Slalom star all ready to take on Turin
On the road to Turin, Olympian Chip Knight decided to make a stop at the site of the last Games. Knight and teammate Erik Schlopy spent the weekend in Park City training on American soil one last time. "We had planned on a local camp on World Cup quality hills. It just seemed like a logical place," Knight said. They were also able to soak up some much needed sun, a luxury not found at most of their competition sites. "Nice to get a little dose of sun. It does a lot for your spirits. It’s dark in Europe and the East Coast," Knight said. A native of Stowe, Vt., Knight, 31, will be heading to his third Games, although he is expecting this time around will be his best. Knight finished 17th in the slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland his highest finish of the season thus far. "I’m trying to have a great races myself," Knight said. "I feel like I’m building up to this one." Knight is also feeling confident about the prospects for his teammates on the U.S. Alpine Olympic team. "We have a lot of medal contenders," Knight said. "The U.S. Ski Team has set the bar pretty high. They want to be the best in the world, but I think it’s attainable." He is expecting big things from alpine standouts Bode Miller, Daron Rahlves and Parkite Ted Ligety as well as others. He left for Turin on Tuesday to take part in the Opening Ceremonies. He missed the last two, and plans to cherish his opportunity. "I’m really excited to be in the Opening Ceremonies," Knight said. Knight’s slalom race will not take place until Feb. 25, so Knight will head to Madesimo, Italy after the opening to continue his training for 10 days leading up to his race. "We do so much racing in the winter, it’s so nice to have time in Park City and Madesimo to train and rest." Knight said. He will use television coverage of the rest of the American alpine team to get pumped up for his race. Knight will also be able to share his Olympic experiences with most of his family, including his mother, wife and a number of siblings. With the bulk of his World Cup competitions in Europe, Knight is excited to have those closest to him present at his biggest competition. "It makes it really special to share the occasion with my family like this," Knight said. And he hopes to share many more Olympic experiences with them. Knight says that he is more ready for these Games than he has ever been in the past, and hopes to improve in the coming years and attend the next Games in Vancouver, Canada. "It’s year to year. We’ll see what happens," Knight said. "There’s nothing physically keeping me from going four years from now." But for now, Knight is totally focused on the task at hand. "For me, I would love to have my best race of the year," Knight said. "It’s just a moving experience to take part in the Olympics," he said. "To meet other athletes that have devoted their life to a sport it’s a feeling of a bond with people who have worked so hard to be where you are at. It’s very unique. I look forward to being there again and will cherish that for the rest of my life."
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The Park City lodging industry in recent weeks experienced an uptick in projected occupancy numbers during the dates of the Sundance Film Festival, but the figures remain depressed from a typical year during the largest special event on the city’s calendar.