Mike Lafferty (alpine skier)

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Mike Lafferty
— Alpine skier —
Disciplines Downhill
Club Bend Skyliners
University of Colorado
Born (1948-05-20) May 20, 1948 (age 66)
Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
World Cup debut January 1969 (age 20)
Retired March 1974 (age 25)
Olympics
Teams 1 – (1972)
Medals 0
World Championships
Teams 2 – (1970, 1972)
    includes Olympics
Medals 0
World Cup
Seasons 6 – (196974)
Wins 0
Podiums 2 – (2 DH)
Overall titles 0 – (9th in 1972)
Discipline titles 0 – (3rd in DH, 1972)

Michael McCormack "Mike" Lafferty (born May 20, 1948) is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from the United States. He specialized in downhill and had two World Cup podiums and eleven top ten finishes, all in downhill. His best finish in the World Cup season standings was in 1972: third in downhill and ninth overall.

Early years[edit]

Born in Eugene, Oregon, Lafferty was the third and youngest son of Paul and Jean Lafferty.[1][2][3][4] His father Paul (1910–92) was a college ski team coach in the 1930s[5] and an officer in the famed 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army in World War II.[1][6]

Lafferty learned to ski at Willamette Pass and raced as a junior for the Bend Skyliners at Mt. Bachelor.[7] Following graduation from South Eugene High School in 1966, he followed his brother Peter to the University of Colorado in Boulder.[8][6] He raced for the Buffaloes for two years[9] until named to the "B team" of the U.S. Ski Team in December 1968, then promoted to the "A team" later that month.[10][11][12]

Racing career[edit]

Lafferty's first top ten result in a World Cup race was in December 1969, with a fifth place in a downhill at Val-d'Isère, France.[13] At the Winter Olympics in 1972 in Japan, Lafferty finished 14th in the downhill.[14] Two years earlier, he was 31st at the World Championships in 1970 in Italy.[15]

Lafferty's best World Cup result was his first podium, a runner-up finish at Crystal Mountain, Washington, in February 1972, the first event after the Olympics.[16][17][7] The next day he had a fourth place finish in another downhill[18] and ascended another podium in Italy a few weeks later.[19] Before the Olympics, he finished just off the podium in mid-January with a fourth place at storied Kitzbühel.[20]

His third place finish in the World Cup downhill season standings in 1972 was the best by an American male until 2003, when Daron Rahlves finished second. (Other third place finishers were Bill Johnson in 1984 and A.J. Kitt in 1992.) Rahlves finished second again in 2004 and Bode Miller was also second in 2005 and 2008. Through 2013, a U.S. male has yet to win the season title in the downhill discipline.

After racing[edit]

Following his final season in 1974,[21][22][23] Lafferty returned to Oregon to help manage the family's successful cold storage business in Eugene and Albany.[2][4][6][24] He briefly raced on the pro circuit in North America.[25]

World Cup results[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Season Age Overall Slalom Giant
Slalom
Super G Downhill Combined
1969 20 (57) not
run
not
run
1970 21 41 12
1971 22 50 23
1972 23 9 3
1973 24 41 17
1974 25 (63)

Points were only awarded for top ten finishes (see scoring system).

Top ten finishes[edit]

  • 2 podiums - (2 DH)
  • 11 top tens - (11 DH)
Season Date Location Discipline Place
1970 14 Dec 1969 France Val-d'Isère, France Downhill 5th
1971 29 Jan 1971 France Megève, France Downhill 9th
1972 12 Dec 1971 France Val-d'Isère, France Downhill 6th
14 Jan 1972 Austria Kitzbühel, Austria Downhill 4th
25 Feb 1972 United States Crystal Mountain, USA Downhill 2nd
26 Feb 1972 Downhill 4th
15 Mar 1972 Italy Val Gardena, Italy Downhill 3rd
1973 15 Dec 1972 Italy Val Gardena, Italy Downhill 9th
6 Jan 1973 West Germany Garmisch, West Germany Downhill 9th
7 Jan 1973 Downhill 9th
27 Jan 1973 Austria Kitzbühel, Austria Downhill 8th

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kidd, Joe (February 2, 1992). "Local businessman Paul Lafferty dies". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 3B. 
  2. ^ a b Mosley, Joe (October 23, 2005). "Family keeps a warm spot for freezing". Eugene Register Guard. p. H11. 
  3. ^ "Funeral arrangements: David Lafferty". Eugene Register-Guard. April 25, 1965. p. 3A. 
  4. ^ a b "Obituary: Jean Stevenson Lafferty". Eugene Register-Guard. October 21, 2005. p. D5. 
  5. ^ "Oregon ski team to compete in Mt. Hood collegiate meet". Eugene Register-Guard. April 7, 1938. p. 9. 
  6. ^ a b c "About us". SnoTemp. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Anstine, Dennis (March 8, 1972). "Lafferty enjoying some 'home' skiing". Bend (OR) Bulletin. p. 10. 
  8. ^ Cawood, Neil (June 27, 1968). "Lafferty's progress all 'downhill'". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1D. 
  9. ^ "Peet, Buffs win opening NCAA titles". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. March 22, 1968. p. 25. 
  10. ^ "Oregon's Lafferty first in downhill". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. December 24, 1968. p. 9. 
  11. ^ "Lafferty wins holiday downhill". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. December 24, 1968. p. 2B. 
  12. ^ Uhrhammer, Jerry (July 29, 1971). "It's off to the snowy Andes for Mike Lafferty". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1B. 
  13. ^ "Eugene skier takes fifth spot". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. December 15, 1969. p. 2B. 
  14. ^ "Swiss yodeling at Sapporo". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. February 8, 1972. p. 15. 
  15. ^ Redmont, Dennis (February 16, 1970). "Kidd surprises even himself". Evening News (Newburgh, NY). Associated Press. p. 10B. 
  16. ^ "Skiers aim at repeats". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. February 26, 1972. p. 12. 
  17. ^ "Eugenean takes second as Russi takes World Cup event". Eugene Register-Guard. February 26, 1972. p. 1B. 
  18. ^ "Swiss star is winner in ski cup". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. February 27, 1972. p. 3-sports. 
  19. ^ "Russi nabs ski victory, world mark". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. March 16, 1972. p. 23. 
  20. ^ "Yanks finish in top ranks". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. January 15, 1972. p. 9. 
  21. ^ "Skiers renew old rivalry; Lafferty set". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. December 7, 1973. p. 3D. 
  22. ^ "Collombin takes win in downhill". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. January 13, 1974. p. 8. 
  23. ^ "Skiers eye new year". Bangor Daily News. UPI. November 15, 1974. p. 11. 
  24. ^ Wyant, Don (November 3, 1975). "City major cranberry shipper". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 7B. 
  25. ^ "Lathrop tops pro ski trials". Milwaukee Sentinel. February 8, 1975. p. 3-part 2. 

External links[edit]