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Vonn seeks FIS permission to race with men - Page 9

post #241 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I wasn't saying US dollars.  But, if there's more TV coverage, don't you think there will be more companies putting banners on the course?  

 

That's not a very marketable plan there.     You're betting that non-US-viewers would pump more money in than they already do just to see one US woman do OK-ish once against an all male field. 

 

Sorry, but if you really want more non-US-viewership, you will have to give non-US women skiers more venues.  

 

If you really want more US viewership, get cable companies to quit their toutaurien money extraction plans, and allow bundling per program set.  Allow Universal-only subscriptions.   Put the last two weeks of racing on Hulu. 

post #242 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

but in the long term FIS needs to have audience interest in order to survive.

I totally agree, but thing is, that at least in this case, noone give a sh**t about US market. In pretty much everything else, everything is spinning around USA, but in skiing, USA doesn't even exist on map. There's no money coming to skiing from USA, and pretty much everyone know, this won't change anytime soon. That's reason, why noone really cares about Lindsey's PR stunts (as this thing was all the way from beginning). As far as audience goes, they have it. Skiing (with this I mean all what goes under FIS, from xc skiing (which actually ranks much higher then alpine skiing), to ski jumping, alpine skiing, snowboard, telemark...) is top 5 sport in most of middle European countries, and last week's Soelden races had more TV viewers then Federer playing and F1 racing. And that's pretty impressive. So FIS has audience where they wanted them to have. I completely agree they would love to see skiing as top5 sport in USA, but they are realistic it will never be anything more then small niche, so that's why such attitude. As I wrote, that's main reason you have 2 WC stops (plus 2 in Canada), while Austria itself has 6 (hell.. just "my" Slovenia, for which noone even knows where it is, has 2 WC venues).

I agree people at FIS, as with pretty much every single big federation are sometimes shortsighted or hard to change, but I would say compared to many others, they still do pretty good. And if they would see profit for them (not financial), I'm pretty sure they would be all over it... sort of city events they are pushing and pushing, sort of team events on WCH they are pushing and pushing even though noone from racers like them. But spectators like them, and that's why they are there. And so would be Lindsey racing if they would see some benefit in this... benefit for skiing I mean, not only for Lindsey personally.

post #243 of 300

Okay, here's what no one can argue with.  Sibhusky would have watched this race.  She might even have given up a day skiing (SACRILEGE! But it would have been before we open.) to do it.  Hell, I might even have joined many in my community and driven up to Lake Louise for the event.  And that's a major statement, as I have NO MONEY.  

post #244 of 300

It's probably a moot point anyways. FIS also magnanimously stated that she was welcome to ask the ROC to forerun, but it would disqualify her from the womens's race the following weekend. LV herself said she would not race the mens' event if she couldn't race the womens' so FIS had two ways out. Now had LV's main sponsor been throwing around some money from their seemingly infinitely deep pockets, who knows what the outcome may have been.
 

post #245 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Okay, here's what no one can argue with.  Sibhusky would have watched this race.  She might even have given up a day skiing (SACRILEGE! But it would have been before we open.) to do it.  Hell, I might even have joined many in my community and driven up to Lake Louise for the event.  And that's a major statement, as I have NO MONEY.  


I would break my routine to watch women race against each other on a women's speed event course which increased the speed and difficulty factors, anywhere, anytime. I have noticed that watching women employ skill and balance with power that is more equivalent to what serious skiers have is very interesting, exciting, and technically informative. When Bode pulls one of his moves, no one says "Oh yeah, that's something I can use in my skiing." You'd pull a muscle for sure.

 

I have to mention that Picabo Street was one hell of a downhill racer also. It's not like Lindsey does not fit into the history of women's racing quite neatly.

