Skiing at the World Criterium Races

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Hi, I'm Brad! I love the great outdoors and enjoy skiing. This blog is inspired by some of my many life experiences and world travels. I have a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis and work to find solutions to some of the world's challenging energy and environmental problems. In 2011, I went back into competitive snow ski racing and won the USSA National Speed Series (Downhill and Super G) title for my class (M5). It was an amazing and fun year of skiing. I also enjoy being around all kinds of animals from horses to dogs and love to spend time at Tahoe, my little farm near Cool or traveling somewhere new around the world. I have been to Nepal and seen Mount Everest, to Alaska's Denali, the Matterhorn in Switzerland and even Maroon Bells near Aspen, CO. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my website.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tribute to World Cup Ski Racer - Steven Nyman

This is a small tribute to Steven Nyman, an Olympian and member of the US Alpine Ski Team.  Steven became the first American to win the famed Saslong downhill in Val Gardena in 2006.  Steven has now won the downhill in Val Gardena three times (2006, 2012 and 2014).  I had the chance to meet Steven and do some cycling with him back in June of 2011.  I was impressed with his cycling strength and endurance.  Anyway, a very short tribute to acknowledge the admiration of a great World Cup Downhill Champion.

Photo Credit:  US Ski Team

The Saslong course is considered one of the five "classic" men's downhill races, along with Garmisch-Partenkirchen's Kandahar (GER), Kitzbühel's Hahnenkamm (AUT), Wengen's Lauberhorn (SUI), and Val d'Isere's Criterium (FRA).  It is well known for the "Camel Humps” a series of three jumps which racers must negotiate in quick succession with speed.

 Photo Credit:  US Ski Team

Val Gardena King
By Bradley Meister

It hangs under the Saslong
Like an ice covered swing
This wild ride sensation
Flowing like a downhill racers dream

It is one of the five classics
In the World Cup Downhill racing thing
And if you can win it you become
The Val Gardena King

You might be in sunshine
You might be in shadows
The big rock sets the tempo
On where your skis can sing

An extra left foot push at the start
Can get him on his way
As he sets up for a speed run
Diving in, right away

He rounds the second turn
And is already flying on his way
Afterburner engaged
This is going to be Nyman’s day

Post air he’s in compression
Then a long right footer carries him farther down
An uphill compression, then pop
It’s woopty time

As he flies over the Mauers jumps
Heading straight down the hill
He’ll carry lots of speed
To where it all goes down

Just before he soars
The crowd yells “Steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeven” pretty loud
Then he launches into thin air
It’s a wonder he came down

He soars 60 plus meters on the camels
It’s exhilarating to watch
The crowd gets a big thrill
To watch Utah’s Steven Nyman
Letting it go and throwing it down

Now it’s almost time to think about Ciaslat
The technical part of the course
With turns, bumps and ripples
You better be on it to hit the mark

So exiting the camels
He's coming in with extra heat
He’s really on the edge
Now watch him work his feet

In the Ciaslat he’s pulled off that magic
That only Nyman can do
He may be near the backseat
But his skis are still tracking true

Yes…he’s in the zone
It’s game on all the way
He feels the need for speed
So he puts the hammer down

He’s in the final schuss
Momentum screaming past
Over the tunnel jump
It's history in the making
With one last passing flash

He crosses the finish line
The time clock now shows green
It’s number one next to Nyman
Yes…he’s got the lead

The crowd makes a big noise
He hardly feels the cold
And celebrates on top the podium
With another World Cup Downhill Gold

And now you know the story
Of the first American racer
Who laid it down
Under the mighty Saslong
In Italy's famous ski racing town

He’s known as Steven Nyman
A speed specialist on the Team
But when we think about these victories
He becomes the… Val Gardena King

Good luck Steven as we get into the 2014 Olympic season!

Note:  Some ideas for this tribute taken from Steven's Youtube video describing the famed Val Gardena Downhill course.

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