Tuesday, February 24, 2009

world championships, days 2 through 4

Here's the rundown of my races so far:

GS (Feb. 21): About the worst possible result: I fell on the fourth gate of the course and slid past the next gate, and my whole race day was over by mid-morning.

I tried to make the best of it — had some lunch and then took the gondola early back to the hotel, where I ran into Kim Joines from the Canadian team, whose day had also come to an early end. She told me about the Korean-style spa inside our hotel; I hadn't even known it existed. Sure enough, below the lobby was a pretty opulent tiled set of rooms. One was a locker room and one a sort of powder room just like you'd find in a posh American health club. The third room had showers on each side — regular Western stand-up showers on the right, and traditional Korean sit-down showers on the left, with a small wooden stool to sit on and a wooden bucket to lather up with. You have to take a shower first and take all your clothes off before proceeding to the middle of the room, where there is a big hot tub with a fountain of vertical jets in the middle. I had a nice soak and then moved to the back wall, where there were two more tubs without jets: one with even hotter water and one quite cold. (The thermometer said 19 degrees C, which works out to about 66 Fahrenheit.) (10 minutes later: I just got into a conversation with Erik Leirfallom and Marcel Kuonen about why 66 degrees feels so much colder in water than in air. The short version of the answer we came up with is "specific heat capacity.") Anyway, I took my cue from the Korean guy who came in while I was in the "warm" tub and tried plunging from the hot to the cold and back again. It was pretty exhilarating, and I went back to my room refreshed.

Feb. 22 was a day off. I did some super G training in the morning and then a few of us had lunch at the Top of the Top, the revolving restaurant at the top of the ski area.

Super combined (Feb. 23): Actually, this might have been worse than the GS. I finished the super G portion with no major mistakes, but my run was absolutely terrible. I wasn't looking for speed anywhere, didn't take any chances, and just generally skied like a wuss the whole way down. Resolved to make amends, I skied a somewhat decent slalom run and finished the race in 16th place.

Super-G: This was a lot better, despite the 20th place finish. I really went for it, skied great all the way up to a point about three quarters of the way down the course, where I misjudged the entry to a crucial turn and got so incredibly late that I barely made about four consecutive gates. I'm sure I lost two or three seconds here, but only finished five seconds out of the lead, meaning I skied well most of the way down. This was a tight race in my class, won by Shannon Dallas of Australia.


Anonymous said...

Am I wrong, or is that you on page 92 of the February issue of Mile High Sports Magazine?

charolastra said...

I haven't seen the issue, but I'll check it out if I get the chance. Thanks for the heads-up, Anonymous.