 

I think if Americans are going to be lured into watching ski racing, it is important to show mostly speed eventsU.S. broadcasts. Since the public doesn't know the language or the distinctions, if they ever turn to a slalom event, they will likely never tune in again.

post #246 of 300

The problem is that unless you call it the Super Downhill or something, who would understand there had been a ramp up in the difficulty level?  You'd have to call it a different event.    

post #247 of 300

When there was a new bigger ski jump constructed, they called the event ski flying, and it was huge, and I think it increased spectator interest. sure got my attention!

 

Interesting thing I've noticed. TV so minimizes any sport that participants may be pressured by organizers into increasing risk to make it look like something dangerous on TV. When you are at an event, you do not stand around waiting for a bad crash to happen. The speed, the sound, the difficulty is just amazing enough.

 

Actually Super Downhill sounds sick, especially since most US spectators don't get the word downhill (as in, of course it's downhill, they're going down a mountain on skis).

post #248 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post

I totally agree, but thing is, that at least in this case, noone give a sh**t about US market. In pretty much everything else, everything is spinning around USA, but in skiing, USA doesn't even exist on map. There's no money coming to skiing from USA, and pretty much everyone know, this won't change anytime soon. That's reason, why noone really cares about Lindsey's PR stunts (as this thing was all the way from beginning). As far as audience goes, they have it. Skiing (with this I mean all what goes under FIS, from xc skiing (which actually ranks much higher then alpine skiing), to ski jumping, alpine skiing, snowboard, telemark...) is top 5 sport in most of middle European countries, and last week's Soelden races had more TV viewers then Federer playing and F1 racing. And that's pretty impressive. So FIS has audience where they wanted them to have. I completely agree they would love to see skiing as top5 sport in USA, but they are realistic it will never be anything more then small niche, so that's why such attitude. As I wrote, that's main reason you have 2 WC stops (plus 2 in Canada), while Austria itself has 6 (hell.. just "my" Slovenia, for which noone even knows where it is, has 2 WC venues).

I agree people at FIS, as with pretty much every single big federation are sometimes shortsighted or hard to change, but I would say compared to many others, they still do pretty good. And if they would see profit for them (not financial), I'm pretty sure they would be all over it... sort of city events they are pushing and pushing, sort of team events on WCH they are pushing and pushing even though noone from racers like them. But spectators like them, and that's why they are there. And so would be Lindsey racing if they would see some benefit in this... benefit for skiing I mean, not only for Lindsey personally.

Tut tut tut

Don't discount us all on that.

Some of us know very well where Slovenia is. biggrin.gif

 

As for LV competing in a men's WC DH event, why not? Only one way to see how she'd fare...to let her (I know FIS has already said "no, thanks" and thus, for the time being, the discussion is moot, but...in the future? Once a door has been knocked at, maybe it could be cracked open and eventually opened, who knows...)

post #249 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

I just don't see that (a) those things WILL happen, and (b) that this is the best way to do it. If all we want is publicity, keep putting her in magazines with a swimsuit on. Of course she can run a men's course ... doable and winnable aren't the same thing. But again, as I've said over and over, this doesn't help women's sports. Women don't need to be competing against men, because at the top, they can't. Maybe one here and there can, and maybe that one is LV, but overall, it does nothing for women.


icon14.gif

 

This is really where I'm coming from as well on this issue.  Who really wants to see (purchase season tickets for) sports where women and men compete together?  I'd much prefer to watch Women's World Cup Soccer AND Men's World Cup Soccer than just one tournament where a few of the top women play on the same teams as the best men.  Think of how devastating it could be should it transcend down to the college and high school levels. not to mention little league.  Title IX has been a whopping success for girls all across the nation.  I've got a daughter that might be pretty good at something, but not necessarily better than the best men.  Mixing women in men's competitions is a slippery slope I don't want to see crossed except for a few non sanctioned publicity stunt events like the 70s Battle of the Sexes.  I'd LOVE to see Vonn forerun a real men's downhill event or two.  I guess it might be OK for a couple women to "play up" here and there from time to time.  But, to make it the norm would devastate countless current opportunities for our girls to play and compete like they can today thanks to Title IX.

