Road to Aspen, Part 1

Kyle Negomir: Up and Coming

The pinnacle of competition in our sport is the World Cup, a winter-long race series hosted throughout the Alps with regular stops in Scandinavia and North America. Racers compete across 4 disciplines: Slalom, Giant Slalom (GS), Super-Giant Slalom (Super-G) and Downhill. Points in each of the 4 disciplines, and in total, are awarded throughout the season to competitors finishing in the top 30, with the winners being awarded the prestigious crystal globe at the end of the World Cup calendar. While the Olympics are by far the most watched ski races in the world, the World Cup is widely regarded as most prestigious, challenging athletes to excel in multiple disciplines over the course of the entire season.

The World Cup is known as the White Circus, with teams from all major skiing nations moving week to week around the globe on planes, trains, buses and in cars. At each stop, 100s of athletes, coaches, staff, officials, and media descend on iconic ski towns and take over for the week. Fans fill in any remaining gaps and turn up the energy with round-the-clock parties, boisterous cheering and cowbell ringing from the stands. The magnitude of equipment and infrastructure is breathtaking and the pressure on athletes to perform is immense. Simply making the national team of a skiing nation is an incredible endorsement, but skiing on the World Cup is an achievement that ski racers dream of from the first days they slide into a starting gate. This winter, the World Cup returns to our hometown of Aspen, and we couldn’t be more excited to watch the fastest men in the world take on America’s Downhill on our namesake slope, Aztec!

Via the World Cup Dreams Foundation, Aztech Mountain is supporting Kyle Negomir, an up-and-coming World Cup racer from Colorado who is currently a member of the United States Ski Team. World Cup Dreams supports, protects and inspires snow-sport athletes dreaming of racing on the world’s biggest stage. Kyle embodies what we love about the sport of ski racing: the confluence of raw talent, hard work and true grit. Born and raised in Denver, Kyle grew up skiing on the weekends at Copper Mountain and Loveland Pass. By the time is he was 8 years old he was jumping into Nastar, Teamski and Masters races with the support of his parents. Though he didn’t immediately show the potential of a world-class ski racer, Kyle stuck with the sport that he loved in hopes of skiing well enough to earn a college scholarship that would put him on the path to medical school. In fact, it wasn’t until his post-graduate year of racing between high-school and college that he realized a breakthrough that took him to the World Junior Championships and eventually landed him a spot on the U.S. Ski Team. Now, Kyle finds himself a card-carrying member of the White Circus, reporting into us from around the glove.

Kyle started off the 2022-23 World Cup season with a bang, scoring his first World Cup points in the opening speed (Super-G and Downhill) events of the season with a top-30 result in the Super-G race. Scoring points in the World Cup is a major challenge for young, emerging racers as they start from the back of the pack. They take on the world’s most difficult racecourses late in the day after dozens of competitors have already skied the course, leaving the conditions far more challenging. The quest to build their World Cup ranking is a season-long challenge. Kyle has kept the momentum going, scoring points in two subsequent races this season, bolstering his place amongst the world’s fastest skiers. The entire U.S. team is currently in the heart of their season, living out of hotel rooms far from home as they move from ski town to ski town throughout the Alps. Away from friends and family, the team becomes a family unit of its own, forging strong bonds between young racers like Kyle and veteran team members like Ryan Cochran-Seigel and Travis Ganong. Away from the mountain, this band of brothers bond over meals and adventures as they try to soak up special moments emersed in the ski culture of the world’s most legendary mountain towns.

Next month, Kyle, his U.S. teammates and the entire World Cup White Circus will descend upon Aspen. We’re over-joyed to welcome Kyle home to Colorado and cheer him on as he rips down Aztec, hopefully on his way to glory on home-soil. America’s Downhill has a rich history that played a key role in Aspen’s emergence as an international skiing icon and even forged memories that would eventually inspire the very inception of Aztech Mountain.