Skiing: The Amazing Three-Week Dynasty

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Outside magazine, March 1995

Skiing: The Amazing Three-Week Dynasty
By Todd Balf (with Jim Kelly, Martin Dugard, and Alison Osius)

Olympic glory hasn't always done wonders for the U.S. Ski Team. After Bill Johnson won downhill gold in '84, the program more or less went into the tank for the rest of the decade. But if the opening World Cup events last December are any indication, the hullabaloo caused by Tommy Moe and Picabo Street at the Lillehammer Olympics may be the start, and not the finish, of good things. On the North American World Cup leg, at stops in Vail and Lake Louise, British Columbia, Hilary Lindh and Street combined to win three consecutive downhill races, a first for U.S. skiing. They even cheered each other on (the U.S. speed queens aren't always convivial). Meanwhile, Moe silenced any one-hit-wonder talk by finishing second in the super G in Tignes, France, the first speed event of the season. It doesn't stop there. Even nordic-combined nobodies "Flyin'" Ryan Heckman and Todd Lodwick visited the podium in the season's opening World Cup races. Their third-place finish in the sprint relay at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was the first World Cup medal ever for U.S. nordic-combined athletes.

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