post #250 of 300

So, just out of curiosity, went to look at how she did last year on the course, which I think several have said is on the same ROUTE as the men.  Women's course had 40 gates, compared to men's 38, so presumably a bit slower course, but maybe some would read that as more technical, who knows, just thought I should mention that.  Women raced twice, LV finished with  1:53.19 and 1:51.35.  That would have put her next to last for one race, and fourth from last for the second.  Of course, who knows what impact those extra gates had on course time?  Even if we assume as much as a second, she'd still be way down the list.  

post #251 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

So, just out of curiosity, went to look at how she did last year on the course, which I think several have said is on the same ROUTE as the men.  Women's course had 40 gates, compared to men's 38, so presumably a bit slower course, but maybe some wouldread that as more technical, who knows, just thought I should mention that.  Women raced twice, LV finished with  1:53.19 and 1:51.35.  That would have put her next to last for one race, and fourth from last for the second.  Of course, who knows what impact those extra gates had on course time?  Even if we assume as much as a second, she'd still be way down the list.  


Hypothetically, just moving a few gates a few yards can totally change the speed and difficulty of a whole course, much more so to add gates, so the assertion  that she ran on the same course is likely far, far from accurate. If a racer can vary his line by inches and change his time, imagine what a little course tweaking/changing can create. ROUTE really is a non factor.

post #252 of 300

sibhusky, there's no way to compare this. It's pretty much impossible to compare times on exactly same course through different days (different snow conditions, different weather, different visibility, different wind), and there's really no way to compare times on different courses going down the same track.

post #253 of 300

Here's the opinion of what the value would have been from having her compete against the men, at Lake Louise, from the President of Alpine Canada (i.e. national ski team).

 

CALGARY, ALTA. (Nov. 3, 2012) — Alpine Canada president Max Gartner issued the following statement regarding the International Ski Federation’s decision not to permit USA ski racer Lindsey Vonn to compete against the men at alpine World Cup races in Lake Louise, Alta., later this month.
 
“I’m disappointed to hear that Lindsey will not be racing against the men in Lake Louise,” Gartner said. “I saw it as a great opportunity to raise the profile of the sport by attracting interest from people who do not normally follow ski racing, particularly in North America. It would have provided a great platform to showcase our sport and the amazing athletic performances of our athletes.
 
“Lindsey has achieved many milestones in ladies’ ski racing. It would have been interesting to see how she stacked up against the best male racers in the world. Lake Louise is the perfect venue to have that comparison because Lindsey has as much experience on the mountain as many of the men have had.
 
“I hope Lindsey gets a chance to fulfill her dream at a later date.”

Edited by exracer - 11/6/12 at 5:24pm
post #254 of 300

If LV really wants to test herself against the men, then why not do the forerunner thing, get a time and see if she is competitive without having to bump someone out of their earned starting spot. Less publicity as a forerunner but that is not what this is about...or is it?

post #255 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

If LV really wants to test herself against the men, then why not do the forerunner thing, get a time and see if she is competitive without having to bump someone out of their earned starting spot. Less publicity as a forerunner but that is not what this is about...or is it?

 

Because she wants to race the women's race the following week. I think she is more interested in breaking the 2000 point record than she is in racing against the men. 

post #256 of 300
If they really wanted to see how things stack up, they would get one of the back of the pack guys to hang around for a week and forerun the women's course.
post #257 of 300

They're going to have a tough time convincing somebody to forerun LL instead of racing/training for the Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sofort99 View Post

If they really wanted to see how things stack up, they would get one of the back of the pack guys to hang around for a week and forerun the women's course.
post #258 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post

Here's the opinion of what the value would have been from having her compete against the men, at Lake Louise, from the President of Alpine Canada (i.e. national ski team).

 

CALGARY, ALTA. (Nov. 3, 2012) — Alpine Canada president Max Gartner issued the following statement regarding the International Ski Federation’s decision not to permit USA ski racer Lindsey Vonn to compete against the men at alpine World Cup races in Lake Louise, Alta., later this month.
 
