Vail Valley Foundation claims gold
VAIL – Score two for the home teams. The Vail Valley Foundation team grabbed gold in the American Ski Classic’s Ford Cup Saturday in Vail, while the Vail Resorts team took bronze. And no, the race wasn’t fixed.”We won it fair and square,” said Erik Borgen of Team VVF , who after six second-place finishes finally earned a gold. “If one of us got beat, the next came back and got the victory.”In the head-to-head team competition, the Vail Valley Foundation had a scare in the quarterfinals, but beat Team Bud Light, 3-2, then won both the semifinals and finals, 3-1.
“We got better and better as the day went on,” said VVF’s Johann Koss, who also won several gold medals in speedskating at the 1994 Lillehammer Games.And the team got a bit more confident as the day progressed. With his team leading team Saloman, 2-1, in the finals, Koss had a little chat with Saloman’s Justin Melvey in the starting gate.”I said, ‘Of course we are happy with silver and we’ll give you the gold,'” Koss said. “And then we go up and take the gold.”One member of team Saloman was sore after the loss.
“Fixed?,” asked Mike Adams. “No, it wasn’t. It’s nice to see the home team win. It was a great day. I got to take eight runs, and I got beat up a little. I’ll be sore later.”In the bronze medal matchup, Vail Resorts trailed Team Slifer Smith & Frampton 2-0, but battled back to 2-2. Steve Mahre then edged out Paul Accola to earn his third bronze in as many races this week.”I wanted to get it on my shoulders,” Mahre said. “We were down and I wanted to get it tied up. I said leave it to me and if I lose, I’ll take responsibility.”
SkiEOsFormer Vail Resorts CEO Adam Aron’s Beaver Creek team may not have won, but he was diplomatic in his praises for team Vail Resorts.”How do I phrase this,?” Aron said. “There’s not an answer for this. OK, I’m a defending silver medal winner and I also won a bronze. We were trying our best, going for gold. If my team couldn’t make it all the way, I’m glad other guys did well.”Vail’s current CEO, Rob Katz, said finishing ahead of Aron’s squad wasn’t the goal.
“It wasn’t part of the strategy,” Katz said. “Steve Fossett was the glue of our team. He went defeated all the way.”As happy as Fossett was with the bronze, he felt a bit unappreciated by his teammates.”They didn’t even offer me a beer or anything,” Fossett said.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail,Colorado
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