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Olympic slalom observation

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
When they show it in slow motion both skis are totally in the air in transition between edges. I found that interesting.
post #2 of 15

Makes sense to me- fast times are the result of less distance traveled and less friction (or more speed with friction slowing you down).  

 

While skiing arc to arc might be the ideal, this is not always possible (i.e. with a tight course set or when you get late).  Intuitively it seems there would be less friction by redirecting your skis while they are in the air (assuming you can get a good edge set when you land) rather than pivoting them on the snow.  Of course, leaving the snow might increase the total distance you travel...

post #3 of 15

Same thing with some of the GS turns. I haven't followed racing closely so I don't know if this is new since they  changed the specs of the skis a couple of years ago. Interesting that Ligety was one of the most vocal opponents of the change in rules but seems to have figured it out better than anyone.

post #4 of 15

I agree with the view that course was exceptionally difficult and with snow conditions it made it very challenging for skiers. But at the end - the skier that best managed conditions, course set and his nerves and technique - won the gold medal. Isn't that what ski racing is all about?

post #5 of 15

True that every racer skied the same gate setup but with the soft snow (if you could call it that), steep slope, close/offset gates, it was more a monument to the course setter's ego than a fair test of slalom.  Matt skied the course really well but few others were able to do anything other than DNF or finish ugly.  Setting a course where half DNF does not make a race fair or enjoyable to watch.  Just my opinion. 

 

Bill

post #6 of 15

I agree about the course setter ego. Still, given circumstances, within the rules, the faster skier won the gold. Then and there.

Knowing history of Kostelic course setting, it is clear who won the race here. Matt .

post #7 of 15

Bill: Totally agree with you, I have raced many Slalom courses back in my college days and that course considering the snow conditions was pretty difficult and then some! Most the the racers where being bucked right out of the course like they were riding a bull, but still some of the best racers in the world finished. It was interesting to see the 2nd run was the worst and when that many people DNF, its a problem. 

post #8 of 15

Vonn catching air in SL slow motion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09GRD0YRnYk

 

 

Looks like her center of gravity remains relatively stable during the transition.

 

ps - I'm glad the course was so difficult that so many skiers DNFed.  I just think the race format should be three runs in the morning, and three runs in the afternoon, and combine the best morning run time with the best afternoon run time for a final time.

post #9 of 15

Cheers for the great video.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elistan View Post

 

Looks like her center of gravity remains relatively stable during the transition.

 

ps - I'm glad the course was so difficult that so many skiers DNFed.  I just think the race format should be three runs in the morning, and three runs in the afternoon, and combine the best morning run time with the best afternoon run time for a final time.

There were over 100 racers in that Olympic slalom race. They are not all great slalom skiers. I think at 43rd place they were nearly 50 seconds behind 1st place.

http://www.fis-ski.com/alpine-skiing/events-and-places/event=33446/race=75263/index.html

3 runs in soft snow would have ruts 2-3 feet deep. It would hardly be the same course so times really wouldn't be comparable.

Not everyone agrees with the tough course "problem". Including the third place finisher Henrik Kristoffersen.

 

Quote: Associated Press  February 22, 2014, 3:23 PM ET

http://espn.go.com/olympics/winter/2014/alpine/story/_/id/10500642/2014-sochi-olympics-mario-matt-early-slalom-lead-marcel-hirscher-struggles
 

The bronze went to 19-year-old Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway, the youngest man with an Olympic Alpine medal. He was only 15th-fastest in the opening leg but was superb under the artificial lights at night to move up while plenty of men fell.

 

He actually was delighted to see gate placements by Ante Kostelic, the father of ninth-place finisher Ivica Kostelic of Croatia and a man known for his challenging and unorthodox designs.

 

"I was really disappointed after the first run, but when I saw the course ... I thought that I might have a chance," Kristoffersen said, "so thank you, Ante Kostelic."

 

Not many shared that sentiment.

 

...

His son Ivica, the silver medalist in the Sochi super-combined, said of Saturday's setup: "Even if it is negative, it is good for skiing. It was a spectacle for the spectators."

 

He said he told his dad after the first run not to hold back when setting the second.

 

"We are looking for the Olympic champion," Ivica said, "not the school champion."

 

Note @primoz used to work on the World Cup as a tech, (Nordic?) and spends time there photographing the Alpine events along with having friends who still work on the Alpine side.

