The speed event at Lake Louise, Canada, has been given the green light by the International Ski & Snowboard Federation (FIS) ‘snow control’ last week. Training for the event has started this week and athletes have been in Lake Louise for the last couple of days. After the cancellation of the Men’s speed event in Zermatt due to lack of snow on the lower last 1,000 ft of the course, the men are keen to battle it out in Canada next weekend.
On Friday, November 25, 2022, Lake Louise will host the FIS Alpine World Cup in Downhill, and on Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th the Super-G events. The first timed training runs were completed yesterday. The field consists of 82 international male downhill skiers, but more than half of the athletes come from just four countries: Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy, who are all sending more than ten skiers. Team USA has eight skiers at the starting gate.
Who to look for:
Last year’s downhill event at Lake Louise was dominated by the Austrians, with Olympic Bronze medallist Matthias Mayer winning the race and team member Vincent Kriechmayr coming in second. The Austrian team is 11 men strong as this is a discipline the Austrians typically excel in. Matthias Mayer and Vincent Kriechmayer are both possible candidates for a podium position. The eternal feud between Switzerland and Austria means the Swiss will be the other country to watch. The Swiss will have a 13-man strong team at the start. Swiss downhill experts to watch are 2022 Olympic Gold medallist Beat Feuz, who is probably one of the greatest ever men’s downhill athletes with 47 downhill podiums. Feuz came third at Lake Louise last year and is a hot contender for the podium this week, as is his team colleague Marco Odermatt, who at only 25 years has a lot of potential, but also Switzerland’s Niels Hintermann who is also a top-10 World Cup downhill skiers.
Following Mikaela Shiffrin’s great cup start, all eyes will naturally be on her boyfriend, Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who is the no. 1 ranked downhill skier at the moment. After a serious knee injury in 2021, Kilde is raring to go after a long rehab from which he came back fitter than ever. The Norwegian finished inside the top 10 in 16 of his last 18 speed races and appears to also mentally be in the right state of mind. In an interview with FIS, he remarked recently “It’s easy to stand at the start and enjoy the life of a skier because it’s flipping awesome.”
Other skiers to watch include France’s Johan Clarey who won Olympic Silver in Beijing and who at 41 years is the oldest man to podium in a World Cup in January at Kitzbühel this year and Italy’s Dominik Paris who has been a strong downhill skier on the World Cup circuit for a decade and reliably wins World Cup podiums.
North American downhill experts to watch are Canadian James Crawford, who put down the fastest time on the timed training run yesterday, and Team USA starters Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Bryce Bennett, and Travis Ganong. The US has a total of eight skiers with Erik Arvidsson, Jared Goldberg, Sam Morse, Kyle Negomir, and Steven Nyman completing the speed team. Canada has a total of seven skiers on their team, with Kyle Alexander, Sam Mulligan, Trevor Philip, Jeffrey Read, Brodie Seger, and Broderick Thompson rounding out the team.
Tune in to watch the fastest men this week. Find information on how to watch on the US Ski & Snowboard Team Website.