Thousands of spectators brave storms to watch Stifel Palisades Tahoe cup

Norway’s Alexander Steen Olsen, 21, stands atop the podium Sunday after capturing his first career World Cup victory.
Courtesy Emily Tidewll

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Nearly 15,000 people came out to watch World Cup racing last weekend at Palisades Tahoe.

The resort played host to 102 athletes from 23 countries, marking the first time since 2017 Palisades Tahoe has hosted a World Cup event.

“We were so thrilled to welcome back our friends in World Cup skiing to Palisades Tahoe,” remarked Palisades COO Dee Bryne. “Our legendary terrain and snowfall exceeded all expectations and we were overjoyed to be able to offer the competitors the rare opportunity of a powder day alongside a challenging race course.” 

More than 400 volunteers and a course crew of 100 made the event possible amid a winter storm that dumped more than 108 inches of snow on the resort during the weekend and the days leading up to the event. Approximately 60 inches of snow had to be removed from the Red Dog course to create the ideal racing surface, and a slip crew of 64 worked tirelessly from the early hours of the morning through race days to ensure the course remained clear.

“The Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup had an amazing atmosphere with tens of thousands of screaming American ski racing fans. Having the opportunity to host the first men’s technical series in the United States in decades at a historic Olympic venue like Palisades Tahoe was incredible,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt, in a news release. “It was very fun to see our international competitors enjoy the slopes of Palisades on an amazing day of powder skiing, with many claiming it to be the best skiing they have ever had. We hope to see more U.S. races in the future, and continue to inspire the next generation of ski racers and fans.”

The weekend’s competition opened Saturday with giant slalom. Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt, 25, posted the fastest first run of the morning ripping down the course in 1 minute, 8.43 seconds. Austria’s Marco Schwarz, 27, finished his first run in fifth place, but then put down the fastest second run of the day to capture his first win of the season and first giant slalom win of his career. Schwarz, who sits fourth in the giant slalom standings, finished the day with a combined time of 2:23.63 to edge Odermatt by 0.03 seconds. Odermatt leads the giants slalom and overall World Cup standings. He has landed on the podium in each of his of last 14 World Cup giant slalom appearances.

George Steffey, 25, of Lyme, New Hampshire, led the Americans, finishing with a combined time of 2:26.40 to claim 21st place. River Radamus, 25, of Edwards, Colorado, was the only other U.S. skier to qualify for a final run, but was unable to reach the bottom of the venue during his second run.

On Sunday, racing shifted to slalom. Norway’s Alexander Steen Olsen, 21, captured his first career World Cup victory, edging fellow countryman Timon Haugan. 26, by 0.05 seconds with a combined time of 1:47.47.  No skiers from the U.S. qualified for a second run. Radamus had the fastest first run of the morning for the U.S. Sugar Bowl Academy’s Luke Winters, 25, finished his first run with a time of 54.55.

“I gave it what I had yesterday, but that’s how it’s going at the moment,” said Winters in an Instagram post. Thank you (Palisades Tahoe) for the work you put in to pull this race off. I hope to be back here. Also great to have so many family and friends here. That was the highlight of the season.”

Nearly 15,000 spectators showed up at Palisades Tahoe to watch World Cup racing.
Courtesy Emily Tidewll

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