Puckett, Kostner set to defend titles in Vail

By Real Aspen
Real AspenMarch 23, 2011
In the 28-year history of the Korbel American Ski Classic, it has only been done twice … and both by women ski racers.

Not since Vail’s Cindy Nelson won back-to-back Volvo Legends Giant Slalom titles in 1989 and 1990 has a Legends’ racer been able to defend his or her Giant Slalom crown the following season. Prior to Nelson, it was former U.S. Ski Team member Joan Hannah who turned the trick in 1985 and 1986.

When some of the greatest names in ski racing history descend on Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak Thursday afternoon for the 2011 Volvo Legends Giant Slalom, both 2010 champions, American Casey Puckett and Italy’s Isolde Kostner, will be on hand to try and join the exclusive “Repeat Club.”

“Becoming a champion of the Volvo Legends Giant Slalom requires a mix of both skill and luck,” said Michael Imhof, vice president of sales and operations for the Vail Valley Foundation, organizers of the annual event.

“While you might think that younger racers like Casey and Isolde would have an obvious advantage being more recently involved in world class international competition, our unique handicapping system ensures that all of our legends have a level playing field. Winning the Volvo Legends requires that you not only break out the GS suit and race skis, but that you also leave nothing in the start gate.”

Aspen area resident Casey Puckett and Isolde Kostner are back to defend their Legends titles at the Korbel American Ski Classic in Vail on Thursday.

A year ago, Puckett, a rookie Legend at the Korbel American Ski Classic and fresh off his Vancouver Olympic skier cross competition, knocked off former U.S. Ski Team star Steve Mahre in the finals to claim the victory, while Kostner, the 2009 Korbel Ford Cup celebrity team captain, took out American Pam Fletcher in the gold medal pairing to notch the win.

Puckett, who resides in Old Snowmass near Aspen, brings five years of World Cup experience to this year’s Volvo Legends Giant Slalom, along with a pair of Winter X Games gold medals in Skier X, while Kostner owns 15 career World Cup victories, as well as three Olympic medals and a trio of World Championships medals.

However, the path to another Legends title for either competitor will not be a walk in the park. The men’s field will include the likes of Austria’s Franz Klammer, American stars Phil and Steve Mahre and Puckett’s former teammate, Daron Rahlves.

On the ladies’ side of the bracket, Kostner will need to find a way to deal with Americans Pam Fletcher and Hilary Lindh, Canada’s Karen Stemmle, Germany’s Marina Kiehl and Swedish ace Ylva Nowen.

The Volvo Legends Giant Slalom will get under way at 1 p.m., Thursday at Golden Peak with handicapping, while qualification runs are on tap for 4:30 p.m. Bracket rounds for both men and women are set for a 5 p.m. start, while the Volvo Legends Giant Slalom finals are slated for 6 p.m.

In addition to the racing action, the Golden Peak Stadium will also be the site of the Bud Light Street Beat free concert, featuring the soulful funk sounds of Robert Randolph & the Family Band. The free performance is scheduled to get underway at 6:30 p.m., immediately following the Volvo Legends Giant Slalom award ceremonies.

The 2011 Korbel American Ski Classic is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on the Ski Classic or the Foundation, check out www.vvf.org.


comments: 0 Comments on "Puckett, Kostner set to defend titles in Vail"

Be the first to comment below.

COMMENT
Comment Form Info  Comment Information
Real Aspen encourages you to post comments on our articles and blogs. Logged in email is required for monitoring purposes. Your email will not be published and will not be distributed to any third-party. Abusive, obscene, profane, threatening, libelous or defamatory comments are prohibited. By posting a comment, you agree to this policy and our terms of use. To report an abusive posting, please contact us.

To make a comment, please log in or create an account. This helps us prevent spam and other malicious attacks.

Please log in to comment

 

Create a user account to comment

Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
More Weather Reports
VIDEO GALLERY
A teaser to the Winter X Games in Aspen
Methane from Bill Koch's coal mine powers Aspen Skiing Company
'Circle of Corduroy'