“I’m disappointed to hear that Lindsey will not be racing against the men in Lake Louise,” Gartner said. “I saw it as a great opportunity to raise the profile of the sport by attracting interest from people who do not normally follow ski racing, particularly in North America. It would have provided a great platform to showcase our sport and the amazing athletic performances of our athletes.

 

How in the blue blazes is that supposed to work?     

 

Let me give you an analogy.

 

I don't follow curling.    Setting up a womens' curling team to play against a men's curling team is not going to make me interested in curling, not even if you manage to hype it enough to get a blurb about it into 2-3 major newspapers.    If I was required to pay cable television extortion rates cover charges as the only way to watch curling, I would laugh so hard at the idea that I would barely manage to squeeze out a disdainful "No" at the end.

 

And yes, that analogy applies even in a "No NHL hockey" year.  

post #259 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post

Here's the opinion of what the value would have been from having her compete against the men, at Lake Louise, from the President of Alpine Canada (i.e. national ski team).

 

CALGARY, ALTA. (Nov. 3, 2012) — Alpine Canada president Max Gartner issued the following statement regarding the International Ski Federation’s decision not to permit USA ski racer Lindsey Vonn to compete against the men at alpine World Cup races in Lake Louise, Alta., later this month.
 
“I’m disappointed to hear that Lindsey will not be racing against the men in Lake Louise,” Gartner said. “I saw it as a great opportunity to raise the profile of the sport by attracting interest from people who do not normally follow ski racing, particularly in North America. It would have provided a great platform to showcase our sport and the amazing athletic performances of our athletes.

 

How in the blue blazes is that supposed to work?     

 

Let me give you an analogy.

 

I don't follow curling.    Setting up a womens' curling team to play against a men's curling team is not going to make me interested in curling, not even if you manage to hype it enough to get a blurb about it into 2-3 major newspapers.    If I was required to pay cable television extortion rates cover charges as the only way to watch curling, I would laugh so hard at the idea that I would barely manage to squeeze out a disdainful "No" at the end.

 

And yes, that analogy applies even in a "No NHL hockey" year.  

 

Because Lindsey Vonn is known to people outside of her sport because of commercials for Under Armor et. al and the Olympic hype, whereas a famous curler is not. 

post #260 of 300

skiracing.com published a pretty inflammatory editorial about the decision, calling FIS "wizened dullards" and characterising them as "chauvinists".  

 

http://skiracing.com/?q=node/20330

 

That seems to be a pretty excessive response to the decision.  FIS may be missing out on a good marketing opportunity, but at least to me, it seems like a good call.  Lindsey Vonn may be a " megastar", but there is definitely a pretty massive disparity between the men and ladies, and keeping the gender-specific races, well, keeping them gender-specific seems to me to make a great deal of sense.  There's a reason they're split.  And preventing a woman from competing in a men's race doesn't really seem like gender discrimination, they're just keeping everyone in their own leagues.

post #261 of 300

maybe we should start by having the girls ski the same gates, then the same skis, and then we could start talking on mixing it up... th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #262 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzamp View Post

maybe we should start by having the girls ski the same gates, then the same skis, and then we could start talking on mixing it up... th_dunno-1[1].gif

Well, at WC level for downhill, there is no difference in the turning radius, only a length difference.  I'm not sure that making the lengths identical would make much sense unless you can merged length differences based on skier height.  Certainly it might be doable to make the course "the same" if they were running on the same day, or back to back days, but really the course isn't the same between the first and last skier on the same day.  You'd have to control the weather if nothing else.  

 

Clearly the longer course for the women would make a difference.

post #263 of 300

What I was suggesting is to equalize the requirements for pitch, spread between gates, radius, number of gates etc. so that it would be the same for both the men's and women's races (all races not just DH). I was not saying that the race itself would be the same.  Once both groups are skiing the same "difficulty" with the same gear, then we could start considering having some cross overs.

