the team itself, is very strong and a contender for the best – distinctive and refined, powerful and wearable colors, complementary variety, consistent interesting themes and details, well merchandised and executed.  The back of the blue jacket is emblazoned with the claim Power Team, true enough!

ski race austria germany maria riesch puffy jacketPuffy Jackets:  Hannes Reichelt of Team Austria in black Schöffel.  Bogner male and female versions of team insulated outerwear; Maria Hoefl-Riesch again in pink.

With the Sölden FIS World Cup ski races kicking off the new season in just a few days, here is one last peek at some national team uniforms from 2013.  I am always curious to see if and how much teams change their kits year to year.  From early season training photos, I have seen a little new but much of the same from last season.  With 2014 being an Olympic year, there will be no shortage of new uniforms to be revealed!

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U.S. Ski Team: Baby on Board(s)

suzy harris rytting us ski team baby 19521/30/1952 Press Photo:  Grindelwald, Switzerland. . . Mrs. Suzy Harris Rytting, considered the beauty queen of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Ski Team, will get a letter of apology from the U.S. Olympic Ski Committee because of her ouster from the team.  Mrs. Rytting was sent home by the selection committee when it was learned she is an expectant mother.  In her home in Salt Lake City, Mrs. Rytting explained she didn’t mind so much being sent home but thought she was treated rather shabbily by the committee.  She asked to remain in Europe until her mother or her husband could join her but she was told, she said, by team officials that she had to leave immediately.

Fortunately, times have changed.  I can’t help but be reminded of the incredible and inspirational Sarah Schleper who took a year off from her esteemed U.S. Ski Team career for the birth of her son, Lasse – and then returned as a mom, with her family, for several more years of World Cup and Olympic competition!

sarah schleper ski son lasse garmisch 2011 world championshipsSarah Schleper with her son, Lasse, while competing at the 2011 World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.  Photo:  gap2011.com

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How the Racers Ski: Burke Mountain Academy

vicki fleckenstein woodworth ski burke vermont us ski team 197610/31/1976 Press Photo:  Viki Fleckenstein, of Burke Mountain, VT., Winner of National Combined Alpine Championship, is one of America’s best racers.

how the racers ski book warren witherell burke vermont 1972An excellent thrift find — 1972 first edition of the seminal ski bible How the Racers Ski by Burke Mountain Academy founder, Warren Witherell.

I am headed to East Burke, Vermont this weekend to ride Kingdom Trails.  Here are a couple vintage nuggets from the home of Burke Mountain Academy.

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1970’s Ski Racing Color

us ski team 1976 yamaha poles nelson cochran ski racingYamaha supports the U.S. Team.  The 1976 U.S. Ski Team with Yamaha poles:  (left to right) Becky Dorsey, 19, Wenham, Mass.; Mike Dorris, 21, McCall, Idaho; Gail Blackburn, 21, Brunswick, Me.; Ron Biedermann, 23, Stowe, VT.; Cindy Nelson, 20, Lutsen, Minn.; Lindy Cochran, 22, Richmond, Vt.; Karl Anderson, 22, Greene, Me. and Greg Jones, 22, Tahoe City, Calif.  Yamaha, an official supplier to the U.S. team, has a total commitment to the team effort. 

spider sabich ski racer k2Look Mom, that’s Spider Sabich Photo:  John Terence Turner

bobby cochran ski racer vermont olin A member of the well-know skiing Cochran family of Richmond, Vt., Bobby Cochran, 24, joined the pros in 1974 after 5 years on the U.S. Ski Team.  After placing 15th at the end of his first pro season, Bobby cut loose in 1976 and tied for 3rd overall winning $16,800.  He is a member of the Olin racing team, users of the Mark V and VI high-performance racing skis.

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