Tuesday night was rather lackluster compared to this last week. The figure skating was lovely but too early to tell. Bode Miller *ate it* during the Men's GS and there were not even any USA competitors in the women's Ski Cross, which truly disappointed me. Since I'm coming down with a head cold, I opted to go to bed with the TV on so I did catch some other events although they are merely fog on my brain at this point.
Speaking of fog, the women's GS was last night (actually early Wednesday morning) and it totally freaked me out with the conditions. I never did do low visibility well and I still don't. Low visibility and wanky conditions are what ultimately caused me to injure my first knee just weeks before my third ever competition. In the GS you have to realize that the ruts get so deep around each gate that it feels like you're skiing the Grand Canyon. If you're lucky enough to be one of the first skiers out of the gate it's not quite so bad, but the farther back you are, the more deteriorated the course becomes. Then the dense fog just multiplies the dangers for the competitors. It's the stuff tragedies are made of. It's one of the most frightening conditions that exists. Even with the blue lines guiding the way to which direction to turn around a gate, I guarantee you that you cannot see 10 feet ahead of you while also trying to concentrate on the gates. I don't care how focused you are. There are still going to be mistakes. You just pray that they aren't too big. There was a point when the TV viewer was able to see absolutely nothing and that is no exaggeration.
Furthermore, the conditions in Canada have not been the most desirable since the very beginning of these Olympic Games... So, here's the scoop on the GS. In order to have the best possible run you must almost stay in a crouch or tuck throughout the course, keeping your hands low and in front of you. You absolutely must start making the turn for the next gate the second you finish the previous gate, allowing the skier his or her absolute best time. In poor visibility, it makes that very difficult to accomplish. I'd like to be able to say that GS was always my favorite, but I also love the speed of the downhill. As a matter of fact, Spider Sabich used to come set up our practice courses in Snowmass, although we all hated him for it. He set up really difficult courses, which was exactly as he should have, whether we all whined about it or not. Ski training isn't for wimps or crybabies, which Spider was well known for saying to us.
So, basically, the officials allowed Lindsey Vonn (with Lindsey losing her ground halfway down the course, then crashing into the safety nets). Julia Mancuso was allowed to start down the hill exactly one minute behind Vonn, only minutes later flagging and stopping Julia mid-run. Once Julia finished her re-started run, she finished in 16th place (which ultimately became 18th), at which point they canceled the event for a later date due to weather. I'm beginning to see a definite pattern here, which I suppose has always been present, I just never recognized it before. It disappoints me in the overall Olympics. I thought it was all supposed to be fair. It's not, by any means. Hopefully, they will allow all the women to start fresh, which should even the playing field tremendously. But, there is some controversy about it at this point.
Frankly, I'm so angered by it that I can't even talk about the Alpine Skiing anymore. I just question why the officials allowed 3 women (1 Austrian and 2 Americans with the Austrian in 1st place of course) to take their runs before postponing the event. Maybe there were others who made their runs but I turned the sound off after that. I can't help but wonder if they allowed the Austrian coach to set the gates on this course as well. (They actually drew straws or something for this privilege, as I understand it.)
I suppose I'll have calmed down enough by Saturday to watch the postponed women's GS...
Oooops! I almost forgot to add this link to the USA Olympics music, which I'm now totally hooked on:
Last of all, there is a CD called the Olympic Team USA Soundtrack, which is wonderful AND it's available through iTunes or an ad on NBC. All of the proceeds from this CD (12 different popular artists) will go to benefit The USA Olympics and you'll get to hear some great music from famous artists who have donated their sales of this mixed CD to the same. It's a win-win deal and the music is seriously good, even though there is one rap song, which I detest. The point is, that it's for the USA Olympics, and they always need help. If you're planning on making a DVD of your kids in the near future, these songs will fulfill all of your background music needs, trust me. I would have killed for a CD like this back when my kids were graduating from private school 6th grade and we made videos with pictures of all their years together. Our background music sucked, but we didn't have this wonderful CD. Trust me here. About this, I am right. Besides, you at least get something for your money rather than just a blind donation. And no, I'm not getting paid for this lip service. It's just a really great CD for an even greater cause. I AM SO HOOKED!