Sunday, January 13, 2008

day off in Queyras

Today most of the Americans and Canadians are sitting around the hotel restaurant here in Molines en Queyras, France, drinking coffee and eating croissants, enjoying the free wi-fi and watching lots of live skiing on TV. (Today is the 78th annual running of the famed Lauberhorn downhill in Wengen, Switzerland — the longest, oldest and quirkiest downhill on the World Cup circuit.) In other words, it's the perfect day off after a solid week on snow and a 12-hour drive yesterday from Abtenau.

We were originally scheduled to race downhill and super G here, but the organizers announced last week that they were scrapping the speed events and scheduling some slaloms and GS's instead. It's a real bummer for me, and for most of the U.S. team, since speed events are a strength for us. It seems as though every disabled World Cup downhill they schedule always ends up getting canceled for some reason or another. In this case, the excuse is not enough snow, but you wouldn't know it now; there's about two feet of fresh new powder on the ground, all fallen since the decision was made to cancel the races. To be fair, it would've taken a tremendous amount of manpower — which the organizers probably don't have — to pull off the races after so much new snow fell on what had been essentially a bare slope. Still, it's a disappointment.

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