Monday, March 13, 2006

downhill fast

I had a really fun day yesterday in the downhill, and I finished fifth — my second-best international finish ever, 0.28 seconds off the podium. For a time I was sitting in third place behind my teammates Bramble and CDY, but a fast young Japanese skier named Takeshi Suzuki (haha! look how funny his head shot is!) and a fast French veteran, Denis Barbet, came down and slid in between Chris and me. Of course I immediately began second-guessing where I could've found more speed, but in the end I'm very happy with my run.

[Watch the race here by clicking "Highlights" and then "Men's sitting downhill."]
[View the official results here.]
[View the performance analysis data here.]
[Read the USOC's press release here.]
[Read the U.S. Ski Team's story here.]

A few tidbits about the race:
  • Austrian medal contender Reini Sampl (the photo caption is wrong) was yellow-flagged twice, meaning the racer before him crashed and he had to go back up to the start for a re-run. On his second re-run, Reini crashed. I felt really bad for him.
  • The U.S. also won the gold in the women's sitting division, with Laurie Stephens smoking the field as usual. These are the only three U.S. medals of these Games in alpine skiing thus far; the standing skiers were shut out in Saturday's downhill and today's super G.
  • The race course was 2325 meters long, and my raw time was 1:39.68. That means my average speed was about 84 km/h, which works out to 52 m.p.h. — slightly faster than my clocked speed at the second interval, 82 km/h.
  • Before the race, Tyler provided Nick, CDY, Bramble and me each with a hit of pure New Hampshire maple syrup, which he brought to the start with him in a pocket flask. It was a nice little reminder of home and as well as a good sugar buzz; I guess it worked for me and Chris, if not for Tyler and Nick, who both had trouble on their runs.

No comments: