Ted Ligety, shown on the top of the podium two weeks ago in Soelden, returns to action Nov. 11 in Levi, Finland (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Michel Cottin)
LEVI, Finland (Nov. 7) – Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will carry the U.S. Ski Team torch to the Arctic Circle this weekend for a pair of Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom races set for Nov. 10-11 in Levi. Ligety is fresh off a historic 2.75 second victory at the World Cup opener in Soelden and Shiffrin returns to the discipline that brought her first World Cup podium last season. The annual Scandinavian slaloms were canceled last season when unseasonably warm temperatures didn't allow for snowmaking on the Levi Black World Cup slope. Additional U.S. starters are Will Brandenburg, Nolan Kasper, David Chodounsky and Hailey Duke. Olympic gold medalists Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso will miss the race in order to focus on the Nov. 24-25 Nature Valley Aspen Winternational in Aspen, CO. Bode Miller and Resi Stiegler will also sit out Levi to continue their injury recovery. The 2013 U.S. Alpine Ski Team will be named Nov. 15 during Nature Valley First Tracks at Vail, CO.
Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) highlight U.S. Ski Team slalom starters for the Nov. 10-11 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup races in Levi, Finland.
Ligety and Shiffrin prepared at the U.S. Ski Team's European Training Base in Soelden, Austria. Brandenburg, Kasper and Chodounsky did their final preparation at Golden Peak in Vail, CO.
Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) and Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) will miss the races in order to focus on training for the Nov. 24-25 Nature Valley Aspen Winternational in Aspen, CO.
Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) and Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) will also sit out Levi in order to continue injury recovery.
The 2013 U.S. Alpine Ski Team will be announced Nov. 15 in Vail, CO during Nature Valley First Tracks, a live fan focused stage program at Arrabelle Square.
QUOTES Ted Ligety Levi is a pretty tame hill with a lot of rolls, some flats and a short steep into a flat finish. But it is in the Arctic Circle so it can be super icy and wet in some spots, plus you have a lot of variability with light since the sun sets so early.
My slalom skiing is pretty well right now, but this is a lot like Soelden – you never know how good you are skiing until you finish the race.
Mikaela Shiffrin I've had a really good preparation period for slalom with great training in Mt. Hood, New Zealand and at Soelden. I think a good part of that is because I'm very goal oriented when it comes to training. But when I get to the race, I have to let those goals out of my mind and just focus on skiing well between every gate.
The race was canceled last year, so I've never been to Levi, but Reis [Stiegler] told me it's a lot of fun. It will be interesting racing where it's dark most of the time.