February 5, 2007
ARE, Sweden (Feb. 5) - If the weather cooperates, as the official FIS Alpine World Ski Championships meteorologist says it will, Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) will defend his super G world title and eight other U.S. skiers will get their first start of the 2007 championships Tuesday.
U.S. fans will be able to follow World Championships coverage live beginning Tuesday with the rescheduled men's super G. NBCSports.com and MediaZone.com will team up for live coverage of every race during the World Championships, which run until Feb. 18 in Are.
The men's super G, originally scheduled to open the championships' races Saturday and canceled because of bum weather (winds, wet snow), then rescheduled for Monday and then postponed another day because of continued winds and blowing snow, is scheduled now to begin Tuesday at 4 a.m. ET.
Miller will be joined by Steven Nyman (Provo, UT), Scott Macartney (Redmond, WA), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and T.J. Lanning (Park City, UT).
The women's super G, scheduled for Sunday and then pushed back to Tuesday because of winds and snowfall, is re-set to go at 6:30 a.m. ET. Delays in the men's race may force delays in the women's race, officials said.
The U.S. foursome includes Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO), who has won the last World Cup super G before Worlds (Jan. 28 in San Sicario, Italy) and is No. 2 in the discipline standings; Julia Mancuso (OlympicValley, CA), who also has won a World Cup SG and is fourth in the points; Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME), a three-time Olympian and super G bronze medalist at the 2003 Worlds; and Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA), a 2006 Olympian competing in her second Worlds Championships.
Kildow has drawn plaudits for her command of the German language. She has studied on her own and also under a tutor provided by RedBull, her top sponsor. Kildow was featured Monday night on ORF, the Austrian TV network, during an interview conducted entirely in German.
"German is the language of skiing and I want to be able to speak and understand it," she explains.
With another day off, U.S. men and women took the slopes - the men working on slalom training before the super combined event Thursday while the women free-skied.
"The girls had some fun and went over the big jump on the course," said speed Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser. "The organizers shaved the nose off the jump and the girls went off a couple of times. It was good because if it hadn't been shaved a bit, they really would have launched when they hit it at high speed, and that wouldn't have been safe."
Hoedlmoser also corrected a comment from Kildow during her press conference Sunday night in which she said with a big smile the athletes had beaten coaches in a volleyball game. "Yeah, they won...won the second set...not everything, though," he said. "We won the first set."
The U.S. women's tech group - Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY), Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN) and Jessica Kelley (Starksboro, VT) plus Head Coach Chris Knight - arrived Sunday night in Are.
Stiegler and Richardson were expected to join Kildow and Mancuso in the super combined Friday. On Jan. 14 in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, Mancuso won with Kildow second and Stiegler fourth in a super combi. It was a historic best finish for U.S. women in a World Cup.
Check out photos from Are at www.smugmug.com.