It’s been a long season, and in the East, we sure got our money’s worth. As I write, it’s still barely above zero outside, and the snowpack is about as dense as frozen fondue. It’s been a good season, though, with lots of great racing at home and afar, an exciting Olympics and a significant hot cocoa bill to show for it.
As a wrap-up I’m taking stock of my favorite and not-so-favorite trends to come out of the year. First, because it works for People Magazine and on the Red Carpets, let’s look at some…
Things that could go away:
Miking loved ones in a televised finish area. I’m not sure when the people getting miked will figure out there is no upside to this. If it’s a good race, the reporters and cameras will surely find you afterwards, so why bother? If it’s a bad run, the whole world will get to see and hear your immediate, unedited and usually unhappy reaction. I repeat — there is no possible upside.
Makeup. We were always down with a little lip gloss back in the day. Maybe some tinted sunscreen and, for the overachievers, a little extra cha-cha at the awards banquets. But the full makeup kit out on the hill? Applying and adjusting the war paint before your first run? Come on, girls and women — this is an outdoor sport! Furthermore, did Tammy Faye teach us nothing about the downside of moisture and makeup? Someone, please, bring back tomboy chic.
Parent posters. I know I am old-school on this, but parents posting their kids’ results and podium shots on Facebook and other social networks is a cringe fest. Be happy for your kids. Be proud of them. That will always be enough.
Shapeless GS skis. Ok. We tried them. The top guys in the world can crank them. But did it make the sport any better for stick-figure juniors trying to make their way up the ladder? Any safer? Can anyone answer that at this point? Bueller?
Good newish stuff:
Slopestyle. The last sport I ever expected to enjoy watching was pretty darned impressive in Sochi. Did we create another sport just so we could win more medals? Yep. But the rest of the world will be flinging and spinning to catch up in no time.
Skiercross. As a mom I’m lukewarm on the spectacle of frozen, gravity-aided roller derby, but the recreational tracks at ski areas are a godsend after a race or between runs, not to mention a great warm-up for super G. Many a ski racer took a long face and turned it into a huge smile with a few laps on the skier cross course…
This is just a preview. Read the entirety of ‘Racer Next’ in Issue 11 of the digital magazine here.