One of the most controversial ski-related narratives to come out of the U.S. in 2012 was Torin Koos’ disqualification from the classic sprint at U.S. Nationals in Rumford, Maine. It’s not every day that a race unfolds the way that one did, and in its aftermath the incident generated heated discussion in the ski community.
We revisit the incident now because video of the move has recently surfaced. Koos never denied that his skis made contact with Scott’s, but his appeal did object to the legitimacy of the jury’s evidence. He didn’t think a marshall had seen him make the move, and at the time nobody had film that clearly showed the event — until now.
Quick rehash, since it’s been a few months: Koos cut across Ryan Scott’s skis on his way to winning the classic A-final, only to be reported by a course marshall and subsequently stripped of the win for obstruction of another competitor, which is against International Ski Federation (FIS) rules. Due to a prior warning for an separate incident earlier that week, what would have been relegation to sixth place defaulted to outright disqualification. Koos appealed the decision, but FIS rejected it, and the season went on.
The above footage was taken by Corky Harrer for Revived Films, and was unearthed from the cutting room floor during work on the company’s new movie, Fact or Fiction, in the process of interviewing its producers for a forthcoming review on FasterSkier. Though grainy, the image is clear enough to see Koos change tracks and nick Scott’s skis, causing the latter to stumble.
The film’s editors, Tyler Foulkes and Mac Fisher, had to zoom in on the shot to get a decent view of the move; hence the pixelated quality. Zoomed out, the figures were too far away to make the cut in the film, and the pair scrapped it without realizing what they’d barely managed to capture.
“It happened towards the beginning of the shot — that’s why it’s pixilated, because I blew it up a bit,” Foulkes said. “We don’t usually use that part of the shot; we don’t even look at it and wait until they’re more towards the camera. So I didn’t even realize it, but once you brought it up I was like, “Well we probably have something,’ and we did. I looked towards the beginning, and it was right there.
“I wish we’d realized at the time that we had that shot.”
Seven months removed, the new evidence has no official bearing as the case has long been closed. But the video does provide a look at what, in this case, was ruled obstruction.