Pre-Olympic Season Highlights

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Park City, UT, April 5, 2001--U.S. World Cup skiers and snowboarders warmed-up for the 2002 Olympic season with many impressive finishes that made for highlights including an alpine world championship, an aerials World Cup title, eight snowboard World Cup victories, two disabled World Cup titles and the best nordic results in years.

"We're excited about where all of our teams are positioned relative to the Olympics this coming season," said U.S. Ski andSnowboard Team Vice President of Athletics Alan Ashley. "While we may not have won as many world championship medalsthis year as we had hoped, we did succeed in developing the most depth of top World Cup caliber athletes in our history."

Equally important for the 14 U.S. ski and snowboard teams was the exposure to the Olympic venues. "We knew what acouple of the venues would be like but we got an even better feel for them in a major event atmosphere, and that wasgood," Ashley said. "Now, we want to carry this momentum into our preseason training and into successful execution nextFebruary. Those are both very do-able."

In addition, the return of Olympic champion Picabo Street (Park City, UT) from injury and gold medalists Jonny Moseley(Tiburon, CA) and Donna Weinbrecht (Killington, VT) from two-year sabbaticals added firepower for the push to the SaltLake Olympics next February.

A recap of the 2000-01 season, by sport:

Alpine

Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, CA) won the World Championships super G gold medal, the first World Championships medal by a U.S. racer in super G

Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT) was third in final World Cup giant slalom standings, the best U.S. men's finish since the 1983 season

Rahlves named the USOC Athlete of the Month for January

For the first time in history, seven skiers reached the top-3 World Cup podium 11 times - plus Rahlves' world championship ('82 and '83 teams had six top-3 skiers each)

20 skiers score World Cup points over the course of the season

Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) scored points in all four events

Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) won her first World Cup race, a downhill in Lenzerheide, Switzerland

Thomas Vonn (Newburgh, NY) won the overall Chevy Truck Super Series title

Olympic SG and two-time World Cup downhill champion Picabo Street returned after two years away and won against a World Cup-level downhill field in a Chevy Truck Super Series race, the women's first look at the 2002 Olympic downhill course at Snowbasin, Utah Freestyle

U.S. won the Nations Cup title again

The World Cup aerials title went to '98 Olympic and '99 World Championships gold medalist Eric Bergoust (Missoula, MT) with teammate Joe Pack (Park City, UT) runnerup, the first 1-2 finish by U.S. men and the first U.S. men's title since 1995

A healthy Hannah Hardaway (Moultonborough, NH), who missed two seasons ('98, '99) with knee injuries, collected the first two World Cup moguls wins of her career

World Cup victories by five athletes, including the first for three athletes: Hardaway, Toby Dawson (Vail, CO) and Travis Ramos (S. Lake Tahoe, CA)

Bergoust, who owns the top three aerials scores of all time, set a world record score for the fourth time

In addition to finishing second overall in the aerials points, Pack won the second World Cup event of his career and earned his second World Championships bronze, too

Seven medals, including three gold, were won at World Juniors Snowboard

Rosey Fletcher (Girdwood, AK) had seven World Cup podiums, including three wins

Fletcher took silver in parallel giant slalom at FIS World Championships

17 year-old Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, VT) won the overall Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix title

Clark won U.S. halfpipe and snowboardcross championships

Fletcher won U.S. parallel giant slalom and slalom championships

Chris Klug (Aspen, CO) returned after a July liver trannsplant and had four World Cup podiums and two Grand Prix wins

Tricia Byrnes (Stratton Mt., VT) won two Grand Prix halfpipe events

Tommy Czeschin (Mammoth Lakes, CA) won silver in halfpipe at X Games

Anton Pogue (Hood River, OR) took bronze in parallel slalom at FIS World Championships

Czeschin and Byrnes won World Cup halfpipe events

Gretchen Bleiler (Snowmass Village, CO) and Clark won first career World Cup halfpipes

Byrnes and Clark won Vans Triple Crown halfpipe events Nordic

Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) collected the fourth World Cup win of his career and finished in the World Cup top-8 for the fourth straight season

Six U.S. skiers, the most in history, qualified to compete on the (top-45 only) World Cup nordic combined tour to open the'02 season

Alan Alborn (Anchorage AK) jumped 210 meters in Oberstdorf, Germany, not only giving him the U.S. distance record, but making him the first American to jump more than 200 meters.

Alborn's 11th-place finish in ski-flying at Oberstdorf was the top U.S. jumping result since December 1995

Justin Wadsworth (Bend, OR) was eighth in the 30-km skating race on the '02 Olympic trails at Soldier Hollow, the bestU.S. men's result since March 1984

Nina Kemppel (Anchorage, AK) re-set the record for U.S. cross country titles at 15, sweeping all three races at the ChevyTruck U.S. championships in McCall, Idaho

Kemppel's 14th-place finish in the "pursuit" at Soldier Hollow was the top U.S. women's World Cup showing sinceFebruary 1992 Disabled

Mary Riddell (Dove Creek, CO) and Muffy Davis (Sun Valley, ID) successfully defended their World Cup overall titles

The Nations Cup title again went to the U.S. Disabled Ski Team

Jason Lalla (Bradford, NH) won three U.S. titles and was named the USOC Athlete of the Month for March

U.S. skiers had 20 top-3s, including six victories, in four days of racing on the Paralympic courses at Snowbasin

There were more than 20 top-3s by U.S. alpine skiers in European World Cup races

Mike Crenshaw (Boulder, CO) and Steve Cook (Salt Lake City) were 1-2 in a Paralympic test race at Soldier Hollow, the first such result by U.S. disabled cross country racers