Saturday Night Bib Pick

After a flurry of activity to prepare for Sunday’s SuperG, the Chateau Lake Louise hosted the public bib draw/bib pick.

The podium winners from Saturday’s race were feted and then the top 10 SuperG racers chose their bibs for Sunday’s race.   Brian Stemmle and Drew Bragg were great at keeping the evening moving along. They chatted with each athlete and local young racers assisted the SuperG athletes with their bib number selection. The athletes were great about signing autographs – signing everything from posters to helmets to jackets to bibs to postcards.  Those seeking autographs were already lined up 40 minutes before the athletes arrived.  Great to see so many excited fans.

One fun part of the evening was the Skype call with Lindsey Vonn who is recovering from an injury and was not able to race here this week.  The technology allowed for a very clear conversation with Lindsey while she is in Colorado.   In the conversation, Charlie & Louise Locke announced that they are changing the name of the run known as Ladies Downhill to Lake Lindsey Way. Pretty cool.

Lindsey also announced that she plans to race in Lake Louise one more time. We look forward to her return next season.

We did save the best for last – we announced the winner of the 2018 Winterstart Award.  Athlete, broadcaster, Chicopee Ski Club alumni, photographer, alpine skiing advocate – Kelly VanderBeek.

Kelly is a very worthy recipient – congratulations!

It was great to see so many tired Sled Dogs stay for the announcement.  I know they had a very early morning ahead of them for SuperG Sunday.











Where did I leave off?

Things got very busy as we hit race day but one thing I can tell you is that the first World Cup Downhill of the season was awesome!

To a person – athletes, coaches, FIS Pros, TV producers, sponsors….and Sled Dogs – the race went like clockwork.  A bit more sunshine might have made things a bit better but we will leave ‘easier’ to another day.

Congratulations to Austria’s Nicole Schmidhofer, who won her first World Cup Downhill after something like 128 starts.  I believe immediately after the race, her tech tucked those skis away because in Saturday’s race, she repeated as the winner. Not bad…not bad at all.

Saturday’s race was great.  The sun was out for most of the field and we had a great crowd cheering in the finish area. Having a double winner makes for a pretty cool celebration for the Austrian team.

As we do every year, there is little time to celebrate the Ladies Saturday DH as we have to get ready for the SuperG.  There is the move from the DH start to the SG start – Audi façade, banners, timing equipment, tent and gear.  The course set switches from orange gates and panels to red & blue gates and panels.  The SG set always results in the moving of a bunch of accumulated snow on Fallaway and several other spots along the course.  Slipping and shovels are the order of the day (and into the evening).

The SG always starts earlier than the DH so everyone is pressed for time but the Sled Dogs and the Monkeys were equal to the task.