A journey into the world’s original extreme sport: downhill ski racing.
Harnessing nature’s most powerful forces, elite downhillers descend icy, rugged slopes at speeds cresting 90 miles per hour. For decades, American skiers struggled to match their European counterparts, and until this century the US Ski Team could not claim a lasting foothold on the roof of the Alps, where the sport’s legends are born.
Then came a fledgling class of American racers that disrupted the Alpine racing world order. Led by Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety, this band of iconoclasts made a place for their country on some of the world’s most prestigious race courses. Even as new equipment amplified the sport’s inherent danger, the US Ski Team learned how to win, and they changed downhill racing forever.
The Fall Line
is the story of how it all came together, a deeply reported reconstruction of ski racing’s most dramatic season. Drawing on more than a decade of research and candid interviews with some of the sport’s most elusive figures, award-winning journalist Nathaniel Vinton reveals the untold story of how skiers like Vonn and Miller, and their peers and rivals, fought for supremacy at the Olympic Winter Games.
Here is an authoritative portrait of a group of men and women taking mortal risks in a bid for sporting glory. A white-knuckled tour through skiing’s deep traditions and least-accessible locales, The Fall Line opens up the sexy, high-stakes world of downhill skiing—its career-ending crashes, million-dollar sponsorship deals, international intrigue, and showdowns with nature itself.
With views from the starting gate, the finish line, and treacherous turns in between, The Fall Line
delivers the adrenaline of one of the world’s most beautiful and perilous sports alongside a panoramic view of skiing’s past, present, and future.
“This is a ripping, compulsively readable, deeply reported journey into the sporting world’s least-known subcultures. Nathaniel Vinton delivers the danger, the surprises, and the high-octane personalities that will take readers to the edge, and then past it.” — Daniel Coyle, New York Times best-selling author of The Secret Race and The Talent Code
“The Fall Line
unfolds like an exhilarating downhill race. Chronicling the lead-up to the 2010 Winter Olympics, Nathaniel Vinton weaves deftly between technical descriptions of the art of skiing and intimate portraits of the sport’s motley band of luminaries. This is as inside as an account can be of one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history.” — David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance
“Nathaniel Vinton’s reporting skill and skiing expertise underpin this thrill ride with the US Ski Team. All the politics and drama around the making of a US dynasty are delivered with new insights and details on its daring—and sometimes rebellious—stars. You don’t know Bode Miller or Lindsey Vonn until you read The Fall Line.” — Selena Roberts, filmmaker, best-selling author, and former sports writer for the New York Times and Sports Illustrated