Vail ski racer Radamus preps for Birds of Prey World Cup at Beaver Creek
BEAVER CREEK — You might have noticed something special about this year’s Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup poster.
The racer on that poster — the one whose speed is blurring the image, and whose face seems to encapsulate the razor’s-edge thrill of rocketing down the course among the world’s best; the one whose image is showing up in newspaper ads, digital ads and on the semi-sacrosanct poster for this year’s Xfinity Birds of Prey all throughout Eagle County — that racer is River Radamus.
The image comes from 2017, when, at 19 years old, Radamus made his World Cup debut on the Birds of Prey giant-slalom course. He missed qualifying for the second run by less than 0.2 seconds.
First year on tour
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This year, at 20, Radamus aims to take another leap forward on the course that’s only minutes from his home. A long-time Vail Valley local and top racer out of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Radamus is making waves in local ski racing circles — and those waves are traveling overseas as Radamus embarks on his first year on the World Cup tour. He made his World Cup slalom debut in Levi, Finland, last weekend, but he said that coming out of the starting gate in his home-town race is a moment unlike any other.
“I’ve been watching Birds of Prey my whole life,” Radamus said. “When I was in elementary school, we used to have field trips to go watch when it came to town. I’d get to watch guys like (Andrew) Weibrecht, Bode (Miller), Ted (Ligety), Nolan (Kaspar), etc., just crush at these races, and dream of an opportunity to do the same. And now I get my chance to race against the world’s best in my own backyard. I mean, how can you not love that? It’s races like this that I’ve worked my whole life for.”
Known for his unbeatable work ethic and mature-beyond-his-years demeanor, the 20-year-old seems to be taking his new position in the limelight well. Much like Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, who also came out of the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail program, Radamus seems well coached not only on the mechanics of ski racing, but also the finer points of the World Cup.
It may have helped that his father, Aldo Radamus, was executive director of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail for 14 years, coinciding with his son’s matriculation.
“I owe a huge debt to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail for where I am today,” River Radamus said. “SSCV was hugely influential in molding me into the skier I am today. Birds of Prey gave me exposure to elite alpine competition at an early age and helped me believe it was possible. And most importantly, the community around here, that has been so supportive of ski racing, and supportive of me. It’s definitely going to be special charging for the hometown crowd.”
Radamus is a potential start for the Friday, Nov. 30, super-G, an announcement he will make at a news conference schedule for Thursday, Nov. 29, at 4 p.m. Radamus is also scheduled to start in the Sunday, Dec. 2, giant slalom once again.
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Herman is the freestyle skiing winner of the Summit Daily’s Peak Performers project, which honors the greatest athletes and most influential figures in Summit county ski and snowboard history.