Tag Archives: ski racing

The Mind of a Downhill Racer: Scott Macartney

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Scott Macartney spent 10 years racing World Cup speed events on the US Ski Team. To understand what motivates someone like Scott, you must first understand the mind of a Downhiller. Downhill racers ski in excess of 90 mph, on slopes as steep as 40 degrees, over conditions as slick as an ice-skating rink.

The difference between winning a World Cup Downhill and coming in 20th place is so microthin it can be only .08 of a second.

Scott Macartney laying it out in Val Gardena

Scott Macartney laying it out in Val Gardena

Macartney grew up skiing at the Crystal Mountain, where his parents were members of the volunteer ski patrol.

During his twelve-year tenure on the National Team, he also attended Dartmouth and earned a degree in Economics.

Macartney competed at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City as well as the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. He had two World Cup Podium finishes., one in Super-G in Garmisch, Germany and one in Downhill in Val Gardena, Italy.

On his 30th birthday in 2008, Macartney competed in the Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel, Austria. The second racer on the course, he had an excellent run going until he suffered a spectacular fall just five seconds from the finish line. After descending a high-speed section and reaching a speed of 87.7 mph Macartney was challenging for a top ten finish. At the final jump he was twisted left while airborne and could not recover. During the high-speed crash he impacted hard on his right side; his skis released, as did his protective helmet after a direct impact with the icy course.

Macartney recovered from his injuries and was named to the “A Team” of the U.S. Ski Team for the 2008-09 World Cup season, before he retired in 2010.

Kircher-show-descriptionThe sport of dowhnhill racing requires supreme physical conditioning, razor sharp skis and a willingness to put it all on the line. Scott knows what it takes to stand on a World Cup podium: above all else, it takes absolute confidence. Listen to my interview with Scott Macartney on The Edge Radio this Wednesday April 24th at 8AM Pacific.

Weekly High-Five Report: Lindsay Vonn Wins 50th World Cup Victory

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Lindsey Vonn captured her 50th World Cup title last weekend on the Kandahar course in Garmisch, Germany. Vonn is America’s sweetheart in ski racing, and now she stands in the top slot as the winningest U.S. woman of all time.

I love to see a female skier killing it. And no one kills it like Lindsey. She has become not only a great competitor but also a role model for racers and skiers in general.

This woman can fly.

Way to go Lindsey.

Bravo.

Weekly High-Five Report: World Cup Dreams

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Through the vision of former U.S. Ski Team Members, Bryon Friedman and Erik Schlopy, the World Cup Dreams Foundation was created in 2005 to provide National Alpine Ski Team members with the financial resources needed to help them achieve their ski racing goals and compete at their highest level.

Their mission is “to further the growth and development of the nation’s best skiers by helping them realize their athletic goals and dreams through financial support and disability protection.”

Last week John and I cruised around Lake Washington aboard the Spirit of 76 with World Cup Dreams. Not only did we listen to the great music of co-founder, ski team member and musician Byron Friedman, and hang out with other ski team members including Scott Macartney, we also heard stories about how World Cup Dreams has improved the lives of ski racers.

Ski racing is undoubtedly an expensive sport. Very few World Cup athletes arrive at the starting gate without serious financial backing. In order to race at such a high level, athletes must be committed to training full time. This allows precious little time to hold down a 9 to 5. Even finishing a college degree can be a challenge.

That’s where World Cup Dreams comes in. Not only do they support athletes on their journey to the starting gate, but also help if injury keeps them from getting back into it.

If you haven’t been to their website, go there now. Support them with a donation. These guys deserve it. Or check them out on Facebook.

High-five World Cup Dreams Foundation. Keep being awesome.