After enjoying early-season success, Bode Miller has decided to shut down his World Cup season because of an injury to his left knee. Miller, from Franconia, N.H., the winningest World Cup and Olympic male ski racer ever from the United States, said he would undergo arthroscopic surgery and prepare to be back next season.
Miller injured his knee in a downhill race on the Sochi, Russia, course two weeks ago, the same one that will be used in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Coming off one of four jumps, he felt a twinge in his knee but thought it was a minor injury.
“The plan was to come back and race in Crans Montana [Switzerland], but I couldn’t get the range of motion I needed to be competitive,’’ Miller said through the US ski team. “We thought if we rested it a few more days it would come around, but it didn’t happen.’’
Miller started his season with a downhill win at Beaver Creek, Colo., on the Birds of Prey course, and considers the season an overall positive. “I love ski racing and I love being active,’’ he said, “so I hope for a solid recovery and to get back to training as soon as possible. I’m still having fun. As long as ski racing is enjoyable, I’m going to do it.’’
Miller has 33 World Cup wins and two overall crowns. He has won five Olympic medals (one gold, three silver, and a bronze), and five world championship medals (four gold).
Vonn ride continues
Lindsey Vonn continues to distinguish herself as America’s greatest ski racer with her 51st World Cup win in last weekend’s super-G in Bansko, Bulgaria. With her 10th win this season, the 28-year-old from Vail, Colo., now ranks third on the all-time women’s list behind Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Proll (62 wins) and Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider (55). Both are retired.
Vonn has nine races left this season.
Vonn has 14 World Cup titles and three overall titles, and she has a healthy lead in this season’s overall title race. In addition, she has five world championship medals (two gold) and two Olympic medals (gold and bronze).
Vermont a winner
During the height of last weekend’s snowstorm, the University of Vermont claimed its second consecutive EISA (NCAA Eastern title) win and its 32d in history. The win was clinched by two Alpine skiers from Toronto, Kevin Drury and Kate Riley, who won giant slalom races in the bumpy, fresh snow.
Also adding to the winning total of 955 points was the Catamounts’ women’s Nordic team.
Dartmouth finished second with 848 points, and New Hampshire and Middlebury tied for third with 724.5 points.
The top collegiate teams now head for the NCAA Championships in Bozeman, Mont., March 7-10.
According to C.J. Feehan of Ski Racing Magazine, the current NCAA power rankings, the final ones before the title races, have two Western teams holding the top spots - Utah at No. 1 and Colorado No. 2.
Vermont, which ranked second a week ago, is now third, while Dartmouth dropped from third last week to fourth entering the finals.
Of the Vermont team, Feehan wrote, “For the last two years, the sheer appeal of the Catamounts has been the unparalleled depth of their roster.’’
But he countered that assessment with a downside: “They leave behind multiple race winners from this season and fly to Montana with a trio of Alpine rookies. Add in that soft Western snow and a propensity to crack under pressure, and you’ve got the Cats sliding into third.’’
While Feehan gave Dartmouth high marks for its Nordic team, which should “walk away with individual and team victories, the overall is just out of reach with the Big Green’s Alpine squad.’’
The annual Hannes Schneider Cup will be celebrated at Mt. Cranmore next weekend, an event that mixes modern NASTAR ski racing with old-world nostalgia as it honors Hannes Schneider, “the father of modern skiing.’’
The racing is accessible to intermediate skiers on a dual-giant slalom course, open to ages 13 to 90-plus.
Schneider, a Tyrolean ski instructor, escaped the Nazi reign and came to North Conway, N.H., from New York City in a much-heralded train ride, arriving with his son, Hubert, to a great reception in town. Schneider established the ski school at Mt. Cranmore that was carried on by Hubert.
The weekend includes racing, a torchlight parade, ice sculptures, a luncheon, and a ceremony. For more information, or to register, call the New England Ski Museum at 1-603-823-7177, or go to skimuseum.org.