McKee's McThoughts on an interesting season
Been quite a season so far. The change of the dimension of skis looms all season with the prospect for what it will actually mean floundering in the great unknown. Also out there on the agenda for next season is the doing away with an original Olympic discipline, combined. How's that going to work out?
Confiscating underwear drew the major league kind of attention usually reserved for steroid driven mania. It wasn't good attention, but at least there was a lot of it. And does anyone believe supporting the development of self-contained air-bag suits will be helpful? Even remotely?
Straddlegate - and how many caught Ted Ligety's piece in Johnny Meyer's Denver Post pub saying, - and I paraphrase - “Yeah. I straddle in that race, too.”
Sounds fine worthy. The other guys, Marcel Hirscher and Felix Neureuther, had the judgement to not say out right they knew they had straddled. But the point is Ligety makes three skiers, that we know of, who may or may not have straddled in a single race, and it was not seen. Here's a spot where our sport has out grown its technology. Might be time to find a solution that doesn't involve a ski club volunteer with a clipboard.
Does anyone else find it hilarious Ligety is now testing faster on the proposed skis than the current ones? How good are the R&D departments at ski manufacturers?
Didier Cuche was offer a million Euros to ski another season by Head boss Johan Eliasch. Says Cuche, “it was never about the money.”
No one has registered a complaint about the Russia's Rosa Khutor. The complaints have been about the course set by official FIS course setter Helmut Schmalzl.
Beware what you read in headlines: The articles all said pretty much the same thing, all having been scribed based on the Bode Miller/Sochi Organizing Committee press conference. But the headlines told different stories. Papers and sites in Russia said “Miller Heaps Praise” on the Sochi course. Some American based publications said he complained about the course set. And in Europe we saw sites that took a longer term view, that what Bode said was the “golden age of ski racing is over.”
Hear what you want to hear.
Pretty great season for the US team, right? 21 podiums to the end of January (and two since), and the way the women's speed group has been scoring, has to be among the best of all time, right?
Downright pedestrian in terms of recent team history actually. More podiums than last year through January and more than in 2009. But less than 2010, '08, '7, '06, '05 and '04.
The top 10 rankings are a bit better, but still less than '08, '06 and '05. Ain't it grand? Average is lookin' pretty good these days, though being 'Merican we always want more.
Thankfully, Lindsey is providing that. With nine wins (one comes in February so far) she alone has out produced Switzerland, Italy, France, basically every nation except Austria. Talk about a franchise.
So the turn has been made and the tour starts churning toward home plate. There are titles to be won and lost and the winners names etched into the history books. But so far, its been a big, entertaining season. Safe speed.