VAIL, Colo., Nov. 5, 2011 – Mountain Plaza roared Saturday as the 2012 U.S. Alpine Ski Team - including Olympic gold medalists Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) - was introduced during a public celebration drawing a huge crowd to Vail Mountain.
"Every one of us feels amazing support from our hometowns, but the reception the U.S. Ski Team receives in Vail is always something special," said Vonn, who became the first woman in American history to win in all five alpine disciplines with her season opening giant slalom win in Soelden, Austria.
The public celebration - First Tracks presented by Nature Valley - was webcast live on Universal Sports. Universal Sports will carry complete digital and broadcast coverage of the entire Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season. For complete information log on to www.UniversalSports.com.
Fans cheered as Team athletes from all levels, Development to World Cup, took the stage. Many of them hope to return to the Rocky Mountain village for their shot at gold when the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships return to Vail and Beaver Creek in 2015.
"There is an incredible amount of momentum with this team," said U.S. Ski Team Alpine Director Patrick Riml. "We closed the last winter with multiple Audi FIS Alpine World Cup titles and opened 2012 with back-to-back wins by Lindsey and Ted in Soelden. Now it's time to take that momentum and continue to execute."
Vonn, who currently owns more World Cup victories than any American (male or female with 42) will seek to capture her fourth overall World Cup title after missing the notch by three points to German Maria Hoefl-Riesch when the final race of the 2011 season was canceled due to snow conditions.
It will be the 15th World Cup season for Miller, the most decorated U.S. Olympic alpine skier, who says he still has the passion to compete at the highest level and looks to continue to be a positive influence on the development of the sport.
Ligety, the 2011 giant slalom World Champion, showed strong signs of defending his World Cup giant slalom title (his third) with victory in Soelden, but hopes to move his slalom skiing back to the World Cup podium. A resurgence in slalom and continued strength in speed events, particularly super G, may move Ligety closer to a World Cup overall title.
For Mancuso, who won the final downhill of the World Cup season, 2012 is about continuing to stride back towards World Cup title contention after finishing third in both downhill and super G standings and fifth in the overall ranks in 2011.
"Lindsey, Bode, Julia and Ted have their goals and we have a clear plan in helping them to attain those goals," added Riml. "But we have a strong group of young athletes ready for the World Cup podium and we're also looking forward to strong returns from a number of injured athletes."
Olympic bronze medalist Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) is back from a shoulder injury, while World Cup podium finishers Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) and Nolan Kasper (Warren, VT) should both see full seasons.
On the women's side, Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) rejoins an already deep women's speed team that includes Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) and Leanne Smith (North Conway, NH). U.S. speed women won both the downhill and super G standings for the 2011 World Cup season, besting traditional powerhouses like Austria and Switzerland.
World Cup action hits full stride in North America with the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational featuring Vonn and Mancuso on Thanksgiving weekend in Aspen, CO followed by the Audi Birds of Prey races Dec. 2-4 in nearby Beaver Creek where Ligety is the defending giant slalom champion.
Both Aspen and Beaver Creek World Cup events will be air on NBC. For a complete U.S. Ski Team broadcast calendar, go to http://usskiteam.com/tv.
The U.S. Alpine Ski Team will be outfitted by Spyder, who has been the official uniform supplier of competition wear since 1989. To get the gear worn by the U.S. Ski Team, check out http://shop.usskiteam.com.
2012 U.S. Alpine Ski Team Roster
Name, Date of Birth, Hometown, Club (Skis, Boots, Bindings, Poles)
* Denotes Olympian
**Indicates Westminster student
Jimmy Cochran (5/29/81; Keene, NH; Cochran's/Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club, Volkl, Fischer, Marker, Swix)*
Tommy Ford (3/20/89; Bend, OR; Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation, Fischer, Fischer, Fischer, Swix)*
Nolan Kasper (3/27/89; Warren, VT; Burke Mountain Academy, Rossignol, Lange, Rossignol, Swix)*
TJ Lanning (8/27/84; Park City, UT; Park City Ski Team, Head, Head, Head, Swix)**
Ted Ligety (8/31/84; Park City, UT; Park City Ski Team, Head, Head, Head, Komperdell)*
Bode Miller (10/12/77; Franconia, NH; Carrabassett Valley Academy/Franconia Ski Club, Head, Head, Head, Leki)*
Steven Nyman (2/12/82; Provo, UT; Park City Ski Team/Sundance, Fischer, Fischer, Fischer, Komperdell)*
Marco Sullivan (4/27/80; Squaw Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team, Rossignol, Lange, Rossignol, Swix)*
Andrew Weibrecht (2/10/86; Lake Placid, NY; New York Ski Education Foundation, Rossignol, Rossignol, Rossignol, Swix)*
