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Cortina 2024 - 2 x DH; SG

Valerie Grenier - Cortina DH - 26 January


26-28 January 2024

Real-time notes I took during the races, with some supporting observation.

Discussion/reflection re Cortina crash culture up next, very soon.


26 January DH

Friday – makeup for weather-cancelled race earlier in season

Sunny, solid track to begin with. Later starters will be affected, but first 15-20 hopefully on even conditions. Alas, carnage. Multiple shunts at fast jump/right-footer combination Delta jump about 40 seconds in. Jump/right-footer at 20 seconds, before chute, also problematic.

Stephanie Venier - Cortina DH - 26 January

Essentials recap:

26 January DH - Friday

Venier 1:33.06; LG-B +0.39; Grenier/Ager/Goggia tied +0.71

53 start list

12 DNF

1 DNS - Ledecka

Nufer – DNF. Hit Delta turn fence hard, but okay.

Shiffrin – Fell on fast right-footer top of chute. Strained right knee; still pending return.

C. Suter – ACL tear, OFS.

Gisin – Banged up, sore but untorn; missed rest of meet

Aicher, Fest, et al.  sore/battered. Check re missed time.

Fede – Pretty hard fall, but most damage was to ego. “Careless” fall; raced next day, 12th.

Jenal – Basically did the sideways splits at speed. Yeow.

Fest – Into Delta net. Skied down.

    From bib 31, Grenier smokes it. Her first WC DH start since 2019. So understated at the finish. Just happy. And I imagine every other competitor was as well. 3-way tie for 3d!

Was out with injury for 619 days, as I understand per the exuberant Steve Perino, commentating for 


“Real time” notes tapped out during the runs. Minimal post-editing. Thus, some odd diction, etc.

NOTE: “Right footer” or “RF” means the Delta jump/turn.


LIE – Long skate to begin. Looks good. 132k at bottom of chute. A bit unbalanced but sticking it well. 1.34.00 

PIROVANO – Pulled off a bit on top traverse. .25 down second split. Dialing in mid-run, still a quarter behind Kajsa. -0.03 for 1st.


NUFER - .22 back bottom of chute. Oh no! Crashes on fast right-footer. DNF

MOWINCKEL – Okay start, .24 behind on chute Tight line. .41Seems a bit cautious. .68 behind at finish. Seems okay with it. Tough season. Sure she’ll be back next year, but maybe winding down for next life stage?

HUETTER – Tucked looks fast. Yeah! -.26 at chute. Yeah, Connie! Back to .54 behind Letting ‘em run at the bottom. +0.07 for 2nd. A touch miffed, but smiling.

WEIDLE -  .34 behind oat chute. Wow, really wide on Priksa crash turn. +1.31 back, but off-line cost her, though pulled back .32. +0.74. Displeased.

SHIFFRIN – Tight start, looking big crash on early right-footer before chute. Not moving. Onto feet but hobbling on poles. Bum right knee. Could be her ACL time. Oh man. Here comes the helicopter, to evacuate her quickly. Wow. WAWC title may be up for grabs. DNF

GUT-BEHRAMI – Nice form .15 up on chute. She wants this. On it. Impeccable form, but hit a gate. Up by -0.52 Yeah! She’s stoked. Vintage Lara.

BRIGNONE – Okay, a bit wild. Down hard at right-footer but okay. DNF

Shaping up as a pivotal race. SP mentioned that several racers got sick in December, including Corinne.

SUTER – Good start. Oh no. Something bad happened to Corinne on early right-footer landing. She’s screaming a bit. In extreme discomfort. Lying on snow. (Later: ACL/meniscus damage; OFS. Oh man.) DNF/OFS

Perino wondering if race will be stopped. Uh, why? Yes, there’s a tricky section, potentially dangerous. But half the folks have railed it. Also, word’s out to beware. A men’s race wouldn’t be stopped. If they stop this race, WAWC takes a huge hit. Girls can’t handle it, etc. Wonder if FIS men will stop it. Better not. They didn’t.

