U.S. Ski Cross Scores a Podium Spot in Italian World Cup
Californian John Teller takes 3rd in Innichen
Newly-Formed A.S.C.A. Gets Immediate Results
From the American Ski Cross Association — Innichen/San Candido, Italy (Dec. 19) — American Ski Cross athlete John Teller, from Mammoth Lakes, CA, won the Bronze medal today in Innichen/San Candido, Italy. It was the 2nd Ski Cross World Cup of the season. Australian Scott Kneller won the gold and Switzerland's Alex Fiva took silver.
"Being on the podium is awesome…I'm really happy," said Teller, after scoring his first World Cup podium of his young career. Teller's best prior International result was 11th place in Branas, Sweden, in March, 2010.
Teller's journey to the podium was not an easy one, passing 2009 World Champion, Andreas Matt, at the finish line in the quarterfinals to advance, and then beating out 2005 and 2007 World Champion Tomas Krauss in the finals.
Asked if he was surprised with this result, Teller replied, "I knew I was skiing well last year because I was keeping up with Casey Puckett and Daron Rahlves… I knew if I could keep that going into this year it would be good going forward. It was hard to tell but I had high hopes.”
Rahlves and Puckett this summer formed the American Ski Cross Association, an organization built to fund and develop Americans to compete on the World Cup in Ski Cross and eventually improve Olympic results in Sochi. "John Teller proves that Americans can compete and win in Ski Cross at the highest level," says Puckett, the Association's Executive Director. "To get this kind of result so early in the season proves to me that our efforts with the A.S.C.A can make a difference."
Innichen was the 1st of 10 stops this year in the FIS Freestyle World Cup, which will include the World Championships this February in Deer Valley, UT. "I now have confidence to take on the world." said Teller.
Two other American skiers went overseas to compete but unfortunately did not qualify into the finals in a sport that requires more than a little luck to go along with World-class skill. Pat Duran, who finished 20th the day before, came in 35th, and Biche Rudigoz finished 51st.
"I just want to thank everyone in Mammoth for supporting me. I couldn't do it without them." Says Teller. "I also want to thank Casey Puckett, Daron Rahlves, and the rest of the A.S.C.A. Board for helping me get here."
About the A.S.C.A. — Formed in 2010, the A.S.C.A. primary goals are the raise money to support American Ski Cross skiers on the World Cup and to eventually help them reach the Olympics and beyond. A 501 C 3 non-profit, the A.S.C.A. has a board of directors that includes two former Olympian Ski Cross Athletes in Casey Puckett and Daron Rahlves , both of whom competed on the alpine World Cup and in the Olympics as well for the U.S. Ski Team. Ski Cross, similar to Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping, is not a sanctioned nor funded sport within the U.S. Ski Team so the A.S.C.A has stepped up to take over that role. To learn more about the A.S.C.A. and its fundraising efforts and to follow the U.S. Ski Cross Team year-round, go to their website, americanskicross.com.