Friday, February 21, 2014

Sochi Olympics Trance

Ligety running a gate at a horizontal 50mph
can't. stop. watching. Olympics...

The Olympic Games as I see it, is this giant parade of total badasses. They show up every few years in their colors and banners on the world's biggest stage, showcasing one's certain perfected style or specialized technique, mad-skills in specific disciplines (I'm looking at you Netherlands and Norway), and in some cases their victory is so incredible and sudden that it's cast in carbonite, forever iconic. Sometimes their effort ends in failure so devastating and complete that it achieves similar status.

Incredible to watch all this, NBC commentary aside of course. My favorites are the skiing events, alpine or nordic, doesn't really matter. The amazing strength required to rocket down those alpine courses! Did anyone else see how technical and vertical those downhill/super-G courses were!? Good Lord. The other-worldly endurance and power of the nordic racers and biathletes - the Scandinavians are absolutely mesmerizing. To be a champion Norwegian skier is to be a modern day Norse God.

Team Norway crushing the collective dreams of several nations
It was nice to see Bode Miller stand on the podium one last time. I'm more of a Ligety guy, but Bode is hands-down the most successful American skier of all-time (he and Lindsey Vonn that is). Long ago I worked with a Swiss chef and he was big on alpine skiing. That was his sport. Every Sunday during the winter months he'd pass through the kitchen with the Boulder sports page hanging out of his back pocket asking us all rhetorically if we'd seen 'what da' hell' Bode had done in Europe the day before (pronouncing his name BOE-dey MEEL-ah). Chef was crushing hard on Bode because he was single-handedly preventing the Austrians from total domination on the World Cup circuit. My man Suissa couldn't stand his rival Austrians and he was equally appalled at the complete collapse of the Swiss alpine team. Bode allowed him to read the WC results and season standings for several years without crying in his espresso. Twelve years later the Swiss still suck, and Bode is still rocking championship podiums. USA...USA...USA...

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 - New Years at Squaw Valley
 - The Summer Olympic Vortex (London 2012)
 - A Brief Meeting with Billy Mills


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