Cover image for The fall line : how American ski racers conquered a sport on the edge
Title:
The fall line : how American ski racers conquered a sport on the edge
Author:
Vinton, Nathaniel, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : W.W. Norton & Company, [2015]
Physical Description:
384 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary:
"Harnessing nature's most powerful forces, elite downhillers descend icy, rugged slopes at speeds cresting 90 miles per hour. For decades, American skiers struggled to match their European counterparts, and until this century the US Ski Team could not claim a lasting foothold on the roof of the Alps, where the sports legends are born. Then came a fledgling class of American racers that disrupted the Alpine racing world order. Led by Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety, this band of iconoclasts made a place for their country on some of the world's most prestigious race courses"--Dust jacket flap.
Language:
English
Contents:
The fall line -- One year out (March-April 2009) -- Training days (May-October 2009) -- The white circus : the 2009-10 World Cup (October 2009-February 2010) -- Gold rush : the 2010 Winter Olympics (February 2010).
ISBN:
9780393244779
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Harnessing nature's most powerful forces, elite downhillers descend icy, rugged slopes at speeds cresting 90 miles per hour. For decades, American skiers struggled to match their European counterparts, and until this century the US Ski Team could not claim a lasting foothold on the roof of the Alps, where the sport's legends are born.

Then came a fledgling class of American racers that disrupted the Alpine racing world order. Led by Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety, this band of iconoclasts made a place for their country on some of the world's most prestigious race courses. Even as new technology amplified the sport's inherent danger, the US Ski Team learned how to win, and they changed downhill racing forever.

The Fall Line is the story of how it all came together, a deeply reported reconstruction of ski racing's most dramatic season. Drawing on more than a decade of research and candid interviews with some of the sport's most elusive figures, award-winning journalist Nathaniel Vinton reveals the untold story of how skiers like Vonn and Miller, and their peers and rivals, fought for supremacy at the Olympic Winter Games.

Here is an authoritative portrait of a group of men and women taking mortal risks in a bid for sporting glory. A white-knuckled tour through skiing's deep traditions and least-accessible locales, The Fall Line opens up the sexy, high-stakes world of downhill skiing--its career-ending crashes, million-dollar sponsorship deals, international intrigue, and showdowns with nature itself.

With views from the starting gate, the finish line, and treacherous turns in between, The Fall Line delivers the adrenaline of one of the world's most beautiful and perilous sports alongside a panoramic view of skiing's past, present, and future.


Author Notes

Nathaniel Vinton is a writer who covered sports for the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and many other publications. While an investigative reporter at the New York Daily News, he coauthored American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime. A lifelong student of ski racing, he lives in New York with his wife and their children.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

New York Daily News sports reporter Vinton (American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime, 2009) now chronicles the 2009 Alpine World Cup ski season, which led up to an exceptional American team performance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Set against the backdrop of spectacular mountains, Vinton's account combines history, biography, corporate politics, and environmental issues into a compelling narrative detailing the past and present of Alpine ski racing. While the book centers on Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, who try to rebound from their dismal performances at the 2006 Olympics, Vinton incorporates the stories of dozens of skiers as they fling themselves down mountains at more than 90 miles per hour. As the season progresses, Vinton adds rich historical context to each race venue, documenting course changes and rule revisions, while profiling past skiing greats, including Austrians Franz Klammer and Hermann Maier. The subtitle is a bit of a misnomer as this is not simply a story of American skiers but, instead, a primer on the history and current state of Alpine skiing.--Clark, Craig Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Vinton (American Icon) takes readers deep inside the sport of downhill racing by focusing on Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller in the year leading up to the U.S. ski team's historic performance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Along the way Vinton provides a solid history of the sport. Vonn is depicted as a careerist, a media figure willing to do whatever it takes to become a successful skier; Miller, an iconoclast, is more ambivalent about the trappings of fame. He loves skiing, and he clearly welcomes the race and sponsorship money, but his relationship with the media varies from nonexistent to tense. The contrasts between the two athletes are fascinating, and Vinton, a former ski coach, ably focuses on the essential details and stories in a style reminiscent of David Halberstam. This is an intriguing book that will be devoured by fans as well as those who don't know a slalom from a super G. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

New York Daily News reporter Vinton (coauthor, American Icon) chronicles the U.S. ski team over the last decade, with particular focus on the freewheeling alpine skier Bode Miller and the polished alpine skier Lindsey Vonn. Vinton writes for the skiing novice as well as the avid fan, including details on how the sport is changing, the effect of terrain on a race, the fickleness of a strong run, and the solipsistic nature of competitive skiing. The book does not dwell on any subject in particular, and Vinton deftly moves from topic to topic with grace and ease, giving brief snapshots of most of the major players in American skiing, noting Vonn and Miller's greatest victories and competitors during their careers. The author describes Vonn as a highly professional, motivated athlete who learned her poise and professionalism from the likes of Picabo Street, whilst he pays tribute to the somewhat controversial and rebellious style of Bode Miller, along with the poor impressions he has given to the media in recent years. VERDICT A complicated, yet captivating picture of a somewhat fringe American sport that will interest outdoor enthusiasts.-Valerie Hamra, Brooklyn (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Forewordp. 11
Introduction: The Fall Linep. 19
Part 1 One Year Out (March-April 2009)
Chapter 1 Crossroadsp. 35
Chapter 2 The Showcase Athletep. 50
Chapter 3 The Crash Pilotp. 63
Chapter 4 An American Dynastyp. 80
Chapter 5 Live Free or Diep. 95
Chapter 6 The Blueprint ID!
Chapter 7 The Cruelest Monthp. 117
Part 2 Training Days (May-October 2009)
Chapter 8 Taking Wingp. 133
Chapter 9 Working the Anglesp. 143
Chapter 10 Coming in from the Coldp. 151
Chapter 11 Back to Work IBS
Part 3 The White Circus: The 2009-10 World Cup (October 2009-Febniary 2010)
Chapter 12 A New Beginningp. 179
Chapter 13 Pure Speedp. 189
Chapter 14 Rivalsp. 200
Chapter 15 Almost Famousp. 209
Chapter 16 Blood and Gutsp. 222
Chapter 17 Coming and Goingp. 240
Chapter 18 The Hills Are Alivep. 246
Chapter 19 Ehersoluhlep. 256
Chapter 20 Varieties of Religious Experiencep. 263
Chapter 21 The Final Schussp. 275
Part 4 Gold Rush: The 2010 Winter Olymics (February 2010)
Chapter 22 Faster, Higher, Wetterp. 289
Chapter 23 The Waiting Gamep. 304
Chapter 24 The Medal Tablep. 320
Chapter 25 Road to Sochip. 356
Acknowledgmentsp. 365
Note on Sourcesp. 369
Indexp. 375