Novato's Ani Serebrakian, a sophomore at USF, will represent Armenia in the giant slalom
"It's almost too far of a dream to grasp" (no login) Posted Feb 13, 2010 12:16 PM
Snow gives Lindsey Vonn and her shin another day of reprieve
By Elliott Almond
Updated: 02/13/2010 04:17:52 AM PST
VANCOUVER, British Columbia Lindsey Vonn got another day's reprieve Friday when training runs on the women's downhill course were canceled because of heavy snow.
The U.S.'s Vonn, a favorite in all five Alpine events, wasn't sure she could compete after bruising her shin Feb. 3. The super-combined, scheduled to be her first race on Sunday, was postponed indefinitely, with a training session slated instead.
"My shin is feeling about the same as it was yesterday which I consider to be good news because I skied pretty hard on it yesterday testing it out," Vonn wrote Friday on her Facebook page. "It could easily have gotten worse, and it didn't."
Some are circumspect about the seriousness of Vonn's injury. Swiss coach Hugues Ansermoz said, "Today on the hill the girls were saying, 'I don't want to hear about (Vonn). We have heard 10 times before that she was hurt, and she has always come back to win.' "
Marin connection: San Jose had its Armenian bobsledder. Now Marin has an Armenian skier.
Novato's Ani Serebrakian, a sophomore at USF, will represent Armenia in the giant slalom and slalom Feb. 24 and Feb. 26. She is one of two members on the country's Alpine ski team.
Serebrakian, 21, is carrying on a Bay Area legacy from Dan Janjigian of San Jose, who competed in the Salt Lakes Games for Armenia. She has never competed in Europe against the sport's stars but had to earn enough
points on the world circuit to qualify for the Olympics. "It's almost too far of a dream to grasp," Serebrakian said.
It certainly is when living four hours from snow. Serebrakian, who lives in San Francisco, learned to ski at Lake Tahoe when she was 2 and began ski racing at 5.
"I've just been a weekend skier," the exercise science major said.
Her father found other ways to train his children. Serebrakian also was a top tennis player at Marin Catholic High whereas her brother, Arman, captain of the University of Colorado's ski team, played water polo.
"It has been 15 years of waking up at 5 in the morning, just pulling every type of string to work out," Serebrakian said.
Although she and her brother did well as juniors in the United States, they decided to switch allegiances in the 2007-08 season. "As Armenians it would be more meaningful for us to represent our country," said Serebrakian, whose father, an ear, nose and throat specialist, immigrated to the United States from Iran in 1979.
Rahlves' glimmer of hope: Skier Daron Rahlves from Clayton this time is measuring his recovery from injury in weeks.
Rahlves, 36, was injured in a crash during his opening skicross race at the Winter X Games on Jan. 31, just days after he was selected to represent the United States in the Olympic debut of skicross.
Competition begins Feb. 21 at Cypress Mountain. But Rahlves remains at home in Truckee, going through hours of therapy each day, hoping he can strengthen his hip enough to compete in his fourth games. "There is a glint of hope and a chance I could pull it off," Rahlves told The Associated Press. "It's pretty much going to come down to the day before."
U.S. ski jumpers all in: All three U.S. ski jumpers qualified on the normal hill for today's first round. The team was led by Peter Frenette, 17. He was 30th, Nick Alexander (35th) and Anders Johnson 40th.