Hot Sheet: Bad boy racers, La Niña two, ski team summit & more

Canadian racer Manny Osborne-Paradis is in the hospital with buttocks bruises after falling off a party bus. Bode Miller is talking about speed guns, distance markers and giving back to the sport. And SIA reports that La Niña might be ready to double up.

Canadian alpine team member and World Cup downhill star Manuel Osborne-Paradis is in the hospital with “severe road rash to his buttocks,” after becoming intoxicated and falling off “a party bus,” in Calgary according to the Calgary Herald. The Herald reports that the 27-year-old skier climbed on the back of a moving bus just after midnight on July 15, 2011, at which point he lost his balance and fell, and was dragged 80 meters (more than 260 feet!) when his belt got caught on the trailer hitch. Alpine Canada is reportedly considering disciplinary action against the racer once his buttocks heals up. 

Meanwhile, five-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller is continuing to shed the bad boy crown that he used to own. The U.S. ski star, who will be traveling to New Zealand to start training for his 15th World Cup season in August, told the Associated Press that he is at a point in his life where he is interested in improving ski racing for the sake of everyone. “At some point you accept responsibility for your sport and try to help people in the future, try to make it better than when you came into it,” Miller said.

Miller talked Wednesday at the annual summit of U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association sponsors and suppliers, and said one idea to help the public better understand the thrill of skiing, would be to install more speed guns on the slopes, as well as “jump markers” for distance in the air–both at World Cup races, and around resorts. He also suggested helping recreational skiers try their hand at the icy steeps of the Birds of Prey downhill run at Beaver Creek. “I’ll ski behind them and hold them back (using a harness),” Miller said. “Or if they’re a (good) skier, let them run the thing full speed if they want to sign the waiver.” 

USSA Partner Summit Awards

The 2011 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Partner Summit, where Miller spoke, took place July 20, 2011, in Park City, with nearly 150 partners and suppliers in attendance. The USSA used the summit as an opportunity to honor many of those partners with special awards. 

“We’re fortunate to have some of the most recognizable and respected brands in the world as USSA partners,” Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Andrew Judelson said in announcing the winners. “Having them join our athletes and staff at the Center of Excellence each year leads to the innovation that continues to grow strong, successful partnerships and drive business results.” The USSA recognized six of its standout partners who showed new and innovative best practices.

* Best Multi-Platform Integration – Nature Valley

* Innovating Licensing Program – Huge Sportswear

* Rookie of the Year – Putnam Investments

* Best Integration of Athletes – Sprint

* Event Innovation – Canyons

* Best Supplier Partnership – Head

SIA Posts that La Niña could go for two in a row

SnowSports Industries America got first tracks on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather forecast for this coming winter, noting that it could include another La Niña event. The 2010/11 season was record breaking in sales, participation, and snowfall because of La Niña, and SIA’s post notes that, “Forecasts from a majority of the ENSO models indicate ENSO-neutral will continue into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011. However, over the last couple of weeks, forecasts created by the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS) have begun to indicate the re-emergence of La Niña during Northern Hemisphere fall 2011. Combined with the recent weakening of the positive subsurface ocean anomalies and the lingering La Niña state of the atmosphere, the possibility of a return to La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011 has increased over the past month.”

Missing skier’s body found

On July 20th SNEWS reported that the ski poles of Brad Gardner, who went missing on Lone Peak in Montana on March 9, had been found beneath a cliff. A day later, Brad’s father, Ed, returned to the area and found his son’s skis and backpack. And finally, on July 22nd, a search party found the body of the man. “It’s pretty clear that for some reason, some sort of accident, he fell off this big dangerous ridge,” Ed Gardner told the Associated Press. “It’s about an 800-foot cliff.”

Peter Kray

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