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Shelley Osterloh ReportingOlympic Silver Medalist Bode Miller overcame tough conditions today to win the Giant Slalom at America's Opening World Cup. It was the first victory for an American man in a World Cup ski event in the United States since 1984.
But there was a set back for the American team today. Park City hometown favorite Erik Schlopy was leading in the first run when he injured his knee and crashed.
Despite bitterly cold temperatures a good crowd packed the Eagle Race Arena at Park City Mountain Resort for the America's Opening World Cup. The changing conditions-- flat light, sometimes blowing snow-- made ski racing a real challenge, even for the world's best technical alpine skiers.
Bode Miller, World Cup Winner: "Just really difficult snow conditions, not being able to see the ground, really a pretty big disadvantage. I was hoping for the sun to come out break through for me. It just didn't come through."
But it didn't seem to slow Bode Miller. He finished the two runs with a combined time of two minutes --- fast enough to win the World Cup and end what he called an "embarrassing" victory drought by American men in World Cup races on American soil.
But the nasty conditions caused Miller's teammate, Erik Schlopy to inure his knee on the first run; doctors suspect it’s an ACL injury.
Bode Miller: "With Erik going out here today, he and I had some aspirations for double podium. Again today, I think he was going for it. It was just nice to feel that I did what I could. I put down two solid runs and I took the risk and I smacked the crap out of the gate that took him out there that second run. I got it back for him a little bit."
American Dane Spencer managed to overcome a little bauble to finish 13th -- his best World Cup showing.
Dane Spencer, USA Skier: "Our team is really strong in all the events. And I think we'll just keep moving forward and have a great year."
Bode Miller is off to a good start, winning his second straight World Cup giant slalom. Austrians took 2nd and 3rd -- Andreas Schifferer and Hans Knauss.
World Cup racing continues tomorrow in the Slalom. First run of the World Cup Slalom starts at 10 tomorrow; second run is at 1:00 with half time entertainment in between.