The victory was especially sweet because it served to rebut at least two recent critical appraisals of the state of the U.S. ski team. SI's Olympic Preview (Feb. 7) had pronounced U.S. racers to be a "woeful" bunch who skied like "lead-footed snowplows." In the Jan. 21 issue of Ski Racing, publisher Gary Black Jr. referred to the plight of the team as "pathetic," and wrote, "The failure of the team to be at all competitive is an embarrassment."
"We work very hard. We don't deserve to be ridiculed," Moe said, when asked at a press conference about the unflattering predictions for the team. As if to further confound the media, in the downhill half of the combined competition on the day after Moe's gold, U.S. teammate Rasmussen finished second and Moe third. The slalom half of the combined event will be held on Feb. 25, and both Americans are in strong contention for the gold. And it's worth noting that the Super G was scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 17—which just happens to be Little Tommy's 24th birthday.