Friday, January 17, 2014

Waiting for the Alpine Team to be announced for Sochi - and they say "we don't have a story"

I believe the United States Ski Team will announce the Alpine Team for the Sochi Olympics by the end of the month.  I think I read someplace that January 24th is the big day.
There is of course speculation.
And announcements have been coming out in the last few weeks regarding skiers who are stepping back and refocusing on next year.
Lindsey Vonn is of course one of the skiers that the media and many fans were looking forward to watching compete in Sochi, but her recovery from her injuries have caused her to reconsider her goals for this year.
Alice Mckennis is another speed specialist who had decided not to compete in the Olympics this year.

quick side note:
there are speed disciplines (downhill and super g) and there are technical disciplines (slalom and gs) and most racers fall into one specialty or another.  As not every race offers all of those events, in fact many only offer one event, the racers and the team have to decide which events each participant will focus on.
For example, young star Mikeala Shiffrin is currently ranked number 4 on the World Cup circuit (that is a freaking big deal by the way) and she is a Slalom Specialist, I don't know if she competes at all in the speed events.

I think it is interesting that after Lindsey Vonn's announcement there was some "oh dear what shall we do without Vonn?" sentiment in the media.  "We don't have a story without Vonn"

What nonsense!  I'm so very irritated with that conversation.
First of all, we haven't lost Julia Mancuso.  We expect her to participate in Sochi and if she does this will be her 4th Olympics.  4th!  In the past she has brought home 3 Olympic Medals, one Gold Medal.  I follow her blog, her twitter, and her instagram.  This girl does a great job managing herself as a brand, putting out fun and inspiring messages for her fan base and offering photos regularly of herself climbing a tree or ice skating with friends or hanging out at the top or bottom of a mountain.  She's a competitor and she's accessible and she's fun. Maybe the media could introduce her to the rest of the country that only pays attention to skiing once every four years.

And we have Mikeala Shiffrin who is busting out.  She is 18 and setting records.  A quick google search will lead you to several articles about her because she is winning and winning and winning.  People all over the ski world know her name, maybe America should too.

And there are several other stories.  Resi Stiegler has been competing since she was a teenager, she made the Olympic team in 2006.  She too keeps a blog filled with truly artistic photos and as an added twist there is family legacy.  Her dad is an Olympic Skier.

Leanne Smith and Stacey Cook are both placing in the top 50 on the FIS-SKI rankings.
Leanne competed in the 2010 Olympics (not that the media noticed) and Stacey Cook competed in 2006 and 2010!  And really, they are so boring that the news outlets can't create a story here? I'm sorry, I dare to disagree.

And what about the independents?  My personal favorite, Megan McJames is tenaciously holding onto a top 100 placement on the FIS WC list, without any support from the US Ski team.  She is on her own.  [Think about that.  She has to make her own travel arrangements and figure out how to pay for them, and I'm assuming pay to enter races (I don't know) and pay room and board and pay a technician to travel with her and... to me it sound overwhelming.]  And in her discipline, GS, she is ranked 41. Behind American's Mikeala Shiffrin and Julia Mancuso.  (I think that is one of the things about Mancuso that is fascinating to me, she pretty much ranks no matter what event you look up.)  Megan's fight to keep skiing despite a variety of set backs is a great story and very much the stuff of "American Spirit and Determination."

And I haven't even gotten to the men.
Bode Miller is looking at his 5th Olympic Games.
Ted Ligety is currently ranked number 3 on the FIS rankings. That is number 3 in the world.

Hello, we don't have any stories?  I am not a reporter.  This took no digging.  Surely those of you "covering the Olympics" for us on T.V. can top this and offer us something that is entertaining but hopefully actually of value as well.

from the US Ski Team Website, Olympics 2014
who is going for Alpine Skiing:
Stacey Cook, Mammoth, CA (7/3/84) *
Julia Ford, Holderness, NH (3/30/90)
Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, CA (3/9/84) *
Megan McJames, Park City, UT (9/24/87) *
Laurenne Ross, Bend, OR (8/17/88)
Mikaela Shiffrin, Eagle-Vail, CO (3/13/95)
Leanne Smith, North Conway, NH (5/28/87) *
Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY (11/14/85) *
Jacqueline Wiles, Aurora, OR (7/13/92)

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