Croatian alpine skier Ivica Kostelić finally got the monkey off his back in Beaver Creek, Colorado Thursday as he took first place for the very first time at the event, ousting Italian Cristian Deville by 0.14 seconds. Beaver Creek is a mountain that caused Kostelić to be carried off by ski patrol twice before and responsible for three of his career nine surgeries. Although Kostelić won the 2011 World Cup overall crown, he had still not conquered the Rocky mountain.
“I had a history with this course,” Kostelić said. “Today, after the first run going into the second run, I had a feeling like today is the day. Today is the moment for settling some old issues with this course.”
Kostelić was beginning to believe he could not win here (Beaver Creek), that the course might be cursed.
“Since then I have never had luck on this course. So it was like a series of misfortunes on this course and I was really, I mean it sounds maybe a little over the top now, but I was really dreaming of a day that I would beat this course and finally say, ‘now we’re even,’” Kostelić said. “… I really don’t know because it was happening over and over again. Someone said this is like a cursed place for us, and I don’t know, it’s like if it happens time and time again, you start to think ‘what’s going on?’ I mean, there’s something wrong with this place.”
Three years ago he was on the verge of a good finish when he skied off course in the super combined, then two years ago he hurt his back in Beaver Creek.
Slalom at Beaver Creek is tough because it’s not a very steep course. You must ski smooth, clean and keep your speed because of the flat sections. – expert analysis
With the expansion of CroatianSports.com, we will be following Kostelić throughout the winter season and his progress up to the 2012 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Kostelić wins from Beaver Creek