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Top-ranked Miller gives Zanardi tips

12/1/2004

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.''