Stacey Cook (7/3/84; Mammoth, CA; Mammoth Mountain Ski Team, Rossignol, Rossignol, Rossignol, Komperdell)*
Julia Mancuso (9/9/84; Olympic Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team, Volkl, Lange, Marker, Swix)*
Alice McKennis (8/19/89; Glenwood Springs, CO; Rowmark Ski Academy, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic)* **
Laurenne Ross (8/17/88; Klamath Falls, OR; Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic, Leki)
Sarah Schleper (2/19/79; Vail, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Rossignol, Lange, Rossignol, Leki)*
Leanne Smith (5/28/87; Conway, NH; Mt. Washington Valley Ski Team, Rossignol, Lange, Rossignol, Swix)*
Lindsey Vonn (10/18/84; Vail, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail/Buck Hill Ski Team, Head, Head, Head, Leki)*
Thomas Biesemeyer (1/30/89; Keene, NY; New York Ski Education Foundation, Rossignol, Rossignol, Rossignol, Swix)
Will Brandenburg (1/1/87; Spokane, WA; Schweitzer Alpine Racing, Fischer, Fischer, Fischer, Swix)*
David Chodounksy (6/25/84; Crested Butte, CO; Crested Butte Ski Team, Nordica, Nordica, Swix)
Ryan Cochran-Siegle (3/27/92; Starksboro, VT; Mt Mansfield Ski Club, Rossignol, Rossignol, Rossignol, Komperdell)
Erik Fisher (3/21/85; Middleton, ID; Bogus Basin, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic, Komperdell)*
Travis Ganong (7/14/88; Squaw Valley; Squaw Valley Ski Team, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic, Leki)
Colby Granstrom (9/21/90; Lake Stevens, WA; Mission Ridge Ski Education Foundation, Fischer, Fischer, Fischer,Swix)**
Will Gregorak (9/30/90; Longmont, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Rossignol, Rossignol, Rossignol, Leki)
Tim Jitloff (1/11/85; Reno, NV; Park City Ski Team, Fischer, Fischer, Fischer, Leki)*
Wiley Maple (5/25/90; Aspen, CO; Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic, Komperdell)
Hailey Duke (9/17/85; Boise, ID; Park City Ski Education Foundation/McCall Ski Team, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic, Swix)* **
Chelsea Marshall (8/14/86; Pittsfield, VT; Green Mountain Valley School, Head, Head, Head, Swix)* **
Megan McJames (9/24/87; Park City, UT; Park City Ski Education Foundation, Fischer, Fischer, Fischer, Swix)* **
Mikaela Shiffrin (3/13/95; Avon, CO; Burke Mountain Academy/ Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic, Leki)
Kiley Staples (2/2/89; Park City, UT; Rowmark Ski Academy, Head, Head, Head, Head, Head, Swix)
Resi Stiegler (11/14/85; Jackson Hole, WY; Park City Ski Team/Jackson Hole, Rossignol, Lange, Rossignol, Leki)*
Michael Ankeny (1/17/91; Deephaven, MN; Buck Hill Ski Team, Fischer, Fischer, Fischer, Leki)
Nick Daniels (4/5/91; Tahoe City, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic, Leki)
Mark Engel (10/1/91; Truckee, CA; Sugar Bowl Ski Team, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic, Komperdell)
Jared Goldberg (6/17/91; Holladay, UT; Team Flow, Head, Head, Head, Leki)**
Robby Kelley (5/26/90; Starksboro, VT; Cochran's Ski Club / Mt Mansfield Ski Club, Head, Head, Head, Komperdell)
Keith Moffat (2/3/91; Berkeley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic, Leki)
Brennan Rubie (4/8/91; Salt Lake City, UT; Snowbird Ski Team, Nordica, Nordica, Swix)**
Seppi Stiegler (11/28/88; Wilson, WY; Jackson Hole Ski Club, Rossignol, Lange, Rossignol, Leki)
Ace Tarberry (2/4/88; North Conway, NH; MWVST-Mount Washington Valley Ski Team, Rossignol, Rossignol, Rossignol, Swix)
Julia Ford (03/30/1990; Plymouth, NH; Holderness Ski Team, Atomic, Atomic, Atomic, Leki)**
Brooke Wales (08/28/1990; Sammamish, WA; Mission Ridge Ski Education Foundation, Rossignol, Lange, Rossignol, Swix)**
Bryce Bennett (7/14/92; Olympic Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)
Kieffer Christianson (8/11/92; Anchorage, AK; Burke Mountain Academy)
Robert Cone (1/12/92; Killington, VT; Middlebury College)
Tanner Farrow (5/21/93; Ketchum, ID; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation)
Nicholas Krause (5/12/93; Northboro, MA; Stratton Mountain School)
Brian McLaughlin (6/24/93; Topsfield, MA; Green Mountain Valley School)
Scott Snow (7/8/93; Sagle, ID; Independence Racing)
Matthew Strand (5/14/93; Lakeville, MN; Buck Hill Ski Team)
Abigail Ghent (9/25/92; Edwards, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)
Libby Gibson (12/15/94; Jamaica, VT; Stratton Mountain School)
Katharine Irwin (6/5/94; Vail, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)
Lila Lapanja (12/3/94; Incline Village, NV; Sugar Bowl Academy/Diamond Peak)
Brittany Lathrop (3/20/95; S. Londonerry, VT; Stratton Mountain School)
Anna Marno (11/23/92; Steamboat Springs, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Paula Moltzan (4/7/94; Lakeville, MN; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)
Foreste Peterson (9/9/93; Berkeley, CA; Sugar Bowl Academy)
Katie Ryan (1/3/93; Aspen, CO; Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard)
Sydney Staples (2/16/93; Park City, UT; Park City Ski Team)
Official Alpine Equipment Suppliers
U.S. Ski Team
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, and the Heavenly Ski Resort and Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort property and hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States and in the Caribbean. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.