In the United States the start of this season's major skiing events has been delayed because of the lack of snow on many ski-fields.
SCU Hank Kashiva on rostrum
GV & CU Skiers down slope (12 shots)
GV Skiers down slope
SV Skiers and spectators
GV Skiers down slope and across finish
GV Skiers down slope and across finish after one skier falls
Initials BB/2308 NC/AH/BB/2318
SPORT - SKIING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In the United States the start of this season's major skiing events has been delayed because of the lack of snow on many ski-fields.
Slopes that in normal years would be white with snow have this year been green much further into autumn. It has been causing problems to the operators of many fields as they lose thousands of dollars (pounds) a day.
Professional skiing has now started and one of the first events was the opening of the international professional ski series in Colorado last weekend.
On Sunday (8 December), the young French skier Henri Duvillard won the slalom on the second day of the contest -- the first event in a series of 14.
Duvillard scored his first victory as a professional -- last year he was one of the top amateurs in the world -- by defeating Norwegian Otto Tschudi. The Frenchman beat Tschudi by a narrow margin on the first run. On the second Tschudi fell at the last flag.
On saturday (7 December) Duvillard was less lucky. Hank Kashiva of the United States defeated him in the giant slalom. The next day the American could only manage third place after defeating Joseph Odermatt of Switzerland.
SYNOPSIS: Hank Kashiva of the United States was wearing a big smile last weekend after defeating one of the top World Cup skiers of last year, Henri Duvillard. Kashiva earned himself four thousand dollars in the giant slalom event in Vail, Colorado. The Frenchman was behind in the last run of the final and fell while trying to make up time. Another French skier, Jean-Noel Augier, beat American Terry Palmer for third place. The professional circuit in America has undergone a major transformation this year with many of the top European amateur skiers joining it.
Jean Claude Killy is back on the circuit after a year's break. The infusion of new talent has meant that many of last season's top skiers are finding it difficult to qualify this time around.
Sunday was cold and sunny and again it was the newcomers who dominated the slalom event. Hank Kashiva made it to the semi-finals then faltered. But he took third place by beating Joseph Odermatt from Switzerland. Henri Duvillard was in the finals. He took on Norwegian Otto Tschudi. This time Duvillard was the winner when Tschudi fell. And as the fourteen event series continues skiing experts say the young Frenchman will be the skier to watch.