A little good luck (charm) can never hurt | VailDaily.com

A little good luck (charm) can never hurt

Shauna Farnell
Special to the Daily
Austria's Micheala Kirchgasser skis to bronze during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships women's combined on Monday at Beaver Creek. Kirchgasser never starts a race without her lucky pair of earrings.
Dominique Taylor | Special to the Daily |

BEAVER CREEK — It doesn’t take much for superstitions to run wild, which is why some 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships skiers are adamantly against the idea of a good luck charm, but others genuinely believe that no success will ever come their way if certain emblems — jewelry, start number, socks, even underwear — are not in place.

“I’ve heard of these things but I don’t have any,” Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel said during the women’s combined on Monday. “I really don’t have any kind of luck charm.”

French skier Margot Bailet wears a family heirloom around her neck when she races but is careful to not view it as a good luck charm.

“I don’t like this stuff because when you don’t have it, you feel unlucky,” Bailet said, adding that she is not above superstition when it comes to bib numbers.

“I actually crashed in my lucky underwear in the St. Moritz downhill. That one maybe ran its course … I should throw that pair away.”Jackie WilesTeam USA

“I like just the bib (No.) 2,” she said. “Today I had that 2, so I was happy.”

Drawers and other things

Then you have athletes like American Jackie Wiles, who never starts a race without her lucky underwear. On Monday, she said she was wearing a pair of blue and black underwear from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

“I have a couple of pairs of Ellen lucky underwear because I love the “Ellen Show.” I went and saw her and got a couple pairs. I could actually use some more. I have a pair from this company in Val d’Isere, France. I actually crashed in my lucky underwear in the St. Moritz downhill. That one maybe ran its course … I should throw that pair away,” Wiles said. “Some people think it’s weird. It is kind of goofy. But for me, I think it’s fun to have lucky underwear.”

Austrian Michaela Kirchgasser, whose skills alone led to her bronze-medal combined performance on Monday, never starts a race without her lucky pair of sparkly earrings.

“They’re a good luck charm from my boyfriend and they’re always with me,” Kirchgasser said.

Julia Mancuso’s lucky charm? A full-blown Wonder Woman outfit.

“Not so much lucky under the race suit, but everywhere else,” she said, adding that more than luck, before the race she engages in a few rituals to generate good vibes.

“Before I go, I kind of practice a little meditation, just breathing and the things that make me happy and get rid of any nerves before I kick out of the start gate,” Mancuso said.

Buda is a charm

Argentine racer Macarena Simari Birkner doesn’t wear her good luck charm, but feeds it. She brings her dog Buda with her every where she travels in the winter.

“She loves the snow,” Simari Birkner said. “She definitely brings me good luck.”

Czech skier Klara Krizova had a few runes fueling her race on Monday. The first was a tribute to teammate Ondrej Bank, who sustained a bad crash in Sunday’s combined race. Krizova wore tape inside of her gloves, which she flashed upon crossing the finish line. The message read, “Bank #1.”

“I was really in shock yesterday. When I was going to sleep, I was still having this picture in front of my eyes,” Krizova said of Bank’s crash. “But then I said, ‘OK, I’m just going to do it and I’ll do it for Ondrej and make this happen.’ Everything is fine. Today my run was for him, to give him a compliment that he is amazing.”

Like Mancuso and many others, the Czech skier practices meditation before she launches onto the racecourse but also wears her lucky necklace under her race suit.

“I’m wearing my lucky rock on my neck,” she said, displaying the pink stone shaped like an angel. “My friend gave it to me in Sochi. More than luck it helps me know that life is beautiful.”