Struggling on Turin’s slopes |

Struggling on Turin’s slopes

The U.S. Ski Team’s "Best in the World" battle cry has been reduced to a whimper in the Turin Olympics thus far and sadly, some Parkites have been part of the fall.

Men’s combined gold medal winner Ted Ligety was unable to find the same magic in the giant slalom on Monday after skiing out in the first run. All eyes will be back on Ligety when he skis his signature race, the slalom, in Sestriere on Saturday, Feb. 25.

"I think he’s (Ligety) obviously shown the world he can ski some really fast slalom, so it should be an exciting event," said U.S. Ski Team alpine director Jesse Hunt.

Eric Schlopy also competed in the Monday’s giant slalom but finished 13th, seven places behind Bode Miller, who was the highest placing American in sixth.

On the women’s side, Lindsey Kildow endured yet another crash in Friday’s downhill portion of the ladies combined event, eliminating her from the race. Other Park city residents, Julia Mancuso and Resi Stiegler finished 9th and 11th, respectively. In Monday’s Super G, Kildow made a strong comeback with the highest U.S. Fish in 7th, Mancuso finished 11th.

In the women’s 4x5K relay on Saturday, Park City’s Wagner, along with teammates Kikkan Randall, Sarah Konrad and Rebecca Dussault were only able to muster a 14th place finish.

The next day, the Park City contingent of Kris Freeman, Lars Flora, Andrew Johnson and Carl Swenson bettered the women by two places, finishing 12th in their own 4x5K relay.

The American ski jumpers also ran into a bit of trouble on Monday in the final competition of their disciple, the team event, where they placed 14th among a field of 16 countries. Jumping on the large hill in Pragelato, Tommy Schwall (60.7 first round points, Steamboat Springs, Colo.), Parkite Anders Johnson (50.3), a first-time Olympian and youngest Nordic jumper, Clint Jones (82.2, Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Alan Alborn (93.6, Anchorage, Alaska) finish with 286.8 combined points.

The top eight teams advanced, shutting the Americans out. The gold eventually went to the Austrians with 984 points, followed by Finland with 976.6 points and medal-count leading Norway with bronze with 950.1 points.

In men’s freestyle, only Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (Boise, Idaho) advanced to Thursday’s final round. Park City’s own silver medallist, Joe Pack, endured a crash in the qualifying event that sent him down to 15th place and out of the finals

All is not lost, though. With a few days and a few events left, the Park City contingent can still leave a significant mark

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