Gianotti on win streak of lifetime |

Gianotti on win streak of lifetime

Steve Yingling, Tribune Sports Editor

Competitors joke about him being on steroids and needing to verify his ID.

In United States Skiing Association circles, John Gianotti is the man to beat. Wherever he races, his competitors know that second place is their only realistic goal.

The 70-year-old Gianotti has been so good on his parabolic skis this winter that he’s doesn’t know what it’s like to lose.

That’s right, the South Shore masters racer has won 31 straight races going into next month’s World Championships in Galtur, Austria.

“I’m getting a lot of static, but I haven’t tried to avoid anything to keep the streak going. You never finish all the races. You have to fall somewhere, so I’m really proud of it,” said Gianotti, who competes against 70- to 74-year-old racers. “We all have this disease called age, but I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been healthy.”

Some of Gianotti’s notable victories during “The Streak” was his three-event sweep at the Western Regional Championships in Snow Basin and Park City, Utah, his first-place stranglehold in two GSs and two slalom races at the International FIS Alpine Championships March 16-19 in Vail, Colo., and his five gold medals in slalom, giant slalom, super-G, downhill and combined at the U.S. Alpine Masters National Championships March 21-27 in Winter Park, Colo.

“I’ve gone 17 races without losing before. I’ve always done well over the 19 years I’ve raced, and I continue to love the competition,” Gianotti said.

Close friend and training partner Rich Robertson of South Lake Tahoe has also enjoyed a stellar season.

Competing against 60- to 64-year-olds at the internationals, Robertson finished third and fifth in giant slalom and fifth and eighth in slalom. At the Western Regionals, Robertson was third in super-G and GS and sixth in slalom. The Tahoe Amusement Park owner also bombared the top 10 at the U.S. Championships, placing fourth in slalom and downhill, fifth in combined, sixth in giant slalom and eighth in super-G.

Heavenly Ski Foundation’s mogul skiers of the future took advantage of their chance to shine in a Far West B freestyle event last Sunday at Alpine Meadows.

Courtney Royce and Jason Strull led Heavenly in moguls. Strull won the junior division, and Royce placing second overall and first in her J5 age group. Tamara Sharkey was seventh overall; and Derek Clemenson ninth and Tim Lipovsky 14th in the junior division.

“The South Shore kids all skied standup runs on a very icy, crusty course,” said Heavenly freestyle coach Jere Crawford.

Independent bumper Jon Soper won the overall title.

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