FLURY – After long pause. Rails the right footer. .53 back, losing some but aggressive line.  .74 back looking okay at the bottom. Holds half second back, see if gliding will pull her up. No +0.75 for 5th.

PUCHNER – Nice start. Railed right footer. Nice line, bit of a wide turn, scrub then .86 back, see if bottom gliding .60 back.

STUHEC – Rails RFer. Looking okay. .47 back. Scrubbed a touch, looks out of rhythm. +1.17 Off-form +1.59 last split. +1.62 not pleased, but a nice wave and relief, I imagine.

GOGGIA – Man, she’s ripping, .43 back. She has the bravado, but not Lara’s technique. Not her best run. .45 Pushing it +0.32 for 2nd. Fine result for an off-form, pretty wild run. She’s okay with it.

GAUCHE – Wow. Looking really good. On it, but a second back. Decent run, +1.09 for 8th.

NICOL DELAGO – Workwomanlike. Scrappy through right footer but made it. Into 11th or so.

VENIER – Okay startOkay through right footer. .63 back third split, looking good. Yeah, Steph. Up by -0.01 may do it. WOW!! -0.39 for 1st! Holy moly. Best run of her career, I’d think.

HAELEN – Nice right footer. She’s booking.  .48 back, pretty dialed. +1.11 for 8th.

GISIN - .35 back Eats it at right footer. Hard into net. But okay. Man. Lucky. If you land right, it’s okay. She’s gonna ski down. Though right ski tail bent up. DNF

Michelle Gisin - Cortina DH - 26 January

BASSINO – (SP mentioned tech left her, so more turmoil in camp.) Wo, off-balance on opening traverse but diving in. 12 first split. Dramatic right footer but through fast and ahead by .09. Let’s see… .28 back. Gonna be okay. +1.12 for 9th.

Track speeding up a bit?

WRIGHT – Good first split. Wide on right footer but stuck it. .67 back Not total in synch. +1.86 for 14th.

AICHER – Out on the right footer. Down, but looks hurt. Oh no. Okay, she’s up. “I think I’m fine.”

Way back on her skis and lost it. DNF

Shot of US team at top listening to radio course report. “Have fun.”

AGER – lead with .08 top of chute. Nice right footer. Having a fine run@ Ohh, scrubbed a bit. .34 a bit off line. But she’s gonna be into 3d. NICE. Happy kid.

Christina Ager - Cortina DH - 26 January

Very interesting race.

DURRER - .22 back. Falling back but doing it. Hmm. +2.54 back for 14th.

Ruts building, for sure.

MIRADOLI - .55 back but fast night right footer. Nice form, come on kid. Hanging in. Not really holding tuck, but holding steady. 2.69 back.

I’m guessing softening snow last quarter/gliding section hurting times.

NADIA DELAGO - .24 up first split. Still up .08Really going for it. .23, scrubbed, shoot. Lost a second. Too bad. +2.15. Taking it in stride. Made it down safely. Big scrub before gliding part.

JENAL - .13 first split, railed right footerWo. Almost ate it big. Skis way splayed but stayed up. Gonna have really sore groin. Skiing down okay. DNF

SCHEYER - .21 back at chute. Looking okay. A bit dramatic but does it. Going okay. .85 back. Good run for her this season, I’d say.  Ohh, now +1.60 back for 18th. 32, she may hang ‘em up soon. Very good racer undone by injury.

RAEDLER – Looks fast to me.  .59 back, potential. Now 1.42. Racers losing lots of time around the halfway point.

GRENIER - .14 top of chute. Looking good Wow. She’s on it. Still leading hallway. Back .51 same place right before gliding. .71 3xtied for 3d! Man.

FEST – Nails RF Ohh, loopy top of chute, we’ll seeOh shoot. Lost it on long mid-track RF. Okay DNF

WILES - .21 at chute. Looking good. Looks a bit on edge. 1.37 back at gliding behinnning. +1.36 for 13th. Okay!

Flury is very upset about something. Crying at bottom. (Later: Probably re Corinne? They’re buds. Jasmine was next starter after C, probably got word re hosed knee.)

