Led by Olympic champions Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, 23 athletes will represent Team USA at the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, slated for Feb. 6-19, 2017, in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Shiffrin already has become the first woman to bookend Olympic slalom gold with two world championship titles. Skiing at her third worlds a month before her 23rd birthday, a win not only would make her the first woman to claim three consecutive slalom world championships since the event went to a two-year cycle in 1948, it also would make her the only woman in history to record four straight major slalom titles.
Returning to form after more than a year away due to injury, three-time Olympian Vonn heads to her seventh world championships at a venue that has been good to her. Nine of her 127 world cup podiums have come in St. Moritz, including four of her 77 victories – two in super-G and one each in downhill and super combined. The two-time world champion has six world championships medals to her credit.
The women’s team is long on experience, with seven competing at worlds for at least the third time; five have been to at least two Olympics. Veteran Julia Mancuso is one of two women’s team members (along with Resi Stiegler) to ski in her eighth world championships. The four-time Olympian owns four Olympic medals – the most by any U.S. female alpine skier – and has two worlds silvers and three bronzes to her credit.
For the men, the story may be more about who is not competing at worlds. Injuries to reigning world and Olympic giant slalom champion Ted Ligety and time-Olympic downhiller Steven Nyman deprived Team USA of two of its top racers. A five-time world champion, Ligety saw his bid to become the first man to win four consecutive world skiing titles come to an end. With the much-discussed return of four-time world champion Bode Miller sidetracked by contract issues, a less experienced men’s team will have to scrap for podium finishes.
Six Olympians dot the men’s team roster, and 10 have world championship experience, led by Tim Jitloff at now six and three (David Chodounsky, Travis Ganong and Andrew Weibrecht) with four apiece. The best bet for an American men’s podium may be Ganong in downhill. After taking silver at the 2015 Vail/Beaver Creek worlds, the 2014 Olympian is fresh off a win at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and carries five top-10 world cup finishes into St. Moritz, where his best showing was a sixth in world cup downhill last March. Two-time Olympian Weibrecht adds depth in super-G, where he has two Olympic medals and two career world cup podiums, most recently a second last January in Kitzbuehel, Austria.
2017 U.S. Alpine Skiing World Championships Team