Junior Olympics: Guilmineau family fast on different sets of skis
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” It’s not uncommon for family members to possess similar athletic traits.
What makes the Guilmineau clan unique is its ability to use their talents on totally different terrain. Celine, 15, is competing this week at the J3 Junior Olympics. Her older sister, Anouk, 16, is an accomplished Nordic skier.
Celine’s sport relies on speed and precision, while Anouk’s is all about determination.
Both are excelling at their craft. On Thursday, Celine won downhill training at the Junior Olympics and took third on Friday. Anouk finished 26th in the skate race at the state Nordic meet last month.
So, how did they end up in different sports? It simply came down to preference.
“We both started out in alpine,” Celine said. “She didn’t like it very much. It wasn’t her thing. I liked it a lot so I stuck with it. She’s a good cross-country runner and a good Nordic racer. She really likes it.”
A harder, faster course meant lower times and unfortunately more DNFs during downhill training on Friday. In both the boys’ and girls’ races, the top times dropped from Thursday. Still, it was evident some of the racers were getting used to skiing a downhill for one of the first times in their careers.
In the girls’ race, four of the first nine skiers never made it to the finish. By the end of the race, 12 girls had DNFs next to their name. It was a little better in the boys’ race, but six skiers did not finish.
Jensen estimated that on average, athletes were skiing 3-5 mph faster than on Thursday. The skiers who didn’t finish got in trouble off the jumps when they came down to close to the next gate.
“There were some coaching and pilot errors,” Jensen said. “They are trying to figure it out.”
Skiers and snowboarders that have been grumbling about the snow the past couple of weeks may finally get their wish. A snow storm is supposed to go through the area on Saturday and could drop as much as a foot of snow on the mountain.
While that’s good news for powder lovers, it’s bad for ski racing. A significant snowfall can wreak havoc on a course that needs to be hard, and preferably, icy.
Jensen said Vail Mountain is ready with snowcats to get the course back in shape should snow hit. If Saturday’s race is snowed out, the downhill and super-G would be pushed back a day. The giant slalom, which is scheduled for two days, would then be run entirely on Tuesday with the slalom on Wednesday.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.