Kelley bros share a start in Val D’Isere

By Robby Kelley

After 13 hours of driving over two days, I finally arrived in Val D’Isere on Thursday for the first World Cup slalom of the year. I checked in, got my room key, went upstairs, opened the door, and my roommate was sitting there on the little European bed for two. I’ve roomed with this guy before, never for a World Cup, but for a bunch of Europa Cups, Nor Ams, college races, FIS races, USSA races and also for the first 10 years of my life.

For the first time ever my brother Tim and I were racing a World Cup together and we were also rooming together. Some things were a little different from rooming together growing up and some things were the same. Tim always got bloody noses growing up and would have blood stains on his pillows, this trip he slammed his shin on a coffee table and bled all over the sheets, so that was pretty similar. We both had our own beds growing up and were sharing one here, so that was pretty different. My side of the room was definitely the messy side growing up and I definitely was the messy one this trip, so that was pretty similar. Tim didn’t snore at all when we were little and he was snoring a fair amount this trip, so that was a little different.

We both had different ways of getting to this point. Tim was one of the top two North Americans in last year’s Nor-Am slalom standings, which guarantees him a spot in every race this year. I didn’t earn my spot until last week by getting my first Europa Cup podium in Hemsedal, Norway. Val D’Isere is a super cool place, the race hill is steep and icy the whole way with a lot of varying terrain. While the race didn’t go quite as we hoped, we both DNFed, we’re both skiing well and are ready to rip up some more World Cups together.