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Aerial skiers of the U.S. Ski Team are used to a predictable annual rhythm of training and competing. But when COVID-19 prompted international, national and local lockdowns, athletes got creative in keeping up with their fitness and mental health routines. For aerial skiing power couple Ashley Caldwell and Justin Schoenefeld, that meant turning to water, but not for ramping.
With nearly perfect conditions on the Soelden glacier to kick off the 2020-21 season, Tommy Ford was the top Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete in the men’s opening FIS World Cup on Sunday, finishing 22nd.
While the boisterous Austrian crowd was absent from the annual giant slalom this year due to COVID-19, 20-year-old Lucas Braathen of Norway made fans smile from home as he emotionally took home his first World Cup win. Swiss teammates Marco Odermatt and Gino Caviezel rounded out the podium in second and third.
Paula Moltzan kicked off the 2020-21 season with a bang in Soelden, Austria on Saturday, skiing from bib 62 to take 10th place—her best FIS Ski World Cup finish ever. Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team teammate Nina O’Brien snagged her best-ever giant slalom result, finishing 15th.
Marta Bassino of Italy battled her teammate Federica Brignone for the victory to take the first World Cup win of the season. Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova was third.
UPDATE - Oct. 16: The FIS Ski World Cup kickoff is now available to view LIVE in the United States AND Canada! Tune in this Saturday and Sunday as we kick off the season at the Rettenbach glacier in Soelden, Austria with women’s and men’s giant slalom races.
It's been eight months since two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin has stepped in the FIS Ski World Cup start gate. The World Cup opener at Soelden, Austria on Oct. 17th was set to be her return to competition, but on Friday Mikaela announced on social media that she will sit the season opener out due to a tweaked back.