Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Incredible day in Whistler! Men's Olympic Downhill

What a beautiful sight! Overnight the sky had cleared and the temperature in Whistler had dropped. By myself in the quiet of the early morning, the view from the start hut of the Mens' Olympic Downhill was a once in a lifetime thing to see. The race course fell away down the mountainside twisting throught the snowy trees. The track which had been soft over the last few days was frozen into hard white ice. Finally we knew we were going to have a race and that it was going to be a good one. Many Weasel Workers believe that the ghost of Crazy Canuck, Dave Murray, a Whistler local, smiles down on the race course that bears his name and brings it good ski racing weather when it needs it most. There might be something in that.

And what a race! The top three medallists were separated by less than 9/100ths of a second!
Swiss racer Didier Defago won gold, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway was second and the (non-Canadian) crowd favorite, Bode Miller of the United States silenced his detractors with a superb performance and a bronze medal.
Our Canadian men had an epic day unfortunately without medal results despite some great skiiing. Eric Guays' run was clean and mistake free but he missed the podium by less that 2/10ths of a second. Manny Osborne-Paradis who must have felt the enormous pressure of being the hometown boy at the Olympics, who seemed tight and probably would give anything for another crack at it, none the less finished well. Robbie Dixon, risking everything, crashed, and Banff's own Jan Hudec skied beautifully but with a late start number and a softening course couldn't make up the difference.After the race there was the usual press conference in the media center. Here's Bode Miller speaking with journalists. The North American Press cover Bode intensly because he is controversial and gets results but no other North American seems even to be on thier radar. The European Press are ski mad and thier countries racers are worshipped.

While the athletes and thier families and fans are heading to the medals plaza or a good nights rest, the race jury is planning a 4 o'clock start and the next day's races.

All in all it was a great day in Whistler Creekside. The Men's race was excellent and the ladies completed thier training runs as well so we are ready to go with 10 more medal events. Stay tuned.

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