Kjus rooting for Maze to tie his world record | VailDaily.com

Kjus rooting for Maze to tie his world record

Pat Graham
AP Sports Writer
Norway’s Lasse Kjus was the big star of the 1999 Alpine World Ski Championships—he won gold in super-G and giant slalom as well as silver in the downhill, slalom and combined.
Bo Bridges | Special to the Daily |

BEAVER CREEK — Lasse Kjus is eager to show he can still race, even if he has to rent his skis and boots to do so.

The Norwegian great is competing again at the World Championships. Only, it’s in a ski legends race for charity today, and he has no expectations of earning any sort of medal.

Kjus certainly picked up enough of them at the 1999 Worlds in Beaver Creek, when he captured a medal in all five disciplines. Now, his mark is being challenged by Slovenia’s Tina Maze, who’s 3-for-3 in medals so far after winning gold during the alpine combined Monday.

He’s rooting for her to tie his mark at Worlds because, “that’s what records are for, right?”

Kjus flew in from Norway just to watch the Championships. It’s only fitting that Maze make a run at his impressive mark with him around. He’s not surprised that she’s doing so well and hopes more skiers follow in her tracks and train both for speed and technical events.

“Everybody is talking about how it’s impossible to do slalom and downhill, but just look at Tina,” said the 44-year-old Kjus, who’s looking forward to the legends race today that’s expected to include quite a few big names. “It’s fantastic. You need skiers like her. She brings an identity to the circuit.”

Kjus’ most vivid memory of his performance? Easy: how sick he was heading into the event. He didn’t think he would even be able to compete because of the flu.