Monday, February 15, 2010

Bode Blazes for Bronze

Warning: This post could possibly spoil any Olympics television you might be trying to watch tonight. But in the spirit of the Games--and my love of skiing--I couldn't help myself but share. So if you want to wait to watch tonight, stop reading. If not, continue on...

Facebook is usually pretty good at telling me information. I probably should visit the site less than I do--like when I should be carrying on a conversation with my husband before he falls asleep after a long day at work and not just half listening and half browsing status updates--but it's helped me track down athletes to profile, news, and random happenings of my friends. But lately I've been hooked on the fan pages related to the Olympics. I've friended just about everyone and everything from Julia Mancuso to Whistler Blackcomb. And as a result I've wanted to buy one of Mancuso's sweatshirts especially when she said they were traveling with her to Whistler--too bad the ordering system wasn't working last week when I tried--and I read about her Kiss My Tiara underwear before the Today Show shared its release. I've wanted to magically apparate Harry Potter style to Vancouver to chase the motorcade with Wayne Gretzky and the Olympic torch, and I wanted to be able to submit pictures from the Games in hopes of winning tickets to an event or two (wish I could remember which fan page that was a part of).

But my favorite news came just a few minutes ago courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb, informing me of the event updates from alpine ski central. After a couple of days of holding the ski runs due to pea-soup-like weather atop Whistler mountain, the men's downhill race took place earlier this afternoon with the results already announced online. It didn't surprise me that I didn't recognize the gold and silver winners--Didier Defago and Aksel Lund Svindal, respectively--because I haven't followed enough of the World Cup races on Universal Sports this season. But I was pleasantly surprised over Bode Miller taking home the bronze.

He was the name in skiing when the Salt Lake Games opened eight years ago. He was still the name in skiing four years ago in Torino. But when Bode returned to the World Cup tour this season, he shocked most skiers, me included. Known for a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to the sport, you'd almost expect a crash or mistake on the course that would cost him a medal, followed by a far-from-glamorous explanation for why it happened. And this time around it could easily have been blamed on taking a break from world competition and not being in shape for taking those jaw-dropping speeds and high-flying jumps on the downhill. After falling so short of expectations in Torino, he probably proved a lot of skiers and fans wrong by returning as he did and winning a medal. Maybe it's not so bad to go hide out in New Hampshire every once in a while. Photo grabbed from Vail Valley Foundation at flickr and taken by Jonathan Selkowitz. Posted by Kate

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