Wednesday, February 17, 2010

All Eyes on Whistler and Women's Downhill

If you want to wait for primetime to see the women's downhill race and not hear any details before, stop reading. For anyone who's been waiting in anticipation for this race to go off after all of the alpine delays due to weather, read on.

It's easy to say that weather was on Lindsey Vonn's side. For the last week, reports have provided daily updates on the U.S. Ski Teamer's shin--how it felt, how she felt, what might happen with her Olympics, and on and on and on--after she injured it during a training run earlier this month. After the injury reveal, the weather was quick to turn at Whistler--site of the alpine skiing events--thus postponing the downhill schedule and providing Vonn with more time to heal. She rested, she wrapped her shin in cheese, and she tested out her shin in hopes of making her Olympics dreams come true after failing to make the podium four years ago in Torino. It became a waiting game, both on the shin and the weather.

After the weather called off the men's super combined yesterday, one could only wonder what would happen to the women's race the next day. But the weather cooperated and made race day a go--just check out this picture Vonn tweeted earlier today. And when the women's downhill race finally went off, you can't help but cheer for Vonn, Julia Mancuso, Stacey Cook and Alice McKennis. Mancuso skied the No. 10 position and jumped into first place--this isn't even her strongest event as she medaled in Torino in the giant slalom race. Vonn was yet to come, having drawn No. 16.

And when you read about what happened (since we have yet to see the coverage), it leaves you wondering, what shin? Vonn skied as she has all winter at the World Cup races and leapt into the gold medal position. There's a blog post here that describes her as having tears in her eyes after finishing as she did. Talk about a great day for Team it stands with the top skiers having already taken to the course, Vonn could take home the gold and Mancuso the silver. Austrian Elisabeth Gorgl stands in third to take the bronze. While the difference between gold and bronze isn't as close at the men's downhill race--just nine hundredths of a second kept Bode Miller from gold--the competition is still tight. Vonn's time is 1:44.19, Mancuso's is 1:44.75 and Gorgl's is 1:45.65.

Time's like those (and the men too) help make information like this Fit-Ink worthy, at least in my opinion. Not because of my skiing love--although that helps since I can call the shots around here--but because I feel like I'm constantly justifying skiing's benefit for runners, cyclists and triathletes off Fit-Ink. And these feats on the hill coupled with the work these skiers put in off the hill proves you need to be one heck of an athlete, even if you're not as lean and toothpick like as the cross-country skiers--a sport that has been viewed by runners as great training minus the pavement pounding. But that's another story. Back to the skiers. Just think about what it takes to withstand the blistering speeds on the hill, holding up your body and keeping those skis carving the turns (look at the slow-motion TV clips tonight and you'll see how close a skier's ankles get to the snow to make those turns). Talk about strength and balance. It really brings home the stability ball exercises Mancuso practices regularly--she can balance atop the ball with her feet planted and her body in a skier's tuck position--and the late-night workout Vonn said she needed to do after throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley Field. And it makes me exhausted!

Congrats, ladies! Can't wait to check out the race tonight! Photo of Julia Mancuso grabbed from Posted by Kate

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...