Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Couldn't See A Thing...

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.)



Anyway, wonderful Apolo won yet another medal for his speed skating expertise. He skates clean and he deserved it. Just after that, I fell into a deep Ny-Quil slumber so I have no idea what else happened after that.


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!

13 comments:

Mental P Mama said...

Seriously. NBC needs you;) Feel better!

Suburban Princess said...

Breathe!!!!

I dont understand why they make the top ranked skiers go down so close together - it would be nice if they let them have the run to themselves!

Snooty Primadona said...

SP: Actually, they don't usually do that. For some unknown reason, they were doing it that way to try & get everyone down the hill before the worst of the storm set in. Boneheads! It only got worse & worse...

Diane said...

Good commentary as always. I thought they should have restarted the whole skiing event.
And I'm not a fan of the whole women's skating drama that's going on.

Go Apolo!

imbeingheldhostage said...

I was thinking the same thoughts, different events. Like why were the Canadians allowed to run the courses before the Olympics started? Like on the Moguls-- I imagine I would be pretty good if I knew the course well enough. That's just one of my rants-- it's best not to get me started on canceling runs after some have completed them.
Fell better Snooty!

North of 25A said...

So glad I found your blog! Unfortunately for me, every big event that I wanted to see ended up being well past my falling asleep on the couch time! Will "see" you again soon!
Thanks!

noble pig said...

You need to be a winter sportscaster, OMG you are good!

Heather said...

I know skating, not skiing—even tho my brother was a big skier. This is THE best explanation I have heard about what happened. I didn't get any of it until now. Thanks SP! NBC does need you.

As for the skating. I think it was one of the best Olympics ever. I thought all the disciplines lived up to the expectations. It was great to see SO many skaters do amazing programs.

I can't stay awake so I Tivo the games. Get up early and watch before I turn on the news. What a loser I am.

Beth Dunn said...

Amazing pics! I love skiing, and watching it too.
xoxo
SC

Lyn said...

Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Spider Sabich mentioned in your post..my son, at the age of about 4/5 idolized Spider..huge poster in his room..at Hunter Mt..Ran into him at Aspen, stopped to talk with Jon, and then...still sad about that.

Clippy Mat said...

great Olympic coverage Snoots. I see you are a diehard skiing fan. As you know, I'm not. I appreciate those that can tho'. Great commentary from you. I'm watching it all on TV but I agree, NBC needs YOU!
hugs,
:-)

Snooty Primadona said...

Lyn: When I worked for the (then) Aspen Ski. Corp when it was still owned by Darcy Brown, Spider used to come to my ticket window and literally throw his gold Ski The Rockies VIP card through the little hole in my window without uttering a word. Then, he'd turn around & say something nasty to Claudine. I once saw them at a party in Snowmass and he slapped the crap out of her. Sadly, he was very abusive & everyone in Aspen knew he knocked Claudine around all the time. I don't care what anyone says. He was horrible to her. Apparently, she finally got sick of it. I mean, he was a really big guy and she was such a petite little thing... and always very meek & quiet. However, up on the hill he was always very professional & he did lay out killer downhill & giant slalom courses. He was just always so arrogant & full of himself!

You're all so nice, but I guarantee you that NBC could do far better than my commentaries, LOL!

Lyn said...

Thank you so much for telling this to me..I never knew..I don't think this was in the press, at least I didn't see it. How the mighty have fallen..I don't know if I'll ever bring this up with Jon, a grown man now..kids have idols.....thanks..

 

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