Mikaela Shiffrin races super-G at Copper Mountain | AspenTimes.com

Mikaela Shiffrin races super-G at Copper Mountain

John LaConte
Vail Daily
Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin, of Eagle-Vail, charges out of the starting gate Wednesday in a super-G race at Copper Mountain.
John LaConte/Vail Daily |

COPPER MOUNTAIN — Participating in her first two International Ski Federation-level super-G races in the United States this week, Eagle-Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin finished 16th and 15th.

The field of competitors was deep, with ski racers from all over the world visiting Copper Mountain’s newly opened speed center to see where they stack up against a handful of the top competitors on the planet.

“I was a little nervous, not because it was super-G, but when you’re in a group of a bunch of girls and you’re trying to ski fast there’s always nerves,” Shiffrin said. “And I don’t really like waiting to go — the whole waiting thing I’m not really good at.”

Shiffrin had considerable waiting to do, as she was one of the last competitors to hit the starting gate.

“While each racer goes down and gets one racer, two racers, three racers closer to me, then I’m pretty good,” she said.

Shiffrin completed the first race in 1:09:85, and the second in 1:08:01.

She said her plan is to continue to improve her ranking in super-G and possibly make a World Cup start in that discipline in Val d’Isere, Italy, on Dec. 21.

“(Val d’Isere) is pretty technical,” she said. “It’s good for me because I know how to turn and I’m getting better at gliding and going straight, so it seems like the right kind of course.”

With a time of 1:06:89, U.S. Team member Laurenne Ross of Oregon won the second super-G race at Copper Mountain on Wednesday after finishing eighth in the first.

“It was a tough field, but it’s always like that here in November, because all the World Cup girls are always over here training, and everybody wants to get a race under their belt before Lake Louise,” Ross said.

Ross and the rest of the U.S. team had their first day of speed training Tuesday at Copper Mountain.

Ross and the U.S. women’s speed team heads up to Lake Louise for races Dec. 5-7.

Shiffrin and the U.S. women’s technical skiers headed to Aspen for training sessions on the World Cup courses at Aspen Mountain. They will race a giant slalom and a slalom in Aspen on Nov. 29-30.

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