Thursday, January 26, 2006


If you know me well, you may know I'm not a big believer in karma. But those who are believers could've probably pointed to my miserable showing over the past two days and predict that my pendulum would soon swing back the other way. As it turned out, I finished fourth in today's super G at Yongpyong — my best World Cup result yet, 0.18 seconds off the podium. Chris won in very convincing fashion, decimating the field by over four and a half seconds; Robert was second, continuing to make a very earnest bid for the overall World Cup title. And the U.S. continued its remarkable streak: all four days here so far, we've had at least one athlete on the podium of every class we have skiers entered in. Click here for full results.)

Granted, there were only 16 starters in my class, fewer than in your typical race. And it was a very lame super G, more like a GS really in terms of the speeds involved. But it still felt like a damn good bit of vindication. After the race I was congratulated by some of the European stars like Martin Braxenthaler. Even the normally taciturn Austrian monoskiers called me over into their little circle in the ski room after the race and told me "Nice job." That was a great feeling that could only be improved on by making the podium tomorrow, which is what I'm shooting for.

Before I sign off, it's time for a few amusing sidenotes on my Korean experience:
  • Yesterday I ate something called "Braised Lotus Root." I didn't eat the baby octopi.
  • In the English-language yellow pages in my hotel room, there are some interesting categories. My favorites "Catapults" (nearly a full column of listings!) and "Restaurants—Fresh Water Eel."
  • On our way from the hotel to the ski area every day, we pass a farm that's home to something designated as a "Potato Breeding Station."
  • At the base of the Yongpyong ski area, there is a video arcade, a shopping mall, and a pirate ship ride.

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