Fiala 51st in another disappointing day in front of the home crowd
BEAVER CREEK – The frustrations continue to mount for Frisco’s Jake Fiala. After finishing a disappointing 39th in the Birds of Prey super-G on Thursday, Fiala took 51st in Friday’s downhill, 3.47 seconds back of winner Bode Miller.It was a demoralizing end to two days that were one of the highlights of his career last year. Fiala finished a career-best 13th in the Beaver Creek super-G a year ago, and had high hopes to duplicate – if not improve on – the showing in front of the home fans this time around.
It didn’t happen. Despite rousing cheers from fans who knew him as well as those who didn’t, Fiala’s injured left ankle continues to restrict his speed and sent him into the postrace corral as frustrated as ever Friday.”I don’t know what to tell you. It’s frustrating right now,” the 29-year-old Summit High School graduate said, as Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves celebrated their historic 1-2 finish just 50 feet away. “It’s sweet for the team and a great day for the U.S., and it’s cool to be a part of that, but it’d be cool to ski to my potential. It’s frustrating to come down that slow.”Fiala, who injured his ankle during a training run in Chile in September, was 2.68 seconds back of super-G winner Stephan Goergl of Austria on Thursday despite starting second on a course that favors early start bibs.
He said the ankle is getting better, but not fast enough. He has been on the World Cup for five years and a member of the U.S. Ski Team for nine, and his spot on the A Team doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy. Still, he’s searching for answers without a direction to look.”I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said. “I might have to stay home and train a while and just get stuff back in order, because I’m just wasting my time right now.”When you don’t think you’re skiing that bad and you come down over three seconds out, it’s like, What’s the point?”
The World Cup speed tour next stops in Val d’Isere, France, for a downhill Dec. 11, then moves to Val Gardena, Italy, the following weekend for a downhill and super-G.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at email@example.com.
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