Italian men to join Compagnoni for training |

Italian men to join Compagnoni for training

Dale Strode

The Italian men’s ski team will join Italian ace Deborah Compagnoni for training in Aspen this week.

The Italian World Cup racers will use Aspen Mountain as a training venue for the World Alpine Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek.

The World Championships opened Monday at Vail Mountain (International, 12:30 p.m.). The World Championships will run through Feb. 14.

Compagnoni, the most successful racer in the history of the Italian women’s ski team, is scheduled to begin training in Aspen today. The Italian men’s team likely will begin training on Thursday or Friday.

Compagnoni’s visit will include a special training venue on lower Spring Pitch and Strawpile, down to the Shadow Mountain lift (formerly 1A).

The Shadow Mountain lift will be open to the public during training hours from 9 a.m. to noon. However, part of the runs will be closed for training only.

The Aspen Skiing Co. also will arrange for viewing areas for spectators to watch the Italians in training.

Tino Pietrogiovanna, Compagnoni’s personal coach, will be on hand to lead her preparations for her races in Vail. And the Italian men’s team coaches also will be in Aspen.

According to Beatrice Maresi of Aspen, who coordinated the visit for Compagnoni and the Aspen Skiing Co., the training arrangement was made possible because of the cooperation of Rob Baxter and his staff at Aspen Mountain.

Compagnoni’s representatives selected Aspen as a training site because it is known as a resort where celebrity-athletes can enjoy their privacy, Marisi said. Aspen also has a rich tradition of international ski racing, dating to the 1950 FIS Championships, she added.

In addition, Maresi said, Compagnoni has a particular fondness for the area because she won a NorAm race at Sunlight Mountain Resort near Glenwood Springs when she was just starting her international career.

Compagnoni, with her first World Cup victory in 1987 in Crans Montana, Switzerland, built an impressive racing resume that included gold medals in three Olympic Games.

She’s also won gold at the World Alpine Championships while battling to overcome a number of injuries and illnesses.

Compagnoni will open her World Alpine Championships competition on Feb. 11 in the women’s giant slalom.

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