Schild wins in Zagreb
ZAGREB, Croatia – Marlies Schild of Austria won a World Cup slalom event and Olympic champion Janica Kostelic fought through pain to finish third in her home event on Thursday.Schild won her second straight slalom and picked up the sixth win of her career in 1 minute, 53.63 seconds amid steady snowfall. She took home $71,000, the biggest prize in skiing.”I’m feeling very confident right now – I hope I keep my form until February,” Schild said of the upcoming Turin Olympics.Fellow Austrian Kathrin Zettel was second in 1:54.07, while Kostelic was third in 1:55.08. Kostelic lost her pole and glove before the first gate of her second run, and flags painfully slapped her bare hand. “It hurt so much I wanted to quit, but I can move two fingers, so it isn’t broken,” Kostelic said. “I came into the flat, saw I had 20 gates left and thought I had to finish or (the crowd) would kill me.”
The night slalom drew 25,000 spectators. Most came to see Kostelic, the three-time Olympic gold medalist who grew up in Zagreb and learned to ski on the Sljeme slope.On the second run, Kostelic held the lead until the two Austrians – the final skiers – came down. Her fans set off smoke bombs and waved Croatian flags in anticipation of victory.Schild finished with the best time in the second run of 56.73, skiing nearly flawlessly. She was the first-run leader with 56.90.Kostelic’s third place gave her 652 points and allowed her to keep the lead in the overall World Cup standings over Anja Paerson with 585. Paerson was fifth in 1:55.27 after winning the season’s first two slaloms.The Croatian also held onto the slalom lead with 280 points to Schild’s 260.Kostelic drew a huge crowd last year, but left the course in tears when she missed a gate 20 seconds into her first run.
“This was much better than last year. I really wanted to get on the podium,” said Kostelic, who was seventh after the first heat.”The first run was lousy. I did the second one for the crowd. They worked so hard here. I didn’t want to let anyone down,” she said.Miller: Skiing drunk ‘not easy’NEW YORK – Bode Miller knows he puts his life at risk when he skis drunk, but the outspoken Olympic favorite admits he may try the dangerous activity again.
“Talk about a hard challenge right there. … If you ever tried to ski when you’re wasted, it’s not easy,” Miller told “60 Minutes” for a segment that will air Sunday. “Try and ski a slalom when … you hit a gate less than every one second, so it’s risky. You’re putting your life at risk. … It’s like driving drunk, only there are no rules about it in ski racing.”Asked if the risk meant he would never ski drunk again, Miller replied “No, I’m not saying that.”In the interview, the 28-year-old Miller acknowledged that his partying has affected his performance in the past.”There have been times when I’ve been in really tough shape at the top of the course,” he said.Miller, the defending World Cup overall champion and a two-time silver medalist at the Salt Lake City Olympics, was also blase about the possibility of winning gold in Turin.Vail, Colorado