Euronews reporter Vincent Ménard invites us into the high-speed world of ski racing with ‘Gravity.’
“Hello and welcome to first edition of this season’s ‘Gravity’ our look at the world of Alpine Skiing.
For those who doubted the ability of Norway’s Axel Lund Svindal to return from an Achilles tendon injury; doubt no more. Svindal is back with victory in the downhill and Super-G at Lake Louise in Canada.
Axel Lund Svindal from Norway with a fantastic comeback pic.twitter.com/okYnko7nZA— Steinar Talle (@sttalle) February 5, 2015
You have to salute the skill and determination of Axel Lund Svindal, after missing the whole of last season with a confidence crippling injury, Svindal not only claimed the downhill at Lake Louise, but had the cheek to take the Super-G as well. Simply a superb return to World Cup Skiing and a 27th victory. Svindal the two-time overall World Cup champion, and Olympic gold medalist in Super-G is back with a spring in his skies.
Austria’s Matthias Mayer finished the day in second place.
The third spot went to Italy’s Peter Fill, good weekend for Fill after finishing second in the downhill.
Mikaela Shiffrin stormed to victory in the women’s slalom in Aspen on Saturday. She won by a clear three seconds, the largest margin in the history of women’s World Cup slalom racing. How did she fair on Sunday?
Well she won again and captured back-to-back World Cup slalom races in Aspen, overcoming an early slip-up in her second run to finish well on top.
The 20-year old American finished ahead of the Swedish skier Frida Hansdotter by a massive 2.65 seconds. Sarka Stratchova of Czech Republic was third.
If Shiffrin had skied a perfect run she would have been out of sight. On Saturday she won the slalom by 3.07 seconds the largest margin in World Cup history in the discipline.
It is her fifth World Cup win in a row and the way she is skiing she looks set to leave the world’s best in her slipstream.
Just like last season former Olympic Super-G champion Franck Piccard will bring his expertise to ‘Gravity.’
First Piccard focuses on Laura Gut, winner of Friday’s Giant Slalom in Aspen. At the age of 24 the Swiss is a contender to win the overall title after Tina Maze’s retirement and Anna Fenninger’s injury.
Let’s hear what Franck has to say: “This could be a good year for Lara Gut. She is an engaging personality, she speaks a number of languages and is very approachable. She is also an attractive skier, she’s a sensual skier, in perfect control and shows poise and balance on the slopes. She has a chance this year, we are used to perceiving Lara Gut as young, yet she is mature enough now. It is in her hands to fulfill her destiny now that two major stars are out, it’s maybe her turn.”
Look Back down the Mountain
In the United States more than 50-years ago the Frenchman Jean Vuarnet entered the record books as Olympic champion in the downhill.
He was a true innovator in terms of his equipment and a revolutionary ski position.
Vuarnet is one of sports great pioneers, he was the first to use the deep tucked position to improve his aerodynamics, he used the position to win the 1960 Olympic downhill gold at Squaw Valley while at the same time, being the first to ski to victory on metal skies.
He is also the name behind the Vuarnet sunglasses brand.
His life was also marked by tragedy.
See you next Sunday for the next stage of the North American Tour the women will be in Lake Louise, Alberta Canada and the men in Beaver Creek, Colorado.