Top Five Fridays - May 22, 2015 // Ski Industry News
#1: Bored of Traditional Skiing? Check Out These New Ways to Ski.
For some people, skiing can get boring. Whether you’re at the same hill skiing the same runs every day, or you’re just tired of doing the same old tricks you’ve always done, most skiers have had days that were less exciting. We can only guess that’s what inspired these two videos:
Third Person "Video Game" Skiing
#2: Utah Ski Resorts See Lowest Visits in the Last 9 Years
Following up on our report last week regarding the Mountain Pact’s letter to the Department of the Interior, we have more news regarding the effects of climate change on the ski industry. According to Ski Utah, this season saw the fewest number of day visits to a resort within the last nine years. Many would blame the lackluster snowfall this season, with snow totals tallying up to less than half of their average.
#3: Chinese National Mogul Ski Team Training at Arapahoe Basin
The Chinese National Mogul Team's been relatively shy in front of the camera. In place of a photo, please enjoy this clip of China's current biggest contribution to skiing: The Chinese Downhill.
With freestyle skiing becoming more prevalent on a global stage following the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the Chinese National Mogul Ski Team has made it their goal to become one of the world’s most elite teams. Of course, they have a long ways to go. After being founded in 2007, the team was only able to send one athlete to represent their country at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
That’s probably why the team made the decision to spend two months training at Arapahoe Basin with their coach Scott Rawls- former coach of the U.S. Mogul team. In an effort to help increase their overall skiing abilities and confidence, Rawls has had the team free skiing all over the mountain including some of the resorts more challenging terrain.
So if you’re still making turns up at Arapahoe Basin and you run into a Chinese skier in a red jacket that says, “China” on the back, then you might want to shake their hand. You may have just met an Olympian in the making!
#4: U.S. Ski Team Adds a National University Team
Griffin Brown of the University of Vermont Ski Team. Photo Courtesy of the Waterbury Record.
Speaking of national ski teams, there’s some good news coming out of the U.S. Ski Team this week regarding college athletes. Until recently, ultra talented skiers in high school had a difficult decision to make their Senior year. Should they try and jumpstart their career as a ski racer by trying to make the U.S. Ski Team? Or, should they continue their education by attending college and competing on the collegiate level? To make the decision even more difficult, it’s been a long held belief that attending college often lowers a skier’s chances to make the U.S. Ski Team as they usually select skier straight out of high school and ignore those graduating college. This is in stark contrast to other professional sports organizations such as the NFL or NBA who typically select their talent from the pool of athletes who are ready to leave college.
All of that is, of course, until this past week when the U.S. Ski Team announced the creation of their “National University Team” for alpine ski racing. This new segment of their roster is intended to help develop the talent of collegiate skiers, making them even more prepared for the U.S. Ski Team upon graduation than the High School Hopefuls. Nominated for the team this year are Alex Leever (University of Denver), Brian McLaughlin (Dartmouth College), Garret Driller (Montana State University), Griffin Brown (University of Vermont), Sandy Vietze (University of Vermont), and Tanner Farrow (Westminster College). Congrat boys!
#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:
The most impressive part of this edit probably isn’t the skiing. More likely, it’s the fact that Tim Swartz broke his leg half way through the season, and was still able to put together an edit with so many big lines, big drops, and big (sometimes double) backflips. With an edit this entertaining coming out of a season with low snowfall and a broken leg, you can put us in the group of people who’re excited to see what next year holds for Tim.
Written by Matt McGinnis on 5/22/15