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 technology 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.
16 pages of illustrations
"May be the best book ever about the U.S. Ski Team and the highest levels of alpine ski competition. . . . Even if you don’t care about ski racing, you find yourself rooting for these athletes. And even if you know what happened, you find your pulse racing as you read about it."
"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
"A riveting, richly informed ride down the world’s most renowned ski slopes, chronicling the ascendance of American skiing and the outsized stars, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, who epitomize it."
― Wayne Coffey, author of The Boys of Winter
"Set against the backdrop of spectacular mountains, Vinton’s account combines history, biography, corporate politics, and environmental issues into a compelling narrative detailing the past and present of Alpine ski racing."
― Craig Clark, Booklist
"A page turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know what’s next."
― John Laconte, Vail Daily