Eva T returns | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Eva T returns

Eva Twardokens, 35, of Santa Cruz, has traded the recesses of the mountain slopes for the cavities of a patient’s mouth.

But that’s only over the long haul.

In the short term, the Alpine ski racer – who made her mark at Kirkwood and other far-flung ski resorts around the globe – has come up to the Lake Tahoe Basin this week and out of her 1995 ski retirement.

She has left dental hygiene school until her June graduation to prove she hasn’t lost her touch.

Twardokens is competing in the Lexus Tomba Challenge in Vail, Colo., at the end of the month, going up against some of the best – including famed Italian skier Alberto Tomba.

The six-time national champion, who was a member of the U.S. Ski Team in her heyday, will go over technique with coach Fritz Valant at Sugar Bowl Ski Area on the North Shore. She’ll be training on a brand-new pair of Rossignol’s, one of her sponsors.

This latest jaunt back into the Sierra Nevada is only the third time on skis this season for the woman who learned at age 3. That’s quite a departure for the Reno native, who used to spend the equivalent of a work week skiing and on the World Cup Tour.

“I’m better at skiing than anything I do – including walking,” she said from her Santa Cruz home last week.

Although one could say skiing is in her blood, the daughter of two ski instructors now prefers using her surfboard in the beachside town over pulling out her two planks in the mountains.

When asked if she missed the her longtime activity, she said: “No. I love to surf. I’ve done a ton of skiing. And I don’t need to shovel my driveway.”

And like a professional football player considering his body’s threshold for injury, Twardokens is looking beyond the bruising sport.

She also doesn’t miss the threat of adding to her eight knee surgeries, but that’s all a part of the game, she said.

Apparently, Alpine skiers have a 95 percent chance of “blowing their knees.”

Twardokens’ skiing has run the gamut, including slalom, giant slalom and super-G – the cross between downhill and giant slalom. She’s right at home with GS. She won a bronze medal in the World Championships in 1985.

Eleven years later, Twardokens made her first comeback from retirement to become the world technical champion.

Through a lifetime on skis with whirlwind tours through Europe, Twardokens’ favorite place to ski is still home to her – Lake Tahoe.

“The snow’s better. There are less crowds, better scenery, and my friends are there,” she said.

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