March 1982

The Aspen World Cup races of 1982 again featured men and women in multiple events.

Steve Podborski of Canada proved himself the fastest downhill racer in the world in 1982 by becoming the first non-European to win the World Cup downhill in combined standings.

But it was Peter Mueller of Switzerland who had the fastest downhill runs in Aspen, winning both downhills. Phil Mahre, who had his second World Cup combined sewed up by the time he hit Aspen in 1982, broke from his specialties — slalom and giant slalom — to race the downhill. He placed 18th and ninth.

In the women’s events, Marile Epple of West Germany, Erika Hess of Switzerland and Marile’s older sister Irene Epple, took the first three places in giant slalom. This trio was ranked as the top GS racers in Europe at the time.

American skiers Christin Cooper and Tamara McKinney were tripped up on the icy GS course, but Karen Lancaster of Nevada placed a strong fourth, followed by Americans Cindy Nelson, seventh, and Abbi Fisher, ninth. This moved the U.S. Women’s Team to a fourth place position in World Cup national standings.

A controversy in the men’s downhill resulted when Canada’s Ken Read stuck a pole in the icy starting ramp as he lunged out of the gate, and lost it. Read stopped, sidestepped up the ramp, retrieved his pole and asked for a new start. The World Cup jury, however, denied it. Read protested bitterly, but lost his run.