Radamus, Leever and, yes, Shiffrin make world champs team
Enjoy italy, everyone
The U.S. Ski Team selected its crew Wednesday for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina, Italy, starting on Feb. 8, and the locals who were on the bubble for the squad saw no bursting of their bubbles.
In the least controversial sentence ever written, Mikaela Shiffrin made the team. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, if she keeps at this racing thing, she might make something of herself.
While there was no drama in that selection — Shiffrin will make the team, if she wants, at the age of 72 — locals River Radamus and Alex Leever got their first invites to the championships, and that is a milestone.
It’s been a while (Jan. 9) since giant slalom, Radamus’ specialty at the moment, has been contested on the men’s World Cup. Nonetheless, Radamus has had a breakthrough this season.
In his first 16 starts in World Cup GS until the beginning of the 2020-21 season, Radamus had only made the flip once. This year, he’s 4-for-6 and has three top 20 finishes. The 22-year-old from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is tied for most World Cup GS points on the American team among active racers — Tommy Ford made the team, but will not compete — with teammate Ryan Cochran-Siegle.
Radamus has earned it.
Alex Leever is a bit of surprise, but he just might have clinched his spot with his first World Cup points by finishing 24th in Tuesday’s World Cup night slalom in Schladming, Austria.
Leever, 25, has taken the long way around to get here, but it’s worth it. Now racing for Team America, Leever was with SSCV in his early years. He eventually skied for Denver University as well as the World Pro Ski Tour.
Other skiers with SSCV or general Vail ties are Paula Moltzan and Nina O’Brien.
As for the rest of the team, round up the usual suspects. Shiffrin and Breezy Johnson headline the women’s team with Laurenne Ross, who is one of the feel-good stories of the tour for just getting back to the World Cup after a plethora of injuries.
Ted Ligety, Travis Ganong, Bryce Bennett, Jared Goldberg and Cochran-Siegle are the familiar faces for the gents. The bigger question is if Cochran-Siegle will be healthy enough to go in Cortina after a crash in Kitzbuehel, Austria, last weekend.
Noticeably absent from the men’s team is Steven Nyman, 38, who has been injured all year.