Published: February 19th 2010February 19th 2010
I’m a skier, it’s one of the reasons I live in the mountains. One of the most popular sports in the Olympics are the skiing events, it doesn’t matter men, women, or which event, they are very popular.
Earlier in the week, I had a chance to grab my skis and head up the mountain to watch the men’s downhill event from along side the course at Whistler Creekside’s Dave Murray downhill course. There were three or four public viewing pods on the course, and since this event was expensive and sold out long ago, I had no other choice but to head up, and I’m sure glad I did.
I started the race at the top, where the starting chute is, to watch the athletes out of the gate. I didn’t realize there was only a small tent at the top for the skiers to prepare for their race. On TV, all you see is the front of the chute, the fancy designed exit where the skiers break that little timing stick as they begin. I’ve never seen behind that, and was surprised at how simple it was.
My next reaction, once the racers were starting
to compete, was how quickly they reached a very fast speed; they got fast, real fast! From where I was, it was hard to see their mind blowing top speeds, since it was just a start, but the skiers went from standing still, to skiing faster than I could ever in a matter of seconds! That was impressive.
Down the course, I skied to a viewing pod that was located underneath a big roller that sent the skiers flying. It doesn’t look like much from the pictures I’ve taken, and from what I’ve seen on TV, but the distance the skiers flew was amazing. It only took a second in the air, but at those top speeds, it is a long way to fly. Just as soon as they landed, the course took a hard right hand turn. The skiers were there and gone just as fast. It was quite unbelievable
Yesterday, I had tickets to the ladies super-combined event. This is a combination of two very different skiing techniques. To win, both your downhill run and slalom times are combined and the fastest time is the winner.
The first race all the ladies was the downhill, the
same event I watched the men race, but this time I was at the finish line. From here, I could see the snow kicked up from the skis as the racers hit their top speed crossing the finish line. Reflected in the sunshine of the morning, it looked like a smoke trail behind the skiers. Maybe it was?
In the afternoon, the sun was high enough in the sky to hit the course, making it almost hot for all the viewers. This made the snow change dramatically, from hard and icy in the morning, to wet and loose in the afternoon. There was a long break in between the two races to set up the course. The slalom course is a shorter course, where the skiers have to turn quickly and very often in between marked poles. The style of skiing is much slower than the downhill. It shows off more of the athleticism of the skiers jumping back and forth between the gates. It was very fun to watch in person.
As usual, I will leave you with a short task, this one with an alpine skiing theme. I saw two very different ski events, but there are many more in the Olympics. They differ based on the distance of the gates, making the skiers turn very sharply or hardly turning at all.
Your task is to place all of the Alpine skiing events in order from the closest gates, to the farthest gates. Be careful, there is one event that may be a little confusing. Here they are, in no order- Super-G, Slalom, Downhill, Giant Slalom, and Super Combined.
***Answers for the Cross country video****
These are all of the country flags I noticed in the video- did I get them all??
Norway, Canada, Russia, Britain, Sweden, United States, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Germany, Slovenia, Australia, Estonia
There were 2 state flags, also- did you see the Alaska flag? Or the blue and white checkered flag is a province in Germany!
There are more photos below