March 1991

Marc Girardelli of Luxembourg managed to sew up the overall World Cup title while in Aspen in 1991. Alberta Tomba of Italy won the giant slalom to win that overall title. The Austrians and Swiss were dominant, and the young American team failed to win any points at all, either on the scoreboard or with fans.

In the men’s downhill, Peter Mueller of Switzerland placed a disappointing ninth, despite an enthusiastic crowd that hoped to cheer the returning veteran to victory. They settled instead for Franz Heinzer, Mueller’s teammate. Mueller had recently recovered from major knee surgery and said he felt “nervous” on the course. Americans AJ Kitt and Tommy Moe placed 18th and 29th .

Alberto Tomba won in the giant slalom after posting a flawless first run that gave him an untouchable lead. Tomba hammed it up in Aspen, a real crowd-pleaser with a “party hearty” reputation. He mugged for the camera, fondling fruit in a suggestive manner, and he filled a water bottle with beer so he could sip suds in public without offending his sponsors.

Soft snow and a tight slalom course made mincemeat out of the entire U.S. team, plus a handful of World Cup veterans. First run leader Rudolf Nierlich of Austria hung onto his lead, despite a gatekeeper’s protest, which was ruled out after viewing Nierlich’s run on video. Girardelli placed fourth, and Tomba was sixth.