There was talk on the US Ski Team last weekend about changing the name of the course in Alberta, Canada, from Lake Louise to Lake Lindsey, or of putting a statue of America’s most successful woman skier atop the racecourse she has dominated seven times in recent years.
Lindsey Vonn won back-to-back races - a downhill and super-combined - at Lake Louise to boost her World Cup victory total to 24. That’s six more than 1980s star Tamara McKinney, and 14 more than 1990s dynamo Picabo Street. Cindy Nelson and Kristina Koznick both have six wins.
Vonn’s downhill win last Saturday came with a small price. Dipping low in a bump, her knee smashed into her mouth; the 25-year-old finished the race bleeding from the lips.
Vonn’s performance gave the US women their 101st World Cup win, one more than the US men. It was also her fifth straight downhill win at Lake Louise.
At Beaver Creek, Colo., Bode Miller’s fourth-place finish on the Birds of Prey course put the world on notice that he will be competitive this season, according to US men’s coach Sasha Rearick. Considering that Miller ended last season semi-retired and didn’t train much over the summer, Rearick called Miller’s run “inspirational . . . just to see him charging like that was a good step forward.’’
But the only World Cup men’s races to be held in the US were dominated last weekend by a Swiss skier, Carlo Janka, who won three straight races, a feat nearly matched by Vonn, who, after winning two races at Lake Louise, finished second in super-G by three-100ths of a second.
The International Federation of Skiing is looking into the rash of accidents that have sidelined at least three racers with season-ending injuries, with one perhaps career-ending.
“We are having one or two injuries every weekend,’’ said FIS tour director Guenther Hujara in a statement to captains of national teams meeting before a race last weekend at Beaver Creek.
US racer TJ Lanning and Canadian downhiller John Kucera both sustained season-ending injuries at Lake Louise two weeks ago. Last week, in a special downhill training run at Beaver Creek, French racer Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin had a high-speed crash on the Birds of Prey track in which he suffered torn ligaments in both knees, a broken arm, and numerous facial lacerations. Some French officials have expressed concern that Dalcin, 32, may be so badly hurt that his ski racing career is over.
Bloom backs out
Former football player and US Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom
has decided to call it quits after trying to make the US moguls team for a third trip to the Olympics.
Bloom told the Denver Post that he tried to make the ski team for the Vancouver Games, but that “I went back to skiing and it just didn’t feel the same. The idea of training six to eight hours a day, which used to be my favorite thing in the world to do, all of a sudden became a lot of work. The passion wasn’t there anymore.’’
Bloom won 10 world competitions, a world championship title in 2003, and an overall World Cup title two years later. He had top-10 Olympic finishes at Salt Lake City and Turin.
Getting some prep work
US halfpipe riders Kelly Clark
, Gretchen Bleiler
, Louie Vito
, and Steve Fisher
are at Colorado’s Copper Mountain in advance of Saturday’s US Snowboarding Grand Prix, the first of five Olympic qualifiers.
US snowboarding coach Mike Jankowski said pipe access gives the riders the opportunity to train in a focused environment.
“The prep that we have done so far, we feel like we’re more ready than ever going into the early season,’’ he said.
Grants up for grabs
The New England Ski Museum will award $2,500 in grants to support projects that align with the museum’s mission to preserve the history of skiing and winter sports. Individuals and organizations can apply for the 10th annual Cal Conniff Grant Program, which supports a wide range of programs that educate and encourage participation in the region’s snow sports. Deadline for applications is Feb. 8 and recipients will be announced March 5. Details at www.skimuseum.org
. . . The limited-edition Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor named in honor of Vermont Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Hannah Teter
is due to hit grocery stores this week. “Maple Blondie’’ teams maple ice ream with blonde brownie chunks and maple caramel. It’s the first flavor the Vermont-based ice cream company has named after an athlete, and part of the proceeds go to charity.
End the rental wait
Southern Vermont’s Mount Snow is introducing SkisonDemand, where guests can go online (www.mountsnow.com
) before making the trip to have gear delivered to their room. Have a problem during the stay? Call a cellphone number and a tech will meet you . . . New Hampshire ski areas are joining the national “Learn A Snow Sport Month’’ in January. The program for first-timers runs from Jan. 4-10 and includes a free novice lift ticket, lesson, and rentals. Pre-registration is required at www.skinh.com
. Participating areas include Pats Peak, Sunapee, Cannon, Loon, Cranmore, Gunstock, Ragged, Wildcat, Granite Gorge, Black, and King Pine. Waterville Valley will do it Jan. 4-8 . . . Try before you buy at a couple of Vermont demo days. Stowfest is set for Saturday and Sunday at Stowe’s Midway Base Lodge for snowboarders and skiers, while Okemo hosts a Ski Magazine Super Demo and People’s Ski Test. Jay Peak hosts Saturday’s Vermont Telemark Festival with free demo gear . . . Dress like Santa on Sunday and ski free at Bolton Valley. Kids 18 and under pay their age Sunday at Mount Snow. There’s $15,000 up for grabs under the lights at Killington during Saturday’s Rails 2 Riches Rail Jam on Lower Highline at the K-1 base . . . Cease and Desist is Loon’s first event of the season, with skiers hitting the snow at 2 p.m. and riders at 7 p.m., followed by the movie premiere of Loon’s homespun flick, “Wicked Fun’’ . . . Registration is open for the second Maine Huts and Trail Ski Marathon Tour and Race in the Carrabassett Valley. Some 175 spots are available for the Feb. 14 ski featuring a 20-kilometer point-to-point competition and a 40-kilometer race-and-tour.
Globe correspondents Marty Basch and T.D. Thornton contributed to this report.
© Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.