Olympic skier Nyman will compete in Vail’s Teva games
VAIL – The new event known as “stand-up paddle” will have a pretty well-known competitor in its first year in the Vail Valley’s Teva Mountain Games.
But he’s more known for going fast on skis, not a surfboard.
Steven Nyman, the American downhill skier, said Monday he’s heading to Vail for the race in June.
In the event, competitors stand on surfboards and paddle the rapids. The events – a time trial as well as a head-to-head race – will follow Gore Creek from East Vail to Vail Village.
“It’s challenging – the balance,” Nyman said. “The river has eddies and different currents. You really have to look ahead, like in ski racing, and place yourself in the right place.”
Nyman really got into stand-up paddling last fall, when he was here with the U.S. Ski Team for training in Summit County. The weather was mild, so he met up with pal Ken Hoeve, a longtime local kayaker who has recently taken up stand-up paddle. Hoeve took the downhiller out on some mellow stretches of the Colorado River.
Nyman said he’ll compete in the time trial race – and maybe even the head-to-head race. The Utah native had just gotten done practicing stand-up paddle on the Provo River on Monday afternoon.
Nyman competed in the downhill at the Olympics Games in February, finishing 20th. He won a World Cup downhill in 2007 at Val Gardena, Italy, and had a second-place finish in the downhill at Beaver Creek in 2008.
The competitive fire will not subside for stand-up paddling, Nyman said. He’s gunning for Hoeve in the Teva games, he said.
“I’m going to give him a run for his money,” he said.
Hoeve’s not taking that lightly.
“That guy is definitely a pretty fit individual,” Hoeve said. “There’s no doubt he could do it.”
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or email@example.com.