Gianotti named Masters Skier of the Year
It took the best in the world to end Masters skier John Gianotti’s 31-race winning streak.
Gianotti, 70, settled for one gold medal and three silvers at the Masters FIS World Cup Alpine Championships April 10-16 in Galtur, Tyrol, Austria.
Gianotti won the giant slalom and carved out second-place finishes in super-G, slalom and overall.
“To finish second in a couple of races and first in another was good enough because there was better competition,” said the veteran Masters racer from the South Shore.
But the best news for Gianotti came when he returned home to find out that he had been selected the United States Skiing Association’s Master Skier of the Year for the third time.
“It’s something that doesn’t happen very often to anybody. It’s the nicest award you can win in Masters skiing other than a national championship,” Gianotti said.
Gianotti, who also won the award in 1982 and 1988, will be formally presented with the honor May 21 in Park City, Utah.
During his impeccable 31-race winning streak, Gianotti captured all of the disciplines in his age group at the Western Regionals, International Championships and nationals.
At the world championships, Gianotti encountered stiff competition from the host country.
“They had a pretty strong field. There were probably 45 racers over 70, including the oldest at 83,” Gianotti said.
Gianotti credits his continued success to being healthy and lucky.
“The worst disease you can get is age, but if you can stay well-conditioned you’ll do fine. You have to have some ability but being able to survive the various illnesses that hit older people is the most important thing. I’ve been fortunate to have a pretty good physically fit life,” he said.
If Gianotti has his way, he’d like to be the oldest competitor at the world championships someday.
“I’d love to be one of those 83-year-old guys. I’ll probably never have another year like this one, but who knows?” Gianotti said.
Training partner and friend Rich Robertson of South Lake Tahoe placed 13th and 15th in two GS races, 16th in slalom and eighth overall in the 60-64 class.
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