March 1993

“Bitter Winternational ‘93” was how the Aspen Times headlined the controversial cancellation of America’s Downhill that year. The bitterness came when FIS officials canceled the race with American AJ Kitt holding an undisputed lead.

The race was canceled due to a rut that had developed at a new gate that had been added for this year’s course on Dago Road. Many of the top-ranked skiers had already cleared the gate, with Kitt in the lead, when Austria’s Olympic gold medalist Patrick Ortlieb hit the rut and suffered a knee injury. Ortlieb finished the run in ninth place, but the rut caused FIS officials, led by an Austrian, to delay, then cancel the race.

Not only did Kitt lose his chance for winning a World Cup downhill, but his teammate, Tommy Moe, had placed sixth in the first run — the first time in history two Americans had ever placed in the top six of a World Cup downhill. The U.S. Team filed a formal protest, but the FIS decision was upheld.

Kjetl Andre Aamodt of Norway won his second consecutive Aspen super G. Stefan Eberhartner of Austria placed second, and Swiss downhill champion Daniel Mahrer placed third, a career high for Mahrer in super G.