Nathaniel Vinton is a writer based in New York. His nonfiction book, The Fall Line; How American Ski Racers Conquered a Sport on the Edge, was published in paperback form in 2016 by WW Norton and Company. It is available in bookstores, or you can order it here.
From 2007 to 2016, Vinton was a member of the sports investigations team at the New York Daily News, reporting frequently on performance-enhancing drugs, brain injuries, and other legal matters affecting the sports world. He and his colleagues produced investigative pieces like "Babe Ruthless" and "Gunning for his Lawyer" and "Soccer Rat!" In 2009, they published American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime (Alfred A. Knopf)
A lifelong student of Alpine ski racing, Vinton has covered the sport for Ski Racing, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, SKI, Skiing, Men's Journal, Skiing History and other publications.
ABOUT THE FALL LINE
Five years ago, the United States Olympic Team took a vibrant squad of adventurous downhill racers to the Winter Games in Vancouver, to represent their country on Alpine skiing’s biggest stage. Out in front were the two radically different skiers who over the previous decade had led a renaissance in American skiing: Lindsey Vonn, the U.S. Ski Team’s dazzling and fearless star, and Bode Miller, its reclusive and freakishly talented prodigal son.
What followed in Vancouver was a display of courage, skill, and authenticity unmatched in the annals of ski racing’s long history. Vonn and Miller, each burdened in a different way by the searing defeats that each had met at the previous Games, led their underdog team on a runaway medal streak -- even as their sport grappled with climate change and a spate of injuries attributable to technological changes in skiing.
Now comes a book that captures these complicated athl-etes and their adrenal world in vivid detail, reconstructing the U.S. Ski Team’s most suspenseful and important season, while chronicling the decade-long rise of a U.S. ski racing dynasty. THE FALL LINE: How American Ski Racers Conquered a Sport on the Edge [W. W. Norton & Company; February 2, 2015, $26.95 hardcover] offers a definitive portrait of Vonn and Miller, two driven athletes who unseated European skiers whose nations had held the throne for almost a century.
Veteran ski writer Nathaniel Vinton, an award-winning investigative sports journalist and lifelong student of Alpine skiing, weaves a narrative that is accessible to readers who’ve never skied, but also revelatory to those who follow the sport closely. Based on hundreds of interviews with the sport’s major figures, and on-the-ground reporting from dozens of race courses, The Fall Line is a thrilling journey deep into a spectacular sport, where athletes risk everything to sail across the snow and ice at 90 miles per hour.
Timed for release to coincide with the FIS Alpine skiing world championships, (held February 2-15 in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and televised on NBC), this is the unauthorized inside story of how a group of iconoclastic athletes delivered a record-smashing performance that remains unsurpassed today, even by the Americans’ proud showing at the 2014 Sochi Games (which Vonn, now the girlfriend of golf icon Tiger Woods, missed due to injury).
The Fall Line covers the year-long buildup to the 2010 Olympics, tracking the American racers as they battle for season-long standings on the FIS Alpine skiing World Cup circuit. Vinton combines informed run-by-run commentary on the races with an insider’s knowledge of the daredevil world of downhill skiing—its career-ending crashes, million-dollar sponsorship deals, and decades-long rivalries. Along the way, Vinton summons ski racing’s rich history, while taking an unblinking look at the sport’s current state of affairs – its vulnerability to climate change, a rapidly evolving snowsports industry, and safety concerns over the sport’s inherent mortal danger.
Drawing on relationships fostered during more than 15 years reporting on downhill ski racing, Vinton captures this underdog story from every angle—the athletes, coaches, sponsors, trainers, equipment techs, and the swelling numbers of US skiing enthusiasts watching at home or hitting the road to cheer on the team. THE FALL LINE is the story of an American dynasty in alpine skiing, and the intrepid athletes—not just Miller and Vonn, but Julia Mancuso, Andrew Weibrecht, Ted Ligety, and others —who carved out a space for America on the global alpine skiing stage. THE FALL LINE delivers the thrill of alpine racing alongside a panoramic view of the sport’s past, present, and future.