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Olympic SL .. the course set?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to see any reactions to the final slalom course that was set by Ante Kostelic.  While I think we all expected a technical course that would of course give his son Ivica some advantage, as any coach does giving their team the advantage in the draw, looking at the numbers of racers who failed to finish and went off and out or the course at about the mid point with something like 17 or thirty some racers getting caught in the web, my initial reaction was that it was unnecessary to set such a course for the Olympics. 


I think a course on that level should be set to test the limits of the individuals talents physically within the limits of the gear that is out there and authorized and certainly be on an "OIlympic" scale in terms of difficulty.


I think one commenter at the very end, when he pondered and compared the other course sets by Kostelic, said that he seemed to be trying to show the world that he could set courses that would baffle even the most seasoned athlete.  He said it was not within the spirit of the Olympics which should be difficult but should in part, allow the racers to showcase their strong points without making a demolition derby out of it.  I don't think Mario Matt was the favorite but his years on snow seemed to make a case for that theory.


I must admit that it did have a NASCAR flavor to it after the first few ski offs and I sure don't watch F-1 for the crashes, I watch it for the technical excellence and positioning.


Yeah, Ante, you may have been within the technical parameters of.the FIS but you seem to have had an "I" problem with the finished product.


Do us all a favor and keep your imprint away from the speed events, last night I spent waiting for a few dreaded ACL injuries with the participants rebounding off the tails and that's bad enough.  Get cute in a speed event and some kid dies.

post #2 of 6

I thought the course was cool, but not in that snow.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Good point.  I guess if the snow was hard it wouldn't have been the battle at mid-point.  It seems like only the first few events had decent conditions.  There were the usual mid-mountain snow warming issues for the late runs but the whole last half for all the events seemed to be run in slush despite the wetting and salting.


Remember back in the 60's when the only course prep was calling out the army to side step and tamp the courses?  They wouldn't allow the groomer to touch the race course when I was a kid at Timber Hill ... where Phil P learned to ski I think ... we all had to tamp, tamp and side step.  It was supposed to condition us, and build character by gaining an appreciation and for SL, no using the T-bar, all herringbone.  Wow, where did that come from?  All of a sudden the long forgotten stuff comes spilling out.

post #4 of 6

It looked like most of the army was on the hill last night.

post #5 of 6

Im no professional, but maybe they should have paid more attention when they were checking the set up than complaining after the race. If you failed to finish or went out its your own fault. I have no problem in the most difficult challenges in all sports, skiing is no different, infact the most difficult things challenge you the most as an athlete and a person ( complaing after the race is a sign of a loser mentality ).

post #6 of 6

Course was just fine. Yes it was hard, and you had to think a bit not just go down full speed without any considerations. If you think you can just go full speed and attack, well then you will be DNF on the end. Best one still won, people who manage to ski only one way (more or less straight line down with no thinking went out). So yes, it was fine. It's also true that it doesn't look really good to have 12 racers out of top 30 DNF, but it's their problem, no course setter's problem, and obviously we have 50% of people in top SL ranking, which are not able to read course during inspection, and are not capable of skiing AND thinking at same time. Unfortunately.

Personally I'm not fan of his settings, but from different reason... It's pure selfish thing for me, as it's almost always impossible to find even one single nice spot for photographers, but that's not thing even other setters look after either, so no problem here.

PS: I admit I don't have almost any idea about NASCAR (not all that popular on this side of the World), but for me normal races look like NASCAR, while this one looked more like F1 or even rally. With "normal" races nowadays, you start, put in top gear and ski down the course full speed. Here you had to be able to change gears, and well... this made problems for quite few. Good ones know how to do it, not complete skiers, unfortunately doesn't. And when it comes to this Matt is good one, so is Hirscher, and they were there where they deserve to be.

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