Friday, February 19, 2010

The races are on in Whistler!!

Our race schedule is in full swing at Whistler. Great weather, cold temperatures and blue skies are allowing us to get back on track, making up for lost time and allowing us to put on great events every day. Thursday was the Ladies Super Combined. One run of Downhill racing in the morning followed by a Slalom run in the afternoon. Here is a view from above the finish area as a racer rips onto the last pitch in the morning run.

After a horrible crash yesterday in the Ladies' Downhill had her suffering from deep bruising in her lower back and legs, Sweden's Anja Pearson stormed to an amazing third-place finish and claimed the bronze. Here she is in the Slalom run. Germany's Maria Riesch won the gold and Julia Mancuso, the American racer who was second to Lindsey Vonn in the Ladies' Downhill, added to her Olympic medal collection with a second-place silver.

As for Lindsey, a straddled gate with the finish in sight ruined her chances of medalling two days in a row. She had a great quote: "If I had skied safely, I could of had the bronze, but that's not what I wanted." Tommorow is the Ladies' Super-G, and I don't think that we've seen the last of this amazing racer yet.

Near the top of the course at today's Men's Super-G, Rick and I stopped to have a chat and photo with Hiro Yakushi. Hiro has been photographing the World Cup since it was formed in the early 1960s and is a quiet giant in our world. He is one of the people I admire most in our business, and this is a picture that I will keep for a long time. Twenty years ago Hiro gave me a lift from a World Cup in Itay through the Alps to the next event in a tiny village in Switzerland. Racing through snowy mountain passes in the night in his little Audi coupe was one of the most memorable (and frightening) experiences of my life, and we always laugh about it when we meet.

The Men's race today was spectacular. Aksel Lund Svindal (below) won the gold, Bode Miller claimed his second 2010 Olympic medal with a silver, and his teammate, Andrew Weibrecht, walked away with the bronze. Canadian Eric Guay again just missed the podium by .03 seconds! Eric has had his fill of fourths and fifths, and I think he is due to get what he has earned. Manny Osborne-Paradis came off the course, Robbie Dixon had problems as well, and again Banff's Jan Hudec had to wait out delays as the course softened in the sun, and despite a great run finished well off the pace.

Tomorrow is the Ladies' Super-G. The weather forecast is excellent, and maybe it will be Canada's day finally!!!

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