Marco Sullivan: From then to now
Special to the Sun
10 most significant moments in Marco Sullivan’s career, as chosen by the man who lived them:
March 1995: Finishes second in slalom at the Whistler Cup, the premier competition for 13- and 14-year-old racers. “It was my first international race,” Sullivan says.
March 1999: Qualifies for the U.S. Ski Team at age 18 by finishing third in the downhill at the U.S. National Championships, behind Chad Fleischer and Daron Rahlves.
Spring 2001: Wins downhill, super G and overall titles on the NorAm circuit. “And actually that year I was the skiercross world champion, too,” he says. “It was before the event was big. They held it at Squaw Valley and I happened to be home so I entered.”
December 2001: Notches a DNF in his first career World Cup start, a super G at Val d’Isere, France; but rebounds to take 27th in the downhill the next day.
February 2002: Surprises everyone with a ninth-place finish in the downhill ” best among Americans ” at the Winter Olympics outside Salt Lake City, a result that is “still in the top three of my career, for sure,” he says.
December 2003: Dislocates right knee and tears every major knee ligament after crashing horrifically off the final jump of the Birds of Prey downhill course in Beaver Creek, Colo., ending his season.
October 2004: Tears his right ACL again in a crash during a fall training camp in Tignes, France. Misses his second straight season of racing.
January 2006: After struggling to crack the top 40 for much of the season, finishes 16th and 14th in a pair of World Cup downhills right before the Olympics, securing a surprise berth on the U.S. speed team in Turin, Italy. He doesn’t end up competing, but the preceding results “let me know that maybe I still have it.”
November 2007: Takes second to Canadian Jan Hudec in the season-opening downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta, the first time he has stood on a World Cup podium.
Jan. 26, 2008: Wins his first career World Cup race, the famed Kandahar downhill at Chamonix, which delivers $25,000 in prize money. He will go on to finish fourth in the season downhill standings.