MERRYWEATHER. Godspeed, Alice. How does she do this. Not fast. 1.08 back by chute. She’s feeling her way down. Way cautious; nearly recreational.  +7.00. She’s safe.

MAIER – Looks pre OMG. Ate it big into net outside/left chute beginning. But okay. Holy smoke. Looked bad but okay. Jeez. Fence did its job. Hit if face-first and no worse for wear. DNF

Stephanie may be putting together a stellar final third to season.

MUZAFERIJA - /10 off a chute. Really launching off the right turn to enter chute. +2.60

WECHNER – Skis out early. DNF

NIEDERWIESER – First DH at Cortina. Looking nice, very nice. .64 halfway. A bit wild but holding together. Now drifting back but very fine for 6th  WC start. Check her EC record.

CASHMAN – Wow. Really close to a fence band 1.04 back and hanging in. Let’s see.  +2.43 23d. Should take it considering.

JASMINA SUTER – Looks okay, but 2.5 back at gliding. +3.06

ERRARD – Rails RF. Looks pretty good, but 2.0 back at gliding.  28th.

MORENO – Oh no, Skied out End of traverse. Too bad. DNF

CLEMENT - .17 top of chute. Not bad. Good speed. Fine top section. Got a chance for T20 I’d say. 27th.

MANGAN – Yells “Come on” after RF. Going for it.  +2.53 for 24th. Nice job.

HEIDER – Looks pretty solid. Ohh, almost down but rights it. +3.04 for 31st. No points but could’ve been bad news. Wow. Hip on snow. Could have sucked.

MACUGA - .25 ahead first split. A bit unticjed but wo, close to net on second big RF, but doing fine. Man, she’s fearless. She’s gonna be T20 I think. 16th. Yeah. +1.65. Way stoked. Excellent for the youngster – 21 yrs.

HOERNBLAD – Oh, shoot. Falls top of chute. She’s okay. DNF

HIRTL-STANGGAISSENGER – Safe top, but no, saved 2nd RF. Not gonna make the oints. +4.11 34th.

RUGGELDER – Wow. On one ski going into RF. .26 yeow, she’s looking a bit wild but tight. Huh. Could be top T15? No, 24th. Lost on the gliding. But she’s happy.

MELESI - .25 okay. Doing okay. First DH this season.  +2.26 for 24th. Bushy ponytail!

CAILL – Safe skiing. Some big air. Gonna be way out but hopefully safe. +4.84 37th.

SIMADER – Straight forward but doing okay. Won’t make points but hanging it well. +6.05


Now that was a race to write home about—and unfortunately including the worst reason. Two big stars hurt—C. Suter OFS. Overall title in play if MS is OFS, or misses more than two meets. Grenier brutal accident; OFS. Perino graciously says continuing race was correct. Understandably freaked about the accidents, he knows this is the game racers willingly play. As he once did.

Cortina DH podium - 26 January 2024

27 January

DH 2

27 January DH - Saturday

Wind-interrupted. Sunny, track fairly shady.

Sunny. Appreciable but not significant wind, I guess, or something. Mid-20s F at beginning, I think. Beginning Replay, I see it’s 3 plus hours. Crap. That means there are wrecks requiring helicopter evacuations. Unless beginning is lengthy pre-event establishing shots, etc. Or weather.

Her Highness, Corinne, Michelle, Emma WNS today.


Mowinckel 1:33.50; Wiles +0.35; Goggia +0.44  All recovered from severe leg/knee injuries.

45 start list

10 DNF


Valerie had a fine run going-- -0.28 after Delta jump, but missed a gate way right a bit lower. Shoot. DNF

Haehlen – OFS, discovered she’d competed for most of previous two seasons without a right ACL…already knew about six years w/o left. ( ; o ‘ ). DNF

Grenier – Missed gate about halfway down. DNF 

Bella – Smacked her face good. Hit fence on Delta jump. Late in turn, but caught fence. DNF

Weidle – On heels early, out before chute. DNF

Neiderweiser – Off-balance into esses 2/3 down before final level traverse. Skidded out; slid a bit but fine. Same place Joana had trouble. DNF


LEDECKA – Missed gate top of chute. Come on, Ester.  DNF

Upslope wind. Course hold. Shoot. May be why race time so long.

