Laurenne Ross celebrates her second-place finish on the famed Kandahar course with her U.S. teammates and coaches // 
photo Mitchell Gunn/ESPA, courtesy U.S. Ski Team

Laurenne Ross celebrates her second-place finish on the famed Kandahar course with her U.S. teammates and coaches // photo Mitchell Gunn/ESPA, courtesy U.S. Ski Team

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Laurenne Ross makes it 6-for-6

The U.S. women’s ski team is so deep that three weeks ago coaches had to make a difficult choice about who to leave off the start list for the downhill at the world championships in Schladming, Austria.

Ultimately, they decided, reluctantly, that Laurenne Ross would be the one who wouldn’t go.

Mikaela Shiffrin joins in at the closing ceremony of the 2013 world championships // photo courtesy Tom Kelly and U.S. Ski Team

Mikaela Shiffrin joins in at the closing ceremony of the 2013 world championships // photo courtesy Tom Kelly and U.S. Ski Team

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U.S. Ski Team: on its game

There once was a time when the Europeans scoffed at the U.S. Ski Team.

The Americans have the icy low hills back east and the amazing Rocky Mountains, Sierras and Cascades out west, and yet every winter the Americans would roll into the World Cup tour and maybe there would be the occasional breakthrough — Phil and Steve Mahre in the 1980s, for instance — but not the sort of consistent, across-the-board dimension that would make the Euros, the Austrians in particular, snap to and say, whoa, the Americans are so for real.