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Mikaela Shiffrin on Golden Peak’s giant slalom course.

While Ski Club Vail may find itself without a clubhouse come November, it will be business as usual on Golden Peak. Which means that the club’s signature speed-training venue will again host not just hordes of Lycra-clad kids, but the best ski racers in the world, from Lindsey Vonn to Lara Gut.

Roughly a decade ago, the club invested in a state-of-the-art, fully automated snowmaking system on Golden Peak that, just after Halloween, allows it to open one of the few full-length, early-season training courses in North America. The international ski racing community took notice.

For elite athletes from the US Ski Team and Europe, who are drawn from around the world to Colorado by the World Cup calendar, not much is different in an Olympic year since they approach every season with the same drive and fire.

What does change is the level of media attention and the Olympic buzz that follows them. Along with the young Ski Club protégés of Lindsey and Mikaela, jockeying to get their helmets autographed by their home-grown heroes.

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