Granite Stater Leanne Smith is as tough as the rock her state rests on, and now she has the mettle to prove it on the World Cup tour. This bullet is one to watch. (Getty Images/AFP/Dimitar Dilkoff)
A Day with the Speed Unicorns
What's life like on the road with the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour? Let's follow the Speed Unicorns for a day.
Leanne Smith recalls her experience with Raptor, the brand new Audi FIS Alpine World Cup women’s downhill and speed host for the 2015 World Championships.
Having the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in your backyard has its benefits. Just ask Olympic slalom gold medalist and World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin.
The U.S. Ski Team women’s alpine speed team closed a week-long camp today at Mammoth Mountain, marking their first on-snow time with newly appointed speed Head Coach Stefan Abplanalp.
The U.S. Ski Team women took advantage of another chance to train on Raptor, the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships race hill, earlier this week with two solid days of super G training before snow moved in to cancel Thursday's session.
Julia Mancuso skied into the top ten Thursday at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup super G final, leading the U.S. women during the final speed event of the 2014 season.
After a successful 18 years of coaching with the U.S. Alpine Ski Team, women’s speed Head Coach Chip White will step aside following the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Finals this week.
Overnight snow and a particularly stagnant bank of fog forced race organizers to bump Saturday's FIS Alpine World Cup women's downhill to Sunday, effectively canceling the orginally schedule super combined.
Julia Mancuso posted the best American finish in eighth at a rough and unforgiving super G Saturday, the final women’s speed event of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
Julia Mancuso produced a true champion performance Monday, becoming the first American skier in history to win a medal in three straight Olympic Winter Games with her bronze in the super combined event at the Rosa Khutor alpine center.
Today, the USSA announced a strong team of 20 alpine athletes, including three Olympic gold medalists, to represent the USA in Sochi. (Photo: Mickael Kappeler/AFP/Getty Images)
Two-time Olympian Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) led the U.S. Ski Team with 13th in super G Sunday, the last of four races held over four days in Cortina to close the Olympic qualification period.
The U.S. Ski Team speed women continued to storm toward the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup podum Saturday as Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) finished fifth and Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) seventh in the second of two Cortina downhills.
With just two weeks to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, two-time Olympian Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) posted her best Audi FIS Alpine World Cup finish of the season with fifth in the first of two downhills slated for Cortina.
Leanne Smith Quick Facts
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Two-time Olympian Leanne Smith followed her older sister Laurel into skiing, latched onto racing and continues to shave microseconds from her time. A NorAm champion and topflight junior skier, she inked a spot on the World Cup elite after finishing 23rd in her career first World Cup start, which also happened to be the first downhill of the 2008 season. It was only five years before she was standing on the World Cup podium in Val d'Isere.
Minor injuries stacked up and ultimately slowed Smith during the 2014 season, but it didn’t stop her from putting in 100-percent heart and effort. The ‘grit and bear it’ technique resulted in a trip to World Cup Finals for super G, where she capped the season with 19th in the discipline standings. She also stayed in the top 30 for downhill.
When Smith is healthy and confident enough to put it all on the line, she’s a contender for the podium in every race she starts. Look out for her in 2015, when her Live Free or Die Granite State mentality will be back in the start gate.
At the World Cup level now, any small mistake and you might not even make the top 30. The girls are that good these days. I know I have the speed to be in there every time. Now it’s all about moving ahead, getting healthy and putting in the hard work in order to start the 2015 season strong.
OFF THE SNOW
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