Top-ranked Miller gives Zanardi tips

Updated: December 1, 2004, 11:51 AM ET
Associated Press

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. -- Alex Zanardi is racing again. On the ski slope.

The two-time CART champion, who lost both legs in a crash in 2001, is picking up skiing tips this week from Bode Miller, who heads into this week's World Cup races in Beaver Creek undefeated and the top-ranked skier in the world.

Zanardi, who has skied since he was a kid, has turned to a discipline called mono-skiing, where his seat is perched on a single ski.

On Tuesday, Zanardi took a run down the course where Miller will compete in four races, beginning Thursday. Last week at Lake Louise, Alberta, Miller won the super-giant slalom and the downhill. He also won the season-opening giant slalom in Austria in October.

"I was a pretty good skier'' as a kid, Zanardi said. "After the accident, when the hardest part of the rehabilitation was behind me, I decided I was going to pick up my passions again.''

Zanardi skis with his wife and son when they go to their vacation home in Italy. He drew a comparison between skiing and auto racing, calling auto suspension systems a mechanical replica of what the human leg does in high-speed turns while ski racing.

"There are incredible similarities between what we do on the circuit and what they do on a pair of skis,'' Zanardi said. "For them, it's actually a little more difficult because they do not have an engine powering them. They have to take advantage of gravity to regain speed and sometimes that is quite difficult.''

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press