PIROVANO – Stoked in start gate. (Who isn’t?) Strong start. Touch wide on Delta curve, but fast. A bit off-balance in shade entering gliding. 1:34:71 

WRIGHT – .19 behind top of chute. Looking okay. Oh no. Fast crash at Oh no. Delta. Shit. Really sailed off jump. She’s down. Doesn’t look good at all. Same place six went out yesterday. Damn. Knee’s hosed I bet. Here comes the copter. Skis didn’t release. (Later: Cut chin but otherwise sound. Lucky. She’s owed some luck.)

Bear in mind this is the Olympic track. Wind picking up too.

Male forerunner after Bella picked up. Course evaluation.

GAUCHE – Looks poised at start. Even at chute. Nails CG .15 behind third split, looking fine. A third up onto gliding. Nice. -0.62 for first. 

LIE – Tight and strong. Holding .11 lead. Rails CG. Touch back.  +0.17 back. Okay. Lost a bit on a later turn but fine run.

LARA – Even Wo. Too wide into CG. Back a half second. Not gonna win this. –

+0.12 Significant error off Delta jump. Otherwise cooked it.

FLURY – Headwinds for her. Even at chute. Tight line, up a quarter. Oh man. She’s on. A touch back halfway, onto gliding. Gonna be real close. Hmm. +0.40. She’s pissed. Lost lead final 5th.

CONNY – Nice top section.  .19 up into CG on man, she’s on it. A bit back now. Come on kid. Onto gliding  just /11 back.  +0.15.

Gauche is beginning to look T5 maybe. A few heavy hitters left.

FEDE – .14 into chute. Adding to it. Oh she’s on. Now back a bit. Transition to gliding not optimal. Hmmm. +0.45.

WEIDLE – She’s due for a good finish. Oh no. Backwards off early jump. Really pissed but okay. Spun backwards. DNF

PUCHNER – Nice start. Almo.21 up into CG. Big sruub in CG oh no. Back .38. Gotta really push now. Come on.62 back Lost too much. Bummed. Had it going but CG. Entered way fast and off-balance.


.13 at chute. .27 into CG. Yeah! She’s on it again. Even  approaching gliding .19 back at gliding. Tied with Lara for second. Excellent run. Considering error.

STUHEC – .13 back at chute, but looking much better than yesterday Nice recovery from back seat on jump after chute. Wind really picking up. Shoot. Back almost a second. Bad luck and with wind and off-balance jump unnerved her.  +0.92 had a nice beginning

SOFIA – .07 back at j chute.  Up .25 into CG.  solid. Looking at limit; coming back okay. .25 up into gliding. YES! Way happy at finish. Yelling. Man, she’s off the charts. -0.15 for lead.

HAEHLEN – Up a touch at chute. Camera jerky. Looking real nice. Oh no!! Skied way out entering gliding. Oh no. Flopped over onto course. Onto one leg / left off jump. Flat landing. Oh man, hopefully didn’t reinjure it. Three ACL hurts on that knee. Doesn’t look good. Same issue as Corinne yesterday. Man, this track punishes slight errors—not even errors, just landing on wrong place. Though she was off-balance coming off a fast jump. Damn!! Looks like she’s skiing down herself, though. Camera cut away. DNF

Joana Haehlen - Cortina DH - 27 January


First 15 done. Tough room today.

Race interrupted for some reason.  Perhaps clearing the banner? Not sure what start house guy said. Wo. Looks like strong up-slope wind at finish area, per on-slope camera. Per flags behind finish, wind looks downhill; then uphill at other place. In any event, there’s wind.

Word is Bella is alright! Chin cut but she’s in the finish area, so wasn’t taken to Milan hospital.

Long course hold for wind.


NUFER – Looking okay .25 back at chute. Okay on Delta, looking fine. .90 halfway down. Gonna do okay, I think. +0.84 for 11th.

Finish line banner taken down per wind. Contributed to delay.

