2/10/2006

USA! USA! USA!

Daron Rahlves, an American athlete to be proud of.

From the Times: 'On his wedding day in the summer of 2003, Californian Daron Rahlves decided to "take the edge off." So he hired a stunt bride to make it seem as if his beloved had fallen into Lake Tahoe. "It worked," he says. "Totally freaked out her dad." Rahlves has been freaking people out for years. Undersize as a teenager, the downhill and super-G racer is still smallish — 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds — in disciplines dominated by linebacker-size Austrians. But Rahlves, 32, is also the most successful American male downhiller ever, a distinction enhanced in December, when he won twice and rose to No. 1 in the overall World Cup standings. With another win last month, in the Lauberhorn downhill in Switzerland, he's peaking at the right time. Less brash than Bode Miller, less alpha than Austria's Hermann Maier, Rahlves has something just as compelling: heart. "What's bigger about me," he says, "you can't see."'

Somehow, I don't think he was talking about his heart. And I bet his thingy's not that big, either. Dude's got "Napoleon Complex" written all over him, doesn't he? Whatever it takes.

USA! USA! USA!

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