Last night the Paralympics ended with the most spectacular closing ceremony imaginable. (Photos will be up soon on my Flickr page.) The athletes paraded through a piazza in Turin, the route lined with tens of thousands of spectators. We sat in the main square in front of the Olympic Medals Stage and watched a two-hour choreographed show that was at times bizarre but consistently engaging. At the end of it all, legendary NYC folk-punk heroine Patti Smith played a one-hour set with her band, rocking out even more than she did 30 years ago.
My races concluded yesterday with the slalom. After the downhill, I knew that slalom would probably be my best chance for another good result. Sure enough, I fell in the super G and skied too conservatively in GS, but I gave it my all in the slalom and finished a respectable 16th. The field is just way too big in slalom and GS for many unheralded skiers like me to get a top-ten finish; one who did was Poland's Jaroslaw Rola. CDY was the top American in eighth. A sizeable mistake in my first run might have cost me a few places, but the top three skiers were just unbeatable — especially German Martin Braxenthaler, who came away from these games with an amazing three gold medals in four events.
[View the official results from the slalom here.]
[View the performance analysis data here.]
[Read about the race and women's champion Stephani Victor here.]
Now I'm off on a whirlwind tour of southern Europe: bus to Zürich tonight, train to Florence tomorrow to meet my friends Kate & Abby, flight to Barcelona on Saturday to meet my friend Brooks, back to Zürich next Tuesday and then home to the States the next day. Whew.