 
 
Originally Posted by primoz View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ske-Bum View Post
 

 

When you have 13 of the top 30 not finishing the course then there are issues, also why is he allowed to set two courses in the same Olympics? That is a bit baffling to me. 


Yup you have problem, but not with course setter, but with racers who are not capable or "reading" course during inspection... or adjusting their skiing once they saw 5 guys go out at same gate, and another 5 having problems at same gate (there are tv monitors on start just in case if you don't know that).

 

Why is he allowed to set 2 courses at Olympics... draw. There's draw between coaches of teams with top 15 racers. And he was lucky to be drawn twice. No conspiracy or something else behind. Actually there's more conspiracies going on against him then from him.. like Kitzbuehel last season, when he was told to reset course, then reset it again, and then there was draw for new setter, and he was drawn again :D Against all the rules, Hujara just throw his paper away and repeat the draw, without Kostelic's name in hat.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post
 

I don't know. From one side it's good, from other it's not. It certainly didn't look good on TV in my mind, when so many people went out. But then again, as Ivica said, it's Olympics not school race, so skiers, if they are really best on world, should be able to adjust their skiing to match the course. So in my mind, Olympic courses should be hard.

 

Lot of things are influenced by TV nowadays, and once in a while, it's good to see, that how things look on TV didn't prevail, and we really got race, which, as also Ivica said, separated good, complete skiers from bad or at least not so versatile ones.

 

Anyone is able to bomb down the course without much thinking and tactics. And obviously not everyone are able to do it, when you need to consider a bit more then just pushing out of start gate and bomb down. And for winning Olympics (or basically every other race) you should be complete skier. So from pure sports point of view, having Gips there is good thing. From marketing point of view, probably not.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

You know, we were lucky enough to spend a couple hours with Billy Kidd yesterday, and it was great timing coming at the end of the Olympics and all the races. I asked him about this, and that was basically what he replied. He said the others should have figured it out, and the two best slalom skiers won, so what's the problem? 

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

There were over 100 racers in that Olympic slalom race. They are not all great slalom skiers. I think at 43rd place they were nearly 50 seconds behind 1st place.

http://www.fis-ski.com/alpine-skiing/events-and-places/event=33446/race=75263/index.html

3 runs in soft snow would have ruts 2-3 feet deep. It would hardly be the same course so times really wouldn't be comparable.

 

Ah, I thought I saw you post a start order with only 31 skiers.  Yeah, 117 of them hitting a course three times each would be a problem.  Sigh.

 

A typical car event would have 137 drivers each getting five laps through the course, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm or so, with fastest individual run times ranging from 46.265 seconds to 69.695 seconds.  SL1 times ranged from 46.70 to 69.01 (77th), and SL2 from 43.94 to 81.88 (43rd - but down to 72.96 for 41st) , so similar ranges there.

Of course, the cars have to worry about only minor course degradation during that time...

 

Maybe each skier could get two runs in the morning on course 1, then two runs in the afternoon on course 2, and their best time from each course gets totaled up?

 

I wonder what would be the effect of taking a groomer to the course between runs.

post #12 of 15
Using a groomer wouldn't help much. Typically the courses are water injected to help prevent ruts forming and a groomer just wouldn't do much. The problem here was it was just plain too warm to do anything about it.
post #13 of 15

Yeah I didn't post the full start list, just the top 30 or slightly more if there were a Canadian or American slightly above 30.

There are some odd countries represented

Dow Travers skied for the Cayman Islands and started 114th.

post #14 of 15

There may have been some odd countries represented ( Brazil, cayman Islands  etc) but none of them were without some talent. I believe the cutoff for Sochi was 140 FIS  pts.and most were well below that. Certainly not WC level points, but not  total  hacks either.  At Lillihamer I recall being on course with some true duffers...one guy stem turned his way down the GS. No Longer. And it was also intersting to see  many/most of those skiers skied for those countries on the basis of dual citizenship or similar but trained in U.S. or other traditional ski race countries. I recall years ago training and masters racing with a guy who then  skied the Olympics for some South American country for grins. He was no Phil Mahre but he could hold his own on a FIS course. And BTW, admittedly the back runners were slow compared to the first seed by quite a margin but a lot of them not only  survived Ante's set but looked pretty decent running it.

post #15 of 15

Yes true.

This guy has been in 6 Olympics and he's 55. Skied for Mexico with Mariachi speed suit. Has just under 100 FIS points in slalom. Started 113/117

 

Getty Images                                                                                     Hubertus von Hohenlohe

 

There's more discussion of the