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Women’s Alpine World Cup 2023/24

wolcoma

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Amazing the United States has all these fancy country club ski academy programs and we have only one USST racer in the top 30 for women. Meanwhile in the men when is the last time the USST has even had a podium finisher in World Cup slalom? Maybe if the USST focused a little more on developing great talent rather than big bank accounts we would have more success on the world stage. It doesn't seem that complicated but year after year it's...............same old........same old.
 

Swiss Toni

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Thanks for the updates!
Any weather forecast?

Your welcome! This is the forecast for Testa Grigia, which is very close to the start.

Testa Grigia Meteo.png


If the wind is as strong as forecast, tomorrow’s training and Saturday's race are unlikely to take place.
 

S.H.

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They got in their training run. The times are almost 30 seconds shorter - lower start, obviously.

At least that has happened and they can run races this weekend, so... yay?

Only a few North Americans in the field. USST has Johnson, Wright, and Wiles. ACA has Fleckenstein. Of note is Roni Remme, now racing for DSV, whose run was very much a "doing it for the experience" exercise given she's coming back from injury.
Fleckenstein (a former NCAA athlete) isn't part of CAST, I don't think, unless that changed very recently. ISRA athlete.
 

S.H.

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Amazing the United States has all these fancy country club ski academy programs and we have only one USST racer in the top 30 for women. Meanwhile in the men when is the last time the USST has even had a podium finisher in World Cup slalom? Maybe if the USST focused a little more on developing great talent rather than big bank accounts we would have more success on the world stage. It doesn't seem that complicated but year after year it's...............same old........same old.
the top 30 of what? A training run on a course that's never been raced before? Who cares?

I dunno, USST women have won 6 of last 8 world cup overalls, how much more success do you want? Do you want to win the Nations cup? Because that's a goal that USST doesn't have. Maybe it should.
 

Rudi Riet

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I dunno, USST women have won 6 of last 8 world cup overalls, how much more success do you want? Do you want to win the Nations cup? Because that's a goal that USST doesn't have. Maybe it should.

I think it would be a stronger position to take: develop the depth of team rather that simply focus on having one to three discipline leaders. To wit: the USST women's slalom squad was the deepest on the World Cup last year, leading the Nations Cup in said discipline. So it's possible, but it would take a cultural shift on the part of the USST, top to bottom, and I can't see the current folks in charge pivoting that way.
 

S.H.

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I think it would be a stronger position to take: develop the depth of team rather that simply focus on having one to three discipline leaders. To wit: the USST women's slalom squad was the deepest on the World Cup last year, leading the Nations Cup in said discipline. So it's possible, but it would take a cultural shift on the part of the USST, top to bottom, and I can't see the current folks in charge pivoting that way.
I think USST has been clear that its goals are medals at major champs, and, secondarily, globes. I agree with you and would support prioritizing depth.

That said, I think there's a reasonable argument that "Mikaela Shiffrin is the GOAT" attracts more sponsorship $$ and potentially grows the sport more than "look, we have 6 athletes between 15-30 in the world that almost never podium". I have no data.
 

robertc3

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I think USST has been clear that its goals are medals at major champs, and, secondarily, globes. I agree with you and would support prioritizing depth.

That said, I think there's a reasonable argument that "Mikaela Shiffrin is the GOAT" attracts more sponsorship $$ and potentially grows the sport more than "look, we have 6 athletes between 15-30 in the world that almost never podium". I have no data.
I don't think this requires data. It is something on which everyone can agree.

Great individuals bring in money. Great depth may bring the next great individual, but the great individual may just happen along. We certainly didn't have a deep women's tech team before Mikaela.
 

