Peter Shelton

Lindsey Vonn, Drama Queen

Posted in Ski history, Ski racing, Watch columns by pshelton on December 6, 2012

Drama queen Lindsey Vonn took all the drama out of the races in Lake Louise last weekend, winning three in a row (two downhills and a super G), despite a stomach bug that had hospitalized her for two days and nights. (more…)

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Early Season IQ Test

Posted in Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on September 17, 2012

OK, kids. It’s that time of year again when the skiing juices start to flow – even if the sky has yet to loose the white stuff.

The Telluride Film Festival has come and gone. The Imogene Pass Run is history. The season, the reason we’re here, waits just around the corner and thoughts turn – in dreams, certainly, and in moments less appropriate – to sliding down a frozen mountain. How ready are you for those first gliding turns? Take this simple test and find out. (more…)

Messing With Ski Shapes, Part Three

Posted in Uncategorized by pshelton on February 4, 2012

In case you thought the Fédération Internationale de Ski wasn’t crazy enough remanding ski shapes back to the 1980s, here they came a couple of weeks ago to tell Tina Maze that her underwear is too fast. (more…)

As the (Ski Racing) World Turns

Posted in Ski evolution, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on March 25, 2011

Lindsey Vonn said she was “devastated” by the cancellation of the last race at the World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Saturday.

It was perhaps an unfortunate word choice given the literal devastation suffered in Japan just a few days previous. (more…)

Mastering space and time

Posted in Olympic Games, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on December 9, 2010

Last weekend was a very good one for American ski racers skiing on American (at least North American) snow.

Up in Alberta, Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso put on a show in the speed events. Vonn finished second in two consecutive downhills, to her good buddy and chief rival Maria Riesch of Germany, then won Sunday’s Super G just ahead of Riesch with Mancuso third. Julia finished fourth and sixth in the two downhills.

At Beaver Creek, the U.S. men didn’t fare so well. The downhill got cancelled due to wind. In the Super G all of the top Americans were ambushed by the same small bump and missed the next gate. One after the other. Keystone cops. Looked like a coaching/inspection/line error to me.

But then on Sunday, Ted Ligety of Park City won the giant slalom for his first World Cup victory on home soil. Er, snow.

Both tall, blonde Vonn and dark-haired Riesch are dominating their tour, have been for the past three years. Funny, though, the images of Vonn don’t look dominating. I know, that’s a stupid thing to say. She’s winning, or coming close, in just about every speed event. But, in still photographs, her position looks a little desperate: her head is tipped, the eyes aren’t level with the horizon; her hand is flying up; she’s leaning in more than she’s angulating; the skis are off the snow.

Bode Miller can be wild, as we know, and still be fast. He doesn’t finish many races these days. When I think of dominant skiing, I think of skiers in gorgeous control of all the forces acting on them painting their way down a blank canvas. (more…)

In Aspen, snow played the villain

Posted in Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on December 1, 2009

The play-by-play guy at Sunday’s World Cup race in Aspen must have mispronounced the last name of Maria and Suzanne Riesch two dozen times. The sisters pronounce their name “Reesh.” The rules of “ie” and “ei” in German are unambiguous. But the P.A. guy kept saying it with a long “i” sound, so that it rimed with Third Reich.

The real villain of the weekend, though, if you listened to disappointed Americans, was the snow. (more…)

Test Your Early-Season Ski I.Q.

Posted in At the Movies, Ski evolution by pshelton on November 10, 2009

1. SNOW STORMS IN NOVEMBER inevitably lead to:

a) predictions by newcomers and marketing types for a big winter to come;

b) Coors Light commercials;

c) mud.

2. TRUE OR FALSE: (more…)