most of Aspen’s World Cup races were men-only,
the 1981 event featured both
men and women’s events.
Tsyganov of the Soviet Union won the
Aspen Mountain downhill in 1981, posting the Russian
team’s first-ever downhill victory in World
Cup competition. Behind him came the Swiss and
Austrian teams, taking the next eight places.
of the Austrians — Harti Weirather
— placed second. He had come to Aspen tied
with Steve Podborski of Canada
for first place in World Cup downhill standings,
and his second place in Aspen gave him a five-point
edge over the Canadian.
men’s giant slalom was an even more important
race, with Ingemar Stenmark of
Sweden battling it out with American Phil
Mahre. Mahre won the GS overall after
a blistering second run, securing his first of
three consecutive overall World Cup victories.
The third place GS finisher was Steve
Mahre, Phil’s twin brother. Aspenites
Mike Farny, Chris Tache
and Mark Harvey placed 29th,
30th and 34th in the GS.
Theres Nadig of Switzerland clinched
the women’s downhill title, and Tamara
McKinney of the U.S., after having a
near collision with a snowcat during a warm-up
run, won the GS.
the GS, McKinney reportedly approached the starting
line “not feeling much like racing.”
Then she skied the third-fastest time in the first
run, a quarter of a second behind leader Erika
Hess of Switzerland. In the second run,
McKinney came from behind to win the race and
the World Cup GS overall. Aspen’s Beth
Madsen placed 38th.