Primoz

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I dunno, USST women have won 6 of last 8 world cup overalls, how much more success do you want? Do you want to win the Nations cup? Because that's a goal that USST doesn't have. Maybe it should.
Not really sure if I agree with that (it's actually 5 not 6 in last 10 years), as it wasn't really USST but more like team Shiffrin, as well as it was team Vonn and team Miller before. USST as real USST team, won very little by now, regardless if it's overall globe, WCH or Olympic medals. Sure there was Ligety and there was Mancuso, but in last decade or two, these two were basically only real sucessful USST product. All real winners had very little to do with real USST team.
PS: If we are talking purely from marketing perspective, then yes, USST won 5 out of last 10 women overall globes. They ski in (somehow) USST suits, wear USST sponsors, so for sponsors USST and their sponsors won. But I mean from the other side, coaching and team connection side, and with that all 3 had/have very little to do with USST team, their coaching stuff, their goals and achievements.
And to be on topic, today's women DH training is cancelled too :)
 

wolcoma

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Hey I love following Mikaela Shiffrin on the World Cup circuit and I am also a big fan of Paula Moltzan, but there is literally no depth on either the USST men's or women's teams, especially in the tech events. I have always said the USST and Canada should be hosting more World Cups and consistently fielding one of the top overall ski teams in the world, but our development system only focuses on these $75K ski academy programs that less than 10% of our talent pool can afford and what about the 90% we are eliminating? Just look at Killington as it's been a fairly warm fall here in the East and they already have Superstar covered top to bottom for an awesome race next week, where many European resorts would never pull it off. Meanwhile we have thousands of kids who live a fairly easy drive to Killington and many of them can't even afford their U12 program.

We are so lucky to have a huge pool of potential ski racers who live within an hour of some great skiing from California to Maine, and most of them are being B-netted right out of our sport. All I am saying is we can do better! The more kids we have racing the talent will rise and North America could be dominating the World Cup. Go USST and Canada skiing!
 
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4ster

4ster

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Foiled again! Hope for a go tomorrow :huh: .
 

Ivan

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Not really sure if I agree with that (it's actually 5 not 6 in last 10 years), as it wasn't really USST but more like team Shiffrin, as well as it was team Vonn and team Miller before. USST as real USST team, won very little by now, regardless if it's overall globe, WCH or Olympic medals. Sure there was Ligety and there was Mancuso, but in last decade or two, these two were basically only real sucessful USST product. All real winners had very little to do with real USST team.
PS: If we are talking purely from marketing perspective, then yes, USST won 5 out of last 10 women overall globes. They ski in (somehow) USST suits, wear USST sponsors, so for sponsors USST and their sponsors won. But I mean from the other side, coaching and team connection side, and with that all 3 had/have very little to do with USST team, their coaching stuff, their goals and achievements.
And to be on topic, today's women DH training is cancelled too :)
Ted Ligety and Bode Miller made some really interesting points related to this issue in one of the recent episodes of the Next Turn Podcast. In short, they were talking about how some (or many) of the American skiers are really fast in training (or at the junior level, or NorAm, or Europa Cup), but then everything falls apart once they go on to the World Cup.

Some of recent examples, albeit on the men's side, are River Radamus and Luke Winters. Both are Junior World Champions, and insanely good skiers, but the results are just not there.
 

robertc3

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Ted Ligety and Bode Miller made some really interesting points related to this issue in one of the recent episodes of the Next Turn Podcast. In short, they were talking about how some (or many) of the American skiers are really fast in training (or at the junior level, or NorAm, or Europa Cup), but then everything falls apart once they go on to the World Cup.

Some of recent examples, albeit on the men's side, are River Radamus and Luke Winters. Both are Junior World Champions, and insanely good skiers, but the results are just not there.
The whole world of sports is littered with can't miss prospects who missed. JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Kwame Brown, Greg Oden, Brien Taylor, Matt Bush, the list goes on and on. The ability to compete at the highest levels takes more than just what makes someone skilled, fast, successful in the junior ranks.

I agree that we have had some busts, or seeming busts, but skiing isn't much different from other sports.
 

S.H.

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Not really sure if I agree with that (it's actually 5 not 6 in last 10 years), as it wasn't really USST but more like team Shiffrin, as well as it was team Vonn and team Miller before. USST as real USST team, won very little by now, regardless if it's overall globe, WCH or Olympic medals. Sure there was Ligety and there was Mancuso, but in last decade or two, these two were basically only real sucessful USST product. All real winners had very little to do with real USST team.
PS: If we are talking purely from marketing perspective, then yes, USST won 5 out of last 10 women overall globes. They ski in (somehow) USST suits, wear USST sponsors, so for sponsors USST and their sponsors won. But I mean from the other side, coaching and team connection side, and with that all 3 had/have very little to do with USST team, their coaching stuff, their goals and achievements.
And to be on topic, today's women DH training is cancelled too :)
Oops, I looked at Shiffrin's cup standings page and counted 2024 already :nono:

But yeah, of course it's all marketing. USST is going to claim all of Shiffrin's globes.
 

