The camera catches Tina Maze making snow angels in victory after the second of her two giant slalom runs // photo Getty Images

The camera catches Tina Maze making snow angels in victory after the second of her two giant slalom runs // photo Getty Images

Skiing, Uncategorized

Tina Maze’s GS poetry slam

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Slovenia’s Tina Maze calls slalom her favorite discipline, which perhaps is a surprise given that it is, of the five alpine ski events, her weakest.

It is giant slalom that brings out her soulful side. “GS,” she says, “is like poetry for me.”

Mikaela Shiffrin after Tuesday's racing in the snow, sleet, rain and fog // photo Getty Images

Mikaela Shiffrin after Tuesday's racing in the snow, sleet, rain and fog // photo Getty Images

Skiing

Shiffrin’s 5th hints at greatness

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — When Michael Phelps would stand on the blocks in an Olympic final and do that thing he did, wrapping his arms around and around and making that whap-whap-whap sound, was there really any doubt in his mind — or anyone’s watching — what was going to happen?

In the chaos of an Olympic short-track speed skating race, when Apolo Ohno toed the line, his bandana tucked under his helmet, his gaze locked like steel on the first few meters of ice ahead, he was all purposeful calm. He knew what was what, and everyone else — on the line around him — and the thousands in the arena did, too.

Swiss racer Lara Gut after the Olympic super-G // photo Getty Images

Swiss racer Lara Gut after the Olympic super-G // photo Getty Images

Skiing

A super-G to test the best

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — The Olympics are supposed to test the best of the best.

What conclusions to draw about Saturday’s women’s super-G, in which eight of the first 11 racers went skidding out and 18 of 49 ultimately did not make it to the finish line? What meaning to infer from a course set by an Austrian coach in which Austrian skiers won gold and bronze?

Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin with their crystal globes, his for giant slalom, hers for slalom // photo courtesy of Mitchell Gunn ESPA and U.S. Ski Team

Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin with their crystal globes, his for giant slalom, hers for slalom // photo courtesy of Mitchell Gunn ESPA and U.S. Ski Team

Uncategorized

America’s new teen sweetheart: Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin, who turned 18 this week, is going to be making the rounds this coming week in New York City. Tuesday night it’s the David Letterman program. Wednesday morning it’s the Today show.

This is what happens when you have the sort of breakout season Shiffrin struck for herself on the alpine ski racing tour, the kind she cemented with a fantastic, come-from-behind victory Saturday to win the season-long slalom title at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.