We spent Feb. 11-15 at the World Championships in Beaver Creek and it was phenomenal. Seeing Ted and Mikeala win in front of huge crowds was amazing. So was the women's GS--Anna Fenninger BLEW everyone away. It was an absolutely exceptional race on her part.
Here are various photos, usually from the stands, though we spent run 2 of the men's GS on the side.
Men's GS run 2
Austrians, lederhosen. The European fans in general were a blast. We met a lot of fun people from all over the country and the world.
Medal ceremony at Vail
My all time favorite Didier Cuche, doing an interview for Eurosport
The organizers did an amazing job of logistics, busing people up from the parking lots to the village then up to the stadium. The road up to Redtail was a muddy rutted mess and the buses had to wear chains to get up it, and still some spun their wheels. The crowds were great, bigger than expected, especially for Saturday's women's slalom. Seeing the tech races ended up taking the whole day, since run 1 was at 10:15 (but we were there by 9, which meant leaving Avon on the 8:19 bus), then we bused down to the village for lunch (Golden Eagle every day), then bused back up for the 2:15 second run. Then there were medal ceremonies and a bib draw for the next day's race in Vail at 6:30.
We liked to sit on the side that had a good view of the finishers area, where coaches and racers congregated after their runs. There was lots of drama to watch. Tina Maze practically collapsing after her runs, looking physically and emotionally exhausted. She was so disappointed not to medal in tech. Tiger Woods (unsuccessfully) trying to be incognito. Michelle Gisin sitting down on the snow, putting her head between her knees and sobbing after she skied out while everyone bustled around and pretended not to notice.
One of my favorite things about attending races (I've been to the Birds of Prey as well) is how close you get to everybody. We skied on an off day and racers were everywhere on the mountain. It was very easy to be close as they finished course inspection, or finished a race. During the bib draw for the women's slalom the ladies seemed to all wander down into the crowd after they got their bibs. Some of the more obscure teams (Haiti!) were a big hit when they were out and about wearing their team jackets.
The NY Times reported that the event was such a success, and that the Europeans were so impressed by our media coverage (apparently we did some cool stuff with the cameras, like the camera on a zip line overhead) tv ratings and the crowds (200k came), that it sounds like the championships will be back. And I will definitely go again.