Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is the downhill dangerous?

This is the Olympics. The downhill is the pinnacle of the alpine ski events. The course needs to be difficult.

The Men’s competition had to be postponed due to conditions (read slush). Then the mountain got a shot of snow. Those of you that know ski racing realize powder is not what they are looking for. Preferred surface it what the recreational skier or rider would probably consider ice. The foot of fresh snow caused additional safety concerns because the track was variable and choppy. The committee modified the run for the woman in an attempt to make it safer. Still last night it claimed six victims in the field, all with DNF results.

Unfortunately there is not much video available on the internet except on the NBC site and they do not provide embedded HTML. Thanks NBC. Thanks Olympic Committee. I actually saw an acronym today for NBC that read “Not Broadcasting Correctly”. Anyway this LINK will get you to a clip they have put together showing all six of said crashes. The last one is spectacular.  Warning – you will need to download MS Silverlight to watch this and all other NBC video.

Apparently I am not the only writter frustrated by this either, see Michael Rosenberg rant. But I was able to track down this clip that shows a French skier named Marion Rolland whose dreams of triumph and years of training were all destroyed as she went for a strong push out of the gate. Watch Now - God bless the BBC.  Which raises the question, are the Brits making fun of the French by publishing this? 
On a lighter note, this was a funny moment that NBC did allow to slide – Stephen Colbert
Ski Fast!

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