Phil Mahre is the best technical ski racer the United States has ever produced. Mahre first made the U.S. team in 1974, just after graduating from high school. He went on to compete in the 1976 Olympics, finishing fifth in the giant slalom, the best performance that year by a U.S. alpine ski racer. In the next two years, Phil and his twin brother, Steve, had very successful seasons, but Phil had by far the better of it. He won several World Cup races and was a challenger to Ingemar Stenmark for world domination of the technical races. But at the pre-Olympic races at Lake Placid in 1979, Mahre fell, so severely fracturing his ankle that he required surgery and seven screws and a metal plate to hold the bones together. His Olympic chances looked slim with the Games less than a year away. But Mahre made an amazing recovery. Understandably he had a so-so early season in 1979-80 but recovered to win a silver medal, behind Stenmark, in the slalom at Lake Placid. Phil Mahre then replaced Stenmark as the best technical alpine skiier in the world. He won the men’s all-round World Cup title three years in succession, 1981-1983, something done before only by Stenmark and Gustavo Thoeni).