Ski like Mikaela Shiffrin on your phone … maybe |

Ski like Mikaela Shiffrin on your phone … maybe

I should really leave this to the pros

Really, to be Mikaela Shiffrin, this ski racer from the World Cup Ski Racing game needs to have Barilla helmet, a green suit and Atomic skis. But you can play the game to try to get your skiing fix and get a small glimpse of what it's like to ski a World Cup course.
Special to the Daily

Everyone is jonesing.

Vail and Beaver Creek are closed. The World Cup finals in Cortina, Italy, were meant to be happening this week. It seems like they were canceled a long time ago due to COVID-19 —in fact, it was just two weeks.

So ski on your phone.

Introducing the World Cup Ski Racing app. Your sports editor who hasn’t skied since … um … like, 2001 has clicked in on his phone. You can name yourself — Chris Shiffrin — and your nationality: Your sports editor is now on the U.S. Ski Team.

One swipes on the screen to turn. In our first few attempts, trying the giant slalom tutorial, my wanna-be Mikaela Shiffrin does not ski well. Shiffrin crashes into the A-netting three straight times. Sorry, Mikaela.

Maybe it’s the fact that in the game, Shiffrin is on Head skis, not her usual Atomics. (Upgrading your skis is an in-app purchase, and right now, it’s more of a case of operator error than the skis.)

Upon further review, the app is probably very realistic, as were your sports editor’s attempts to ski GS in Cortina — one can ski different World Cup sites courses. He might make one gate (maybe … probably not) and then be on an express trip into the netting.

We meet with little success as we continue our GS training. We’re really not concerning ourselves with turning at the actual gates, a quaint concept, but just trying to get down the hill. A few times, Shiffrin suffers the indignity of crashing into the ski lift. (So sorry, Mikaela.) There is a slight moment of triumph when we reach the first interval before crashing.

Baby steps, people.

I imagine that Mikaela skied better while she was still in the womb than I have been able to in this video game.

In all seriousness, if this is possible, Shiffrin has never raced World Cup tech events in Cortina, only downhill and super-G, getting a win in the latter on January 20, 2019.

By the way, the app gives only a few World Cup sites at a time. One of the upcoming events is at Lake Louise, Alberta, but there is no sign yet of Birds of Prey. It would be interesting to see how much the video courses are actually like the real ones. (I’m just saying I’ve covered a ton of races at Beaver Creek. Skied it? Are you nuts?)

So while we’re aware that Shiffrin is pretty darn good at those tech events — 59 of her 66 World Cup wins have come in some form of GS or slalom —— maybe she wants to race a speed event.

So we take it over to St. Moritz, Switzerland, for super-G thinking that less turning might help the uncoordinated Freud get Shiffrin down the hill.

The change in scenery and discipline does not help my Mikaela. “She” had some impressive crashes. My favorites were the faceplant into the netting, an impressive carom off skier’s right netting all the way across the course — a basketball couldn’t bounce like that — and numerous slides down the slope.

Really, with all the sliding she does, Shiffrin is going to be competing in the luge in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. Mercifully, Mikaela bounces up without a scratch. In all seriousness, I think I’ve torn her ACL around 1,200 times.

Because your sports editor is completely inept in hand-eye coordination — you should see him golf — Mikaela one time gets to the second interval staying upright for 51 seconds before meeting the all-too-constant result of the DNF.

We have established that Shiffrin is better at skiing than your sports editor — the cutting analysis you’ve come to expect from the Vail Daily — and doubtless better at video games, too.

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