Radamus’ super-G run at Birds of Prey was another American classic
BEAVER CREEK — River Radamus did not set a goal to do anything spectacular in his first ever World Cup super-G race on Saturday, Dec. 1.
But being a student of the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup super-G track through his years growing up in Eagle County and racing for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Radamus did have a few ideas about what the spectators might want to see.
“Some of the great U.S. runs at Birds of Prey have been in the super-G,” Radamus said on Wednesday. “Being able to put on a display like the American cowboy … it’d be an honor to be able to do that.”
With a few bobbles and an athletic recovery that would have sent a less proficient racer off the course, Radamus finished the super-G and said he felt like he accomplished any goals he did have on Saturday.
The run “gave the people something to watch, that’s for sure,” Radamus said with a laugh. “I really pushed it, tried to go my limit and maybe made a few too many mistakes.”
ATHLETICISM ON THE ABYSS
Radamus finished 54th on the day, 2.41 seconds off leader Max Franz and just over a second away from the last man to earn World Cup points for the race, 30th place finisher, Josef Ferstl.
The most exciting moment in Radamus’ race, and the moment that helped Radamus meet his goal of adding to a legacy of exciting American super-G runs at Birds of Prey, was the big turn on the section of the course called The Abyss.
Radamus nearly skied off the course at that point, but had the type of athletic recovery that American fans have come to expect of their team on the Birds of Prey super-G track.
“I was right on the line coming into The Abyss,” Radamus said. “I was pushing the line because I knew I had to there, and got tossed off the compression there … Watching Andrew Weibrecht, Bode (Miller), Daren (Rahlves), all those guys, one thing they always do was they pushed it here, and they pushed it right to the limit. So obviously I was sending it as hard as I could, and it didn’t work out this time.”
Nevertheless, “I’m lucky to have made it all the way to the bottom,” Radamus added. “Obviously I would have liked to eliminate those mistakes, but that’s what happens when I’m on the line there so I can’t be disappointed in how I performed.”
While it was his first World Cup super-G, Radamus, who is 20, said he came into the race with an advantage in the fact that he has seen so many Birds of Prey super-G races in his life.
“Being in the Vail Valley, always being able to watch here, I got a pretty good sense for the hill,” he said. “And I know what it takes to do well here, you’ve got to be on the limit, you gotta push every chance you get and I definitely came in with that mentality.”
Radamus is now preparing to race in the Sunday, Dec. 2 giant slalom, which will be the third World Cup giant slalom race of his career after getting his start in Beaver Creek last year.
He said as a kid growing up in the Vail area, he could have never imagined he would be racing alongside a legend such as Ted Ligety in Beaver Creek for the Sunday giant slalom.
“It’s just a really humbling experience,” Radamus said. “If I could tell 10-year-old me that I’d be doing this, I definitely wouldn’t believe it.”
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.