Tuesday, January 23, 2001
Steamboat Springs For Czech skier Ladislav Rygl, the food in Steamboat Springs is pretty much the same as any other World Cup stop.
"I eat chocolate and coke," Rygl said. "That's about it and it's pretty much the same anywhere I go."
But the Czech skier did note several differences between Steamboat Springs and other stops on the World Cup. He likes Steamboat's friendly people, the supportive spectators who come out to cheer for the athletes and the wide open spaces here in Colorado.
He also likes the fact that the last time he was in Steamboat he stepped to the top stair of the podium in the two-jump, 15-kilometer event. He will be defending that World Cup win this week when he takes to the jumping hills and slopes of the Howelsen Hill complex.
"Perfect. Steamboat is perfect," Rygl said after training on Tuesday.
There was little doubt that Rygl, who is currently ranked fifth on the World Cup points with 590 points, is looking to capture a little bit of the magic from last year's win in Steamboat.
Rygl's top finish this year came five events ago when he was third in an event in Lillehammer. He has also chalked up two eighth-place and two seventh-place finishes. He was also fifth once and fourth another time.
"I've been a little disappointed this year," Rygl said. "I worked really hard in the summer and winter and expect better finishes this year."
Rygl said he is happy to be competing in all of the American World Cups. He said he enjoys Steamboat very much and was happy to get the chance to compete at the Olympic venue in Park City last week.
"It has been fun. It is nice to see two American cities and compete in both."
Still, Rygl said the most important thing is picking up solid finishes on the World Cup. He said he looks at Park City and Steamboat as just two more World Cup spots and a chance to score more World Cup podiums.
"I don't think too much about where I am, or if I won here last year," Rygl said. "The only thing that is important to me is who wins this year."