Rahlves hurt in World Cup practice
PARK CITY, Utah – Daron Rahlves of Truckee has a tough job ahead. He’s trying to fight his way to an Olympic berth with the U.S. Alpine Ski Team.
An unexpected fall in America’s Open World Cup giant slalom Thursday in Park City, Utah, made his goal more difficult.
Under stormy conditions, Rahlves started 59th in a field of 71 GS racers. Unfortunately, the top-seeded U.S. racer snagged a gate by the third turn, spinning him into a fall that sprained his back and caused a concussion.
U.S. head coach Bill Egan updated Rahlves’ condition during an afternoon press conference.
“Daron is really hurt. He told me he like he was in a car wreck. Now, he’s being checked out at the clinic, and he’s feeling better. I hope to have him back racing by next week … he’s a tough kid,” Egan said.
A completely opposite scenario involved Rahlves’ teammate, 20-year-old Bode Miller of New Hampshire.
During the first run – with a start number of 69 – Miller took advantage of a break in the storm to unleash a 23rd-place performance. In the finish arena, an ecstatic Miller flopped on his back, skis in the air, whooping in excitement over his first World Cup race.
As the only American to earn a second run in the competition, Miller held on to an overall second place for some time, eventually getting bumped to 11th by faster racers.
When asked if the news of his injured teammate made him nervous, Miller said, “I was so busy at the start, no one even told me about him until later. Starting so far back in the pack, I had to return for the second start almost immediately. I had no time to think.
“There was no comparison between my two runs. On my first run, I felt like I didn’t have a single good turn, and on my second, it was just a cruise. Starting so far back is always tough, and course conditions play a big part. This will really help my Olympic chances.”
With 24 FIS points and an overall eighteenth-place standing on the World Cup GS circuit, Miller may well be on his way to Nagano. Rahlves, on the other hand, has his work cut out for him.
Austria’s Hermann Maier won the GS and was followed by Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt and Canada’s Thomas Grandi.
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