AGER – Nice start. .26 up into chute.  135km – 83mph. Man, she’s doing okay, but looks windy. +0.55 now halfway; I think she’s getting hosed by wind, though a bit untidy. Ohh, off-line into gliding. +0.92 for 12th. Too bad. Smoked top third.


Another interruption to clear sticks from track, reset gates.

SP – Wry take on pine boughs’ past history marking course, then replaced with dye. Dye used in cave painting; FIS could have thought of it sooner. Now boughs/needles quickly removed.

Pretty long delay. Jury debating wind. Continuing race.

Forerunner also confirms timing is working as well as checking track condition.


NICOL DELAGO – Fast tucked start, she’s pushing. .09 up at chute. .33 back after chute jump. Looking okay, but a second back. I think the wind’s pretty funky. Holding steady at a second plus a smidge. +0.96 for 13th.

Wind conditions must be really bumming folks out. Total luck if you have a tailwind. And any direction at force makes it dicey.

RAEDLER – Fine start, even at chute. She’s doing okay. Just .31 back halfway. A bit awkward onto gliding, but keeping it up. .77 back now. +0.90

MOWINCKEL – 0.9 back at chute. Nice line, looking good to me.  Up by .22 halfway! Come on. She’s gonna podium! Come on. WOW! Oh yeah. Oh yeah.  -0.44 for 1st!! 

BASSINO – Going for it. -.31 second split. Really working it. Back a third at gliding. +0.89 for 9th.

GRENIER – Up a third bottom of chute. Wondering if wind helping last few. Very aOh no. Missed a gate. Wow, way right on a big fast turn.DNF.

DURRER - .25 up top of chute. Good line but seems cautious. Scrubbed – back by 1.24.

MIRADOLI – Good run. T10.

WILES – Great start. .32 up at chute. Wo, big air. Rails Delta RF. Man, she’s working it…down just .14. Doing it. Wow! +0.32 for second! EXCELLENT!!

Jacqueline Wiles - Cortina DH - 27 January


SCHEYER – okay start. .32 back bottom of chute. Oh no! Skied out at Delta. Shoot. Looks like she bailed. Unsure. DNF


CASHMAN – Solid upper section; .23 back bottom of chute. Scoots CG Nice and easy, looks pretty relazed. O boy, off-balance  +2.19 for 23d.

MORENO - .22 back at chute. Not bad at all. Hard into Delta net. Looks like her boot’s stuck in B net. Not moving. Crap. Okay, she’s up and seems well.


MANGAN – .19 down at chute. Half sec at Delta; rails it pretty well. 1.13 down approaching gliding. Pretty far back now.



RUNGGALDIER – Going okay. +1.70 for 20th. 12 th WC start. Good job.

CAILL – .90 bottom of chute. OMG. Caught Delta net upright. Just skirted it running fast, supersaulted, and slid WAY down track and out of sight. Man, that looked nasty. But she seems okay. Holy blobby. DNF

Race called. Last two DNS. Ehh, I guess it’s for the best.



Wonderful race for Ragnhild and for Jacquie. Wiles especially deserving after so many injuries and confidence set-backs.

  Cortina DH podium - 27 January




Lara Gut-Behrami - Cortina SG - 28 January

Sunny. Close to freezing at beginning, but will reach 30s in short order, probably.

2-hour race per SASL replay, so hopefully no crashes. That’s about 30 mins longer than usual; weather (wind) holds possible.

28 January SG - Sunday

LG-B 1:20.75; Venier +0.21; Miradoli +0.41

49 start list

13 DNF


Grenier – Broken humerus, ACL/MCL torn. Leading by 0.50 halfway down. Totally on-form. This is awful.

Kajsa Lie – Wild ride. Gunning it after looping wide through Delta; down three gates from finish at bottom of final pitch after flats. Fast fall, but okay.


PIROVANO – Track looks fast. No air off Delta jump. Looks alright, a bit off line on gliding.  1:22:10

STUHEC – Somewhat aggressive to begin, then cautious after off-line, and DNF.

