The Fall Line: America's Rise to Ski Racing's Summit

W. W. Norton & Company
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“Great sports writing. . . . [Vinton] is taking us inside a world few ever visit.”—James Hill, Washington Post

Harnessing nature’s most powerful forces, elite downhillers descend icy, rugged slopes at speeds cresting 90 miles per hour. For decades, American skiers struggled to match their European counterparts, and until this century the US Ski Team could not claim a lasting foothold on the roof of the Alps, where the sport’s legends are born.

Then came a fledgling class of American racers that disrupted the Alpine racing world order. Led by Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety, this band of iconoclasts made a place for their country on some of the world’s most prestigious race courses. Even as new technology amplified the sport’s inherent danger, the US Ski Team learned how to win, and they changed downhill racing forever.

The Fall Line is the story of how it all came together, a deeply reported reconstruction of ski racing’s most dramatic season. Drawing on more than a decade of research and candid interviews with some of the sport’s most elusive figures, award-winning journalist Nathaniel Vinton reveals the untold story of how skiers like Vonn and Miller, and their peers and rivals, fought for supremacy at the Olympic Winter Games.

Here is an authoritative portrait of a group of men and women taking mortal risks in a bid for sporting glory. A white-knuckled tour through skiing’s deep traditions and least-accessible locales, The Fall Line opens up the sexy, high-stakes world of downhill skiing—its career-ending crashes, million-dollar sponsorship deals, international intrigue, and showdowns with nature itself.

With views from the starting gate, the finish line, and treacherous turns in between, The Fall Line delivers the adrenaline of one of the world’s most beautiful and perilous sports alongside a panoramic view of skiing’s past, present, and future.

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About the author

Nathaniel Vinton is a writer who covered sports for the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and many other publications. While an investigative reporter at the New York Daily News, he coauthored American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime. A lifelong student of ski racing, he lives in New York with his wife and their children.

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Additional Information

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Feb 2, 2015
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780393244786
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Sports
Sports & Recreation / Skiing
Sports & Recreation / Winter Sports
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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White Heat is pure adrenaline—a thrilling exploration of extreme skiing that pushes the reader over the edge with heart-pounding accounts of people who risk their lives on the fastest, steepest slopes.

Often obsessed and possibly crazy, extreme skiers and snowboarders are having the time of their lives facing death-defying challenges. But the extreme skiing life isn't just about the quest to finish first; it's a lifestyle made up of insane jumps, bone-breaking speeds, and world records—not to mention the wild off-mountain social world, the flamboyant gear and slang completely unique to it, and, of course, the remarkable history of the racing champions and events that is its backdrop.

Wayne Johnson, former competitive skier and acclaimed novelist, takes us into the cult of extreme skiing populated by stars such as one-eyed jumping champion Jerry Martin, who held the North American distance record for more than a decade, and Vinko Bogataj, whose world-famous wipeout on ABC's Wide World of Sports gave rise to the expression “pulling a Vinko.” Here are real-life adventures, everything from Shane McConkey ski BASE jumping the Eiger in Switzerland to Shawn White, the Flying Tomato, throwing 1260s in the halfpipe. Johnson, who has spent a lifetime on the mountains, also puts you in his boots when recounting goose-bump- inducing tales of high-speed downhill racing, Nordic jumping competitions, avalanche control, and the hip, ripping world of snowboarding.

If you've ever wondered what kind of nut would willingly choose to fly off a twenty-story ski jump, or have ever dreamed of living outside the usual boundaries, or just like to read about people having life-expanding adventures, then White Heat is an exhilarating thrill ride that will leave you breathless.
It was an epic downfall. In twenty-four seasons pitcher Roger Clemens put together one of the greatest careers baseball has ever seen. Seven Cy Young Awards, two World Series championships, and 354 victories made him a lock for the Hall of Fame. But on December 13, 2007, the Mitchell Report laid waste to all that. Accusations that Clemens relied on steroids and human growth hormone provided and administered by his former trainer, Brian McNamee, have put Clemens in the crosshairs of a Justice Department investigation.

Why did this happen? How did it happen? Who made the decisions that altered some lives and ruined others? How did a devastating culture of drugs, lies, sex, and cheating fester and grow throughout Major League Baseball's clubhouses? The answers are in these extraordinary pages.

American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America’s Pastime is about much more than the downfall of a superstar. While the fascinating portrait of Clemens is certainly at the center of the action, the book takes us outside the white lines and inside the lives and dealings of sports executives, trainers, congressmen, lawyers, drug dealers, groupies, a porn star, and even a murderer—all of whom have ties to this saga. Four superb investigative journalists have spent years uncovering the truth, and at the heart of their investigation is a behind-the-scenes portrait of the maneuvering and strategies in the legal war between Clemens and his accuser, McNamee.

This compelling story is the strongest examination yet of the rise of illegal drugs in America’s favorite sport, the gym-rat culture in Texas that has played such an important role in spreading those drugs, and the way Congress has dealt with the entire issue. Andy Pettitte, Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, and Chuck Knoblauch are just a few of the other players whose moving and sometimes disturbing stories are illuminated here as well. The New York Daily News Sports Investigative Team has written the definitive book on corruption and the steroids era in Major League Baseball. In doing so, they have managed to dig beneath the disillusion and disappointment to give us a stirring look at heroes who all too often live unheroic shadow lives.
Pitch by Pitch gets inside the head of Bob Gibson on October 2, 1968, when he took the mound for game one of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers and struck out a record seventeen batters.

With the tension rising in the stadium, an uproarious crowd behind him, and the record for the most strikeouts thrown in a World Series game on the line, Gibson, known as one of the most intimidating pitchers in baseball history, relives every inning and each pitch of this iconic game. Facing down batter after batter, he breaks down his though process and recounts in vivid and candid detail his analysis of the players who stepped into the batter's box against him, his control of both the ball and the elements of the day, and his moments of synchronicity with teammate Tim McCarver, all the while capturing the fascinating relationship and unspoken dialogue that carries on between pitcher and catcher over the course of nine critical innings.

From the dugout to the locker room, Gibson offers a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the players, the team's chemistry, and clubhouse culture. He recounts the story of Curt Flood, Gibson's best friend and the Cardinal center fielder, who would go on to become one of the pioneers of free agency; shares colorful anecdotes of his interactions with some of baseball's most unforgettable names, from Denny McLain and Roger Maris to Sandy Koufax and Harry Caray; and relives the confluence of events, both on and off the field, that led to one of his---and baseball's---most memorable games ever.

This deep, unfiltered insider look at one particular afternoon of baseball allows for a better understanding of how pros play the game and all the variables that a pitcher contends with as he navigates his way through a formidable lineup. Gibson's extraordinary and engrossing tale is retold from the unique viewpoint of an extremely perceptive pitcher who happens to be one of baseball's all-time greats.

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