Dean Travers confirmed his huge potential in world skiing after finishing 39th in the Super-G at the world championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
The 18-year-old Caymanian is competing at this level for the first time and skied like a veteran last Thursday to finish in 1 minute, 19.80 seconds, four seconds behind the winner Hannes Reichelt of Austria.
Significantly, Bode Miller, the brilliant American who has won multiple world and Olympic titles in a glittering career, smacked a gate so hard he crashed, opening a deep gash on his right leg and tearing a tendon that required surgery. He announced after that he may now retire from competing.
Fifteen others did not complete the Super-G course for various reasons, so Travers has that satisfaction as well as finishing quicker than 11 others.
Travers said that racing the Super-G gave him the confidence to race at the highest level and it was an eye-opening experience in many ways. “I realized that, even at 18, the best skiers in the world are only a few seconds ahead of me and with some more hard work and training, I can be right there with them,” he said.
He added that as the course was on The Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek which he feels is one of the most demanding in the world and a different league to anything he has skied before, racing down it at up to 65 miles an hour removed the fear factor and boosted his confidence.
“I just hope I made people back home in Cayman proud.”
As soon as he crossed the finish line, he said, he wanted to do it again and “clean up four or five small mistakes I made that cost me seconds.”
That was his first major Super-G on arguably the toughest course anywhere.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I pushed out of the start gate, but with the confidence and experience I gained, I’m ready to go again in my next senior race and hope for a cleaner, faster run.”
He feels he should could have been much faster but after an early mistake his “nervousness seemed to evaporate and I found my form.”
He added, “It’s a very unforgiving sport though and you really can’t recover speed after an early mistake.”
Travers will be racing again at these world championships in the giant slalom on Friday.
“It’s my debut in this event at senior level but I have found new speed in training so I’m aiming to gain valuable experience and to put in a strong showing for the Cayman Islands.”