While those in Mammoth obsessed about snow last weekend, Mammoth’s Ski Cross star, Johnny Teller, was in Innichen, Italy competing in Sunday’s World Cup race.
Not only competing: Teller made it to the podium for a third place bronze medal, behind winner Scott Kneller of Australia (a former Mammoth Mountain Ski Team racer) and Switzerland’s Alex Fiva.
“Being on the podium is awesome…I’m really happy” Teller said, after scoring his first World Cup podium of his young career. His best prior International result was 11th place in Branas, Sweden, in March, 2010.
Teller, a former Mammoth Mountain Ski Team member and a University of Colorado Ski Team captain, marked a career best on the World Cup stage. He qualified for the finals in 11th, made the most of it, finishing second in each heat to advance to the four man final race.
Teller’s journey to the podium was not an easy one, passing 2009 World Champion, Andreas Matt, at the finish line in the quarterfinals to advance, and then beating out 2005 and 2007 World Champion Tomas Krauss in the finals.
Asked if he was surprised with this result, Teller replied, “I knew I was skiing well last year because I was keeping up with Casey Puckett and Daron Rahlves…I knew if I could keep that going into this year it would be good going forward…it was hard to tell but I had high hopes.”
Rahlves and Puckett this summer formed the American Ski Cross Association, an organization built to fund and develop Americans to compete on the World Cup in Ski Cross and eventually improve Olympic results in Sochi.
“John Teller proves that Americans can compete and win in Ski Cross at the highest level,” says Puckett, the Association’s Executive Director, “To get this kind of result so early in the season proves to me that our efforts with the A.S.C.A can make a difference.”
Teller was one of only two athletes from the U.S. who competed. He was joined by Pat Duran (N. Fayston, VT) in 34th.
“I just want to thank everyone in Mammoth for supporting me. I couldn’t do it without them.” Teller said.