Trukee’s Rahlves picked as America’s best shot for gold in Super G | SierraSun.com
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Trukee’s Rahlves picked as America’s best shot for gold in Super G

JAMIE BALL

The U.S. Ski Team didn’t have to call Truckee’s Daron Rahlves

to let him know he’d made the ski team: he already knew.

No one had tipped him off to the decision early; he was confident

he’d earned the slot after recent World Cup performances.

“I knew right after the Super G,” said Rahlves. “Actually, I knew

before that race.”

The spot was officially sealed after Rahlves’ seventh-place finish

in the Super G at Garmisch, Germany, last Sunday. He will race

the Super G and slalom in Nagano.

Rahlves, 24, started his years on the ski team constantly analyzing

videotapes and questioning teammates A.J. Kitt and Tommy Moe about

Olympic performance.

“Tommy told me, ‘it’s the biggest race of your life, but you can’t

think about that. You just go out and race your race,'” Rahlves

said.

Rahlves said his mind will be clear at the starting gate.

“I’ll just think about skiing fast. If I think about that, I’ll

get the medal. If I’m thinking about the medal, I won’t get it,”

said Rahlves. “I have to focus on the task at hand.”

In fact, Rahlves is shunning the Olympic hype, preferring to focus

on skiing. When the opening ceremonies are televised, Rahlves

plans to be sitting on his couch in Truckee, watching along with

the rest of the world.

“I don’t want to go over and get into the hype too soon,” said

Rahlves. “My plan is to get there at night, get three days to

settle in and go race.”

Though teammates left for Nagano this week, Rahlves said he will

leave Sunday.

While he is not boldly declaring a win before the fact like Bill

Johnson in 1984, Rahlves is not afraid of the weight the Olympics

carry.

“This is just another stop (on the race tour),” said Rahlves.

“It’s a big one, but I will attack it like any other race.”

The competition doesn’t scare Rahlves either. He’s faced them

all season.

“Hermann Meir will be tough, but he’s beatable. He’s human and

while he can be perfect, the guy can also make mistakes,” Rahlves

said. “It will be nice to show everybody in the world I’m the

man to do it. “

Still, Rahlves knows he’s in the big leagues now and he will ski

with and against many of his childhood heroes, and he stands in

awe.

“I look at videos of Tommy (Moe’s) gold run and it send chills

up and down my spine. I want to have that feeling.”

Having turned in America’s best World Cup time, Rahlves may get

to experience what Moe felt in 1994.

Rahlves said when the games are over he will take time to enjoy

the culture of Japan, but for now he plans to simply focus on

winning.

“I’m skiing for the gold and nothing less,” Rahlves said. “If

I’m on that day, they better watch out.”


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