In the four runs of GS racing we've had over the past two days, I've fallen over eight times, although I've finished all four runs. That has to be some kind of record. These have been two of the most frustrating days of my ski racing career. The race hill here at Yongpyong is long, steep, and icy, and all manmade snow, like back East. It reminds me a lot of my high school days training back in Maine, only it's been six years since I've trained on that stuff. It's not exactly blue ice — you can get an edge into it, but it's very slippery, bumpy, and formed into artificial ridges by the grooming machines. Your technique really has to be on point if you want to hold an edge; lean in or twist your shoulders too much and you'll slide out before you knew what hit you. Skiing here has made me realize how much I've been getting by with sloppy technique in the Colorado snow; I really need to go back to basics.
With all my sliding around on the course (including a hike yesterday to make a gate), I ended up 15th yesterday and 16th today, ahead of only a few rookie Koreans and Japanese. I'm really hoping to make up for it over the next couple days in the super Gs, or at least next week in Japan, where the snow should be much more forgiving.
The U.S. has a remarkable streak going: for three days straight, we have had at least one skier on the podium of every class we have athletes competing in (i.e. men's sitting, men's standing, women's sitting, and women's standing) — a total of 16 out of the 36 medals that have been awarded in those classes. In my class, Tyler has been skiing like a champ, winning yesterday and taking third today despite a severe mistake. And Robert Fröehle of Austria, one of the truly nice guys on the circuit and a longtime up-and-comer, got his first World Cup win today, a well-deserved victory. (Full race results are here and here.)