John Teller made a nice day in Mammoth Lakes even a little brighter.
Teller cruised to a victory in the freestyle World Cup ski cross event Wednesday in Megeve, France, sparking a celebration thousands of miles away in the Eastern Sierra.
Teller grew up and lives in Mammoth Lakes, and the buzz around Mammoth Chevron, owned by his parents, Karl and Debbie Teller, and Alpine Garage, where John has worked for years for uncle Mike and grandparents Dieter and Marlene Fiebiger, was spreading good vibrations in Mammoth.
“It was a good morning,” Karl Teller said. “(Debbie) talked to John and he was super excited. He said the hard work is paying off.”
Karl said John increased his off-season workouts, hitting the gym with more focus.
“He lost weight, gained muscle mass,” Karl said. “He got a good return on that work today.”
After a fifth-place finish over the weekend, John Teller qualifed 25th out of 32 riders at Megeve, then had three races before his championship run, beating Finland’s Jounie Pellinen.
In 2011, Teller became the first American to win a World Cup ski cross race, today’s second win just as enjoyable as the first. “It never gets old,” Karl Teller said.
Teller won in Megeve with pair of skis that had gone missing, losing them last year. Karl Teller said that while in Italy earlier this season, John saw someone standing in a lift line in front of him, using his skis. He confronted him, got his skis back, and after a holiday break at home and getting the skis back to his specs, Teller rode them to victory.
Marlene Fiebiger proudly got word out about her grandson’s victory, and hung an American flag at Alpine Garage.
“Today, USA is No. 1,” Marlene said.
And so is John Teller.