Ten inches of snow can’t stop Junior Olympics | VailDaily.com

Ten inches of snow can’t stop Junior Olympics

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL ” On Tuesday afternoon, a sun-soaked Golden Peak course in Vail hid its secrets from the night before.

Ten inches of snow covered the track and nearly wiped out the boys giant slalom at the J3 Junior Olympics. Luckily, chief of race P.J. Jenick and his crew were already working furiously to make racing possible.

Preparations for the overnight snowstorm started on Monday when the course was lightly tilled. At 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, two snowcats started pushing snow off the course.

Just more than fours later, the first forerunners signaled the start of the race.

“I think people were amazed would even pulled it off,” Ski and Snowboard Club Vail coach J.J. Jensen said. “Everyone worked together and Vail Resorts was nice enough to get us some cats.”

They were able to pull it off thanks to 100 workers, athletes and coaches who spent time getting the course ready. With a plan in place on Monday night, crews went right to work Tuesday. After the two snowcats did as much as they could, the entire field of skiers and coaches took two maintenance runs down the course to remove any loose snow.

“In many other places, today wouldn’t have happened at all,” Jenick said. “They would have just called it because they wouldn’t have had the resources. With the resources and plan we had, we were confident we would race.”

The hard work created a firm racing surface.

“It was really nice,” said Willy Blommer, who took second in the giant slalom. “The snow was really hard and icy.”

Jenick and his crews should be able to relax today when the J3 Junior Olympics concludes today with the slalom on Bear Trap at Beaver Creek. The forecast calls for sunny skies with a high of 37.

Slalom up next

The Junior Olympians get one last chance to showcase their skills today in the slalom at Beaver Creek. Don’t be surprised to see more Midwest kids on the podium. While kids from the Rocky Mountain region held the advantage during the speed events, things even out when it comes to technical races.

Ausblick Ski Racing’s Ian Beal won Tuesday’s giant slalom and should be a factor today. That’s because he trains almost exclusively slalom on his 175-meter home hill in Wisconsin. It’s the same story for many of the Midwest skiers.

Of course, SSCV should be in the mix to add the 10 medals its already won during the Junior Olympics.

“In the slalom, anything can happen,” Jensen said.

The first run is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m.

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