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Wednesday, December 1, 2004
Top-ranked Miller gives Zanardi tips

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.''