Hot off the Press...local kid Nick Cohee eyeing a spot on the US Ski Team.
Racer makes his own case for World Cup spot and we are routing for him! #seeyouontheslopes
Read the full article by Madeline Observer from the Aspen Daily News here.
To make it to the opening men’s race of the FIS World Cup alpine ski season, Nick Cohee of El Jebel needed more than fast skis and strong results from the 2014/15 competition season. A little bit of chutzpah probably helped, too.
Cohee, a 27-year-old member of the independent Team Geronimo, which is affiliated with AVSC, made his own case to the head coach of the U.S. Ski Team about why he deserved the chance to compete Oct. 25 on the world stage.
“I had a strong year last season and have become a little more vocal with USST coaches,” Cohee wrote from Soelden, Austria. “I heard they had a spot open for the World Cup opener, so I emailed Sasha Rearick and expressed my interest, telling him I believe I deserve the spot and if he would give me the chance I could prove that I belong at a higher level.”
In addition to a third place in giant slalom at the 2015 U.S. Nationals, Cohee won FIS races in Aspen, Eldora and Winter Park last season.
U.S. Ski Team coach Forest Carey said the team was open to accommodating Cohee’s request.
“Nick Cohee is ranked 54th in the world on the FIS start list and we had an open spot. There was no one on the national team ahead or behind him that we thought was ready to start right now, and he’s earned those FIS points,” Carey wrote in an email.
Cohee is beginning his third year with Team Geronimo and AVSC. A former standout from the University of Utah, he said, “After I graduated, I still felt like I had more left in the tank, so I continued to race rather than apply my (finance) degree.”
While Sunday’s World Cup opener wasn’t the race he’d hoped for – Cohee was a DNF in the first run – he does feel he belongs with this caliber of competition.
“This is the level I believe I am at, so I will continue to work towards getting back here,” he said.
American Ted Ligety won the opening giant slalom in a two-run combined time of 2:23.88. Thomas Fanara of France was second and Ligety’s rival Marcel Hirscher, last season’s overall World Cup winner, was third. Tim Jitloff, 17th, was the only other American to finish in the top 30.
The U.S. Team’s Carey said non-traditional starters like Cohee may get a chance again to compete on the world stage. According to the FIS website, there were more than 30,000 spectators during the opening race weekend. The women’s GS was won by Italian Federica Brignone, followed by Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. and Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein.
“If we have the spots, we’re trying to give even non-Ski Team guys a shot to throw down. It’s these guys’ dream and they’ve worked really hard to get here,” Carey said.
Cohee said a future goal is to get a race start during the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup. That series runs Dec. 1-6 in Beaver Creek.