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Why is it that all the GOOD racers are EUROPEAN? - Page 2

post #31 of 41
If the USA wanted to dominate in a sport it could, but it needs the backing of our national govenment, and without the politics of trying to please all the heavy duty donation types that give to the US Olympics.

Our Olympic training programs are privately funded, while many countries use their national resources to fund their Olympic Training, and it starts with encourging youngest athletes to train and compete.

In most countries, the economic responsibilites of becoming an Olympian are not born by the families of the athletes as they are in this country, but by the state. With skiing being such an expensive sport, and so time intensive, no wonder the pool of available athletes is often limited and determined by the economic well being of the athletes family.

If a country like Austria was to only count on private donations to fund the training and competitiive activities of their athletes, they would be second rate competitiors.

The Austrians and others have their countries behind them incluidng financial resources. They therefore take if very seriously to the point where the Austrians check the alignment of each of their athletes that compete on regular basis, once a week. Do we do that for our athletes ? Do we keep the politics of the big doners out of the locker room and off the slopes ?

We will never be as good or better if we don't change our sources of funding, training methods, and minimize all the diversions that interfere with maximizing an athletes best performance.

The major exception to this seems to be our athletes on the Hockey and Basketball teams. They already get paid for training and competing and that's why we dominate in basketball, and compete at the same level with Russia, Canada, and the European league hocky teams.

Money makes the difference, and the amount is determised by the sources and incentives of same.
post #32 of 41
Todd: You know darn well that my point was it's all the little things that add up.

If a many of the slots on the college teams are filled by foreign nationals that is a big chunk of the development phase that our racers are being deprived of.

Where do you go after J-1 or J-0 if you still want to race and have a dream?

The whole "other half" of our family is Norwegian so it's not quite a case of "blaming it on those foreigners".
post #33 of 41
Ah yeah - but had to see if there were any Rushbots around to provoke! : Feeling ornery, but its snowing hard so I'll start chilling now! :
post #34 of 41
Many good points raised, but in my opinion some that are open to debate. I believe that there has been very very few cases where a foreign athlete has used the american college ski scene to propel his or her top level ski career. Most all of the foreign skiers currently in colleges in the US are skiers that have not made the big show and have decided to take the opportunity to go to school and to ski. But really wihout expectation of becoming a world class skier after school. For most, it simply not possible to ski enough to get good enough while going to school. I know of a few excepetions, Pavlovich, Bachleda and Albrecht have all done well, but for the most of them they end up with a degree and having had a fun time extending a skiing career. Hedda Berntsen quit Middlebury College when she became competitive and after making it onto the Norwegian team has done very well. She would not have been where she is now if she had stayed in school

Money is a huge factor. Look at the Norwegian men. They had enormous resources pumped into their team in the late eighties and into the mid nineties. The result was a very competitive team over a ten year period, but they do not have many young talents coming up. They have suffered from big cuts in government support and sponsorship. The results will show when after 2002 many of the top men will retire.

Katja Seizinger was mentioned earlier. Obviously she was an enormous talent, but she had huge resourses behind her allowing for the the very best of training required to become the best. The same is true for the Kostelic's, both Janica and Ivica. They have the resources to train and spend time in various places around the world for some 250 days per year with some excellent coaching. By no means do I wish to degrade their talent and dedication, but it comes down to sacrifices and resources.

We have many talented athletes in the US and a lot of choices for sport. Skiing is very very invisible and i believe many talents are pulled to more visible sports.
post #35 of 41
Ok, I admit. I haven't read the whole thread but anyway...
An US skier just won the Val d'Isere GS. Funny, when you talk about it..
BTW: Our young Swedish star Anja Pärsson won the womens slalom in Sestriere!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #36 of 41
Uh! Well ..... MEGA DITTOS to you Todd ... : (barf/gag... how tacky).. and just what is that supposed to mean anyhoo? BTW, Rush L. announced that he is now totally deaf and is reading and responding from a teleprompter. He suffered sudden-onset loss of hearing in September and there is no known cure.

Just remember old saying: Keep your friends close and your enemies.... Keep them even closer!
post #37 of 41
Shhhhhhhhhhush! Quiet down!

Bode Miller may hear you!
post #38 of 41
Just some random thoughts on this subject.it has been stated better then I ever could,For the most part it is all about money.
Yuki, College programs are great.But The US Ski team encourages kids to delay college so they can train and race full time.I know some vary talented racers that have decided not to join the US Ski team becuse it would mean putting college and a career on hold.Again money and a future of these kids is an issue.What does a kid do here in the US after an injury ends his or her race career?Or what do they do after spending 10 years living out of a suitcase most of the year and they come to the end of thier race career? Yes the vary top talent will have a future. But what of the others? In Europe There is a lot better chance for that an ex racer to have a rewarding future.
Park City is Home to the US ski team many families move here to Park City so thier kid can be on The Park City Ski Team and maybe make it to the US ski team.Think about what a committment that familie makes? Moving away from friends and family leaving careers and jobs behind just to give thier child a shot at a sport that here in the US, offers vary little in the way of rewards.
Park City has a Winter Sports School, a High School set up for Winter Sports Athletes.They go to school in the summer and train,race and do school in the winter.A lot of great talent has come out of this program.However I seen some of the best talent drop out of it becuse of the real lack of any meaningful future after a race career.It is a pretty situation for all Winter sports Athletes.It will remain that way untill skiing and other winter sports become as popular as Golf or Tennis.
i golf but for the life of me I can't understand watching a whole round of PGA golf on TV.To me that comes close to watching paint dry. Ok off the soapbox, now the next person in line can jump on.
post #39 of 41
Over the last few years, the Norwegian and Austrians have trained at my local ski area in NZ during their summer. The funding these teams have behind them is incredible. No expense is spared, and they have a huge support crew. Access to ski areas in NZ is via a gravel mountain road. They hire enough cars so they have no more than one team in each vehicle so if there is an accident, they don't lose too many.

In New Zealand there is limited financial assistance, and it only becomes avaialble once you start winning. Amazingly, we did have a New Zealander, Analise Coberger, who was able to make it to the top in the Slalom. Her overall World cup placing was 2nd, she almost got first. She won a silver medal at the Olympics - only Southern Hemisphere person to ever win an Olympic medal at that time. An amazing effort with the lack of support that she got compared to the Norwegians and Austrians.

Money does seem to help!
post #40 of 41
Utah49, at least the figure skaters can look forward to putting on that Big Bird costume after their competitive career is over.
post #41 of 41
Gee I was hoping I could be big bird when I grow up.
Sad news to report my nephew has decided to end his career as The Canyons Ski Resort mascot "Mogul Moose." So there is another job opening for a ski pro.
Ok your right this is way off suject.
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