Isaiah Nelson, 21, has earned the right to make his World Cup debut in Sölden. Nelson won a time trial on October 18 in Schnalstal, Italy, which determined who would use the last US starting position. The fiercely contested qualifier was won by Nelson, the current junior Super-G world champion, ahead of Patrick Kenney by 21 hundredths of a second.
The five American competitors each made three runs. The result was based on the athlete’s two best times combined. On all three runs, Nelson was the fastest. But for all five athletes, the difference between their two runs was only 0.8 of a second. This demonstrates that a qualifying round was required to decide the final starting position in Sölden fairly.
Nelson is a native of Minnesota who trained with the Buck Hill Ski Team during his formative years. In a rare move, he continued to participate in the program after achieving US Ski Team eligibility. He trained through high school using the program, never going to a ski academy.
The Nelson family responds to Isaiah’s outstanding skiing
The very first World Cup has a one-of-a-kind significance. Ski Racing Media inquired about the Nelson family’s thoughts and feelings. Isaiah Nelson, his father Todd Nelson, and his aunt Tasha Nelson McCrank, a veteran of the World Cup, all gave their responses.
According to Isaiah Nelson, they weren’t informed of their times until after the qualifier had already taken place. He considers that to have made it simpler to maintain his concentration on the process. Nelson also mentions that he was skiing well on softer surfaces but struggled during his first training on the harder snow the day before the time trial. This was the day before the time trial.
“Today I did a good job of making it seem like just another day of training, which is what it was,” Nelson said. It was encouraging to see that despite participating in a variety of training programs, we were all skiing at a high level. Getting my first start in the World Cup feels like nothing more than a natural progression right now. I am aware, despite this, that I must not take this present moment for granted. It is an accomplishment that is rarely attained.
I am excited about the upcoming few days that will be spent getting ready. Everyone who competed in today’s qualifying attempts is capable of earning the United States an additional start spot, and I intend to do everything in my power to make that happen on Sunday. On the other hand, this will be the very first time that I ski down the race hill. I have no other expectations other than to ski with self-assurance and put forth my best effort.
Tasha McCrank Nelson
Tasha Nelson McCrank, a former US World Cup player, has a nephew named Isaiah. McCrank remembered her initial World Cup appearance. She obtained hers by winning the NorAm SL championship, which qualified you for the World Cup finals. She placed 18th that year in Kvitfjell, Norway, where they competed. She later competed in two Olympics as a skier for Team USA. “I was thrilled to have my first opportunity, and today I felt the same way for Isaiah,” McCrank says. He’s going to have a blast doing it. He will further the amazing World Cup Buck Hill Ski Team tradition. It’s so thrilling!
Todd is Isaiah’s father and Tasha’s brother. Todd is a true fan of the game. This morning, Ski Racing Media reached out to Nelson. “I yelled with joy when I found out,” Nelson said. I am overjoyed. We’ve always known he could compete in the World Cup, and now he’ll get his first shot. I slept well last night, but whenever I awoke, my thoughts returned to Isaiah.
All of the skiers who competed for the spot are extremely talented. Any of them could have gotten the job. The time trial was extremely close, but it was thrilling that Isaiah won. Jana, Isaiah’s mother, and I attended Tasha’s first World Cup in 1996, and we are currently planning flights to Austria. It will be truly unique. You only get to ski your first World Cup once, and we want to be there when Isaiah does.”
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