Sport: A Nice Guy Who May Finish First

Phil Mahre has a chance to become the world's best skier

What astonishes his European rivals is that he can be so good and still have so much fun. When he comes slashing down a mountainside, weaving expertly through the slalom gates, the handsome young man from White Pass, Wash., is obviously having a marvelous time. He skis, as one leading foreign coach puts it, "for sheer joy, unlike the Europeans, who often are driven by political, nationalistic or commercial pressures." At the age of 20, with his best years just ahead, Phil Mahre...

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