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U.S. racer at finish, Sugarloaf, 1971

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Description

Team U.S. downhill skier number 21 is shown at the finish line in the 1971 World Cup races at Sugarloaf in Carabassett. Downhill skiers wore tight-fitting suits so they would not have any extra wind resistance. Races were often won by 100ths of seconds and every little bit helped. The skier in this photograph cut up his race bib and sewed the numbers onto his downhill suit. The bibs were loose fitting and flapped around causing drag on the racer. The following year the governing body of the World Cup, FIS, banned the practice of altering the bibs. The sponsors that had paid money to have their names or logos on the bibs and did not like losing the exposure. Later, tighter fitting stretch bibs were designed to solve the wind resistance problem. Bob Beattie, ABC commentator, is seen to the right behind racer number 21.

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