WEIDLE – Good start; -0.05 1st split. Tight line, then a bit scrappy. Consistent enough. -0.02

RAEDLER – Skies out on gliding with a nice run going. Too bad. DNF

GUT-BEHRAMI – Artistic. Swaying down the track like a monorail. What a beautiful run. “Masterpiece” per Perino. -1.33 for 1st  Seems content at finish, but that’s all. Cursory gesture to crowd. Wish she was more gracious, but not her style.

GOGGIA – Fine start. .04 back 1st split. Ahead halfway down but blasting it in her brash way. Half sec behind in gliding.  +0.58 for 2nd. Deals with it.

BRIGNONE –  Turning nicely, oohh, scrubbed pretty strongly.  Turning it on into gliding, still a bit erratic. A second behind. Her bravado getting better of her. Needed to wail ‘cause top of course was scrappy.

BASSINO – Marta fine start. .39 back halfway. Looks okay onto gliding. .64 back. Not bad. +0.75 for third.

FLURY – Fine start .12 back and seems okay, but fading a bit. Wo, recovery off jump. Over a seond into gliding. +1.37 7th.

VENIER – Beautiful start, just .07 back and settling in. Hanging in .06 back. Really nice form. .24 back into gliding. Gonna be close. +0.21 for 2nd. Nice job!

Stephanie Venier - Cortina SG - 28 January

PUCHNER – Excellent start. -0.17 into big rurn but scrubbed way badly. Now .41 back. .93 back onto gliding. Too bad, had a smoker underway but lost it quickly +1.03

MOWINCKEL – Fast start .08 back into big top turns. Oh yeah, .22 ahead shortly before , oh shoot, looks like some scrubbing, but flying. .03 back. Let’s see. +0.53 for third. She’s really on.

HEUTTER – Nice. .10 up first split. Looking fast but a bit scrappy , a bit loose above Oh no. Skied out entering gliding/traverse. Fell into the trap. DNF

LIE – Kajsa nice start .04 ahead first split, but very awry into big turns. Just -34 back. She’s strong. Wild run, kid. Now a half second back. Oh no, down she goes right at bottom pitch’s start. She’s up and seems okay. Whew. Man, a real fast fall. DNF

MIRADOLI – Okay start .08 back. Looking smooth. Just .04 back onto gliding. Excellent run!  Oooh +0.41 for third. Nice job, Romane. Very stylish person.

Romane Miradoli - Cortina SG - 28 January

MELESI – Fast but 1.03 into gliding. Falls heavily after gliding and onto final pitch. Down where Lie fell. Oh no. She’s not getting up. Now okay. DNF

GAUCHE – .28 back chute bottom, Close but fast through big turn.  .57 back. A second behind into gliding.  +1.34 for 10th. Comme ci, comme ca.

ROBINSON – Quick start .09 first split. On it pretty well, just .17 back halfway. Half sec back onto gliding. Gonna be a decent run. Hmm. +1.11 for 8th. Not too shabby.

GRENIER – Up .12 first split. Wide on big turn but going at it. Up by a half sec halfway down. Seat of pants kind of but hanging in. 18 back Oh gosh. Oh gosh. Hit gate halfway through gliding traverse. Big tumble. Oh no. Crap.

Valerie Grenier - Cortina SG - 28 January

JENAL – Off gliding traverse and slid into netting—through B and A. She’s okay.

FEST – .10 back first split. Working it but 1.01 down halfway. Safe but solid. Will be 3 seconds or so back, looks like +3.48

JASMINA SUTER – 2.52 for 14th.

MACUGA - .09 back first split, now .31 down. Nice. Fast into gliding. 1.90 for 14th. Happy. Good job for the rookie.

WECHNER – Way wide on big curve.  2 seconds down less than halfway. A bit unsteady Oh no, crashes at end of gliding/top of final pitch. Skis down under her own power, but looks like left wrist may be hurt. Ooh, Yeah, wrist hit snow hard just before going down. Probably jammed badly.

DURERR – bib 28.


All for now. Watching at work and things came up. Really bummed about Valerie.

Cortina SG Podium - 28 January














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