Rudi Riet

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Oops, I looked at Shiffrin's cup standings page and counted 2024 already :nono:

But yeah, of course it's all marketing. USST is going to claim all of Shiffrin's globes.

It's been a long road from the Harald Schönhaar days of a deep team that had multiple potential winners in each race, especially on the women's side. When you had a team consisting of McKinney, Cooper, Armstrong, Nelson, and Flanders the chances of good results were fairly good. Add Roffe and Twardokens to the mix shortly thereafter and it was quite strong.

On the men's side you had the Mahres dominating in tech, Johnson's flash-in-the-pan 1984 season followed by the rise of Lewis in 1985, and then... a lot of crickets for years. Some occasional brilliance but by then HS had left the USST system.

But it's true that the athletes who often excel within the modern USST system are Teams of One™ like Shiffrin, Miller, and Vonn. At least the latter two eventually gave a bit back to the team by training with the rest of the squad. I can't see the management of Team Shiffrin doing that - "it's giving away trade secrets!" :rolleyes:

It's obvious looking at the USST social media that the rest of the women's tech team other than Shiffrin train, travel, and race together. The women's speed squad also has the same trait, as do both men's squads. The women's tech team, with Moltzan taking a leadership/mentoring role, is definitely doing well in spite of having The GOAT® train separately. That's awesome and, yes, an outlier in terms of USST mechanics.

There are a lot of things that aren't healthy about the USSS/USST development system. The exorbitant costs, the focus on ski academies and boutique resort programs, the search for the next Chosen One™, and the politics of everything simply conspire against holistic and accessible athlete development. I try to keep my mind free of the "what if?" mentality regarding how many potential USST stars never got the chance because of externalities they couldn't control (e.g. family finances, geographic location) as well as the lure from other sports that are more accessible and garner more overall attention from the media and the culture-at-large. I'm sure it's a non-trivial number.
 

Primoz

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Ted Ligety and Bode Miller made some really interesting points related to this issue in one of the recent episodes of the Next Turn Podcast. In short, they were talking about how some (or many) of the American skiers are really fast in training (or at the junior level, or NorAm, or Europa Cup), but then everything falls apart once they go on to the World Cup.

Some of recent examples, albeit on the men's side, are River Radamus and Luke Winters. Both are Junior World Champions, and insanely good skiers, but the results are just not there.
I didn't listen to that, so no idea what they said, and this is just my personal opinion which can be completely off. Alpine skiing is not sport, where being junior WCH means anything. In xc or biathlon (or most other endurance sports), if you are junior WCH it's (almost 100%) guarantee you will be rocking elite category too. And not in 10 years but in year or two. Very few junior WCH didn't do same in elite.
Alpine on the other side, is more of exception then rule. With alpine it's so much more about how many gates did you make till that time, and how many glacier days you had until then. Most of kids don't have that many, so those with plenty of them, are far front. At elite level these things more or less straighten up, and everyone are basically on same level when it comes to this, and there real difference between athletes show. As far as "missed opportunities" goes, I'm pretty sure we beat USA by mile :D We had plenty of junior World champs, and pretty much not a single one ever made mark on WC. So when it comes to this, US is not really that special. But that's actually not a bad thing in my mind. Having plenty of junior World champs is more of a proof of completely wrong training and career planning then something positive.
 

BrianB

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Being a brand new venue and given its timing with respect to the upcoming tech races on the schedule I can’t imagine Shiffrin was ever considering entering this one
 

Swiss Toni

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Saturday’s Zermatt-Cervinia downhill has been cancelled, the wind is currently (10:30 CET) blowing at 50 km/h, with gusts of 90-100 km/h.
 

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