Eye on the racecourse

 | December 7, 2012

If you read my last month’s article you’ll know that the first World Cup giant slalom has come and gone. The crazy thing was that American skier Ted Ligety, the most vocal against the new GS skis, won the race by 2.75 seconds—a margin that hasn’t been met in a World Cup race since Ingemar Stenmark 30 years ago. Even crazier was that Ligety wasn’t leading in the first run, but he blew everyone away in the second run. He skied perfectly and put the fear into the Austrians and the rest of the world. It was Ligety’s 12th career win, all in GS. The American won this race last season too, but ultimately lost his GS title to Austrian young gun (who used to train at Sun Peaks) Marcel Hirscher, who was full of praise for the winner.

“My position is super, but this margin is almost insane,” Hirscher said of Ligety’s recent win. “The top in GS is only Ligety, then comes the rest of the world. This is a big blow for us. It makes almost no sense racing against him. We have a lot of work to do.”

For those of you that don’t know, multiple World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn put in an official request to compete in the men’s race at the Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup this year. This has never been done before, and was ultimately denied by the FIS (International Ski Federation).

Vonn still wanted to race against the women the following week, and much of the controversy was that the time on the track in the men’s race would have given her an unfair advantage in the women’s race. I for one am a little disappointed that she was denied because the attention it would have brought to the sport would have been astronomical. How would she have done? Maybe top 30, but on the other hand, has a guy ever asked to race in a women’s race?

You’ve probably seen a bunch of race clubs around the village over the last month who are here to train at the Nancy Greene International Training Center. We played host to over 25 different ski teams that brought about 500 people in to train. Sun Peaks’ mountain operations crew needs to be commended on the herculean effort they put in to get the center open when the first teams arrived.

The Sun Peaks Racers (SPAC) are hard at work training for their first slalom competition in Apex on December 15 and 16. This year the club is bigger than ever and has a bunch of young and upcoming talents that will try and follow in Elli Terwiel’s footsteps and make it to the Canadian National Team.

SPAC will host a “Mistletoe Classic” dual slalom on the Village Platter on Saturday, December 22. This is a totally fun event that will start in the afternoon with the $2 per run proceeds going to Elli Terwiel to help her pay for her team fees. So if you’re around, come join us and race your friends, Santa and his elves, or anyone else that catches your eye.
See you on the slopes.