 

I should have wrote it better.

post #264 of 300

The obvious way to see if she can compete without completely ruffling the feathers of the FIS is to have her apply to forerun a not-to-dangerous men's WC race (e.g., not Beaver Creek, Wengen or Kitzbuhel).  I think this whole thing is a bad idea in general because I have seen how women have performed against men in other sports.  Regardless, this kind of theatre is a great short-term way to boost interest in ski racing, and improving interest in the sport should be the goal.  She should apply to forerun somewhere (Europa or WC) and IMHO she should be allowed to do so.  In fact, I would like to see each years overall winner be able to automatically forerun at least one event per year. 

post #265 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzamp View Post

What I was suggesting is to equalize the requirements for pitch, spread between gates, radius, number of gates etc. so that it would be the same for both the men's and women's races (all races not just DH). I was not saying that the race itself would be the same.  Once both groups are skiing the same "difficulty" with the same gear, then we could start considering having some cross overs.

 

I should have wrote it better.

The three factors IMHO are skill, brains and athleticism.  The first two are not IMHO gender specific (I am not a member of the Tea Party and I do believe in modern science).  So to see how skillful she is, put her on a women's course against some men using the same radii skis, and I'll bet she fares well.  Put her on a course where the athleticism of the male sex is thrown in and she may literally get killed (e.g., the Hahnenkamm).  Getting killed figuratively or literally does no one any good, but seeing a sport in decline also isn't good.  Therefore, I hope either someone lets her forerun a race or a top male skier competes head to head with her on a women's course. 

post #266 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

The three factors IMHO are skill, brains and athleticism.  The first two are not IMHO gender specific (I am not a member of the Tea Party and I do believe in modern science).  So to see how skillful she is, put her on a women's course against some men using the same radii skis, and I'll bet she fares well.  Put her on a course where the athleticism of the male sex is thrown in and she may literally get killed (e.g., the Hahnenkamm).  Getting killed figuratively or literally does no one any good, but seeing a sport in decline also isn't good.  Therefore, I hope someone lets her forerun a race where she can possibly do OK displaying her "skill."

she already trains with the boys and does ok, there was a video posted here or in the sister thread with a side by side of her and Svindal, they look almost identical... 
 

so yeah the main difference will be "strength" like in all other sports really.  but it be interesting to see them gradually moved to the boys standards and see how the stack up...

post #267 of 300
Thread Starter 

Curling is not fun to watch, but it's fun to play, particularly in Canuckland where drinking before/during/after curling is a cultural institution!

 

Go watch "Men with Brooms" and laugh at the funny Canooks tossing granite rocks on frozen slabs of pebbled ice.  Hilarious.

post #268 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

How in the blue blazes is that supposed to work?     

 

Let me give you an analogy.

 

I don't follow curling.    Setting up a womens' curling team to play against a men's curling team is not going to make me interested in curling, not even if you manage to hype it enough to get a blurb about it into 2-3 major newspapers.    If I was required to pay cable television extortion rates cover charges as the only way to watch curling, I would laugh so hard at the idea that I would barely manage to squeeze out a disdainful "No" at the end.

 

And yes, that analogy applies even in a "No NHL hockey" year.  

 

I don't agree with that.  I couldn't care less about tennis, but I watched the challenge match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs many years ago.  I also followed Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie's attempts to compete against men in golf, even though I couldn't care less about women's golf.  It's something new and interesting, and, although the interest is transient, it does raise the profile of the sport.

post #269 of 300

"Almost identical" might mean 0.5sec in those few gates that video shows ;) Not to mention noone knows more details about that run (course preparation, profile...),

post #270 of 300

true, but it's still the closest comparison we have. If you pause it every time svindal hits the gate you'll see vonn about a meter behind (in the second part of the video), and slightly ahead in the first part. so yes a bit off his pace but not in a different league.
time from first gate to last red: Vonn 1:07.8   Svindal 1:07.4 so ~0.4sec in a slow motion video. yes it's not precise but its safe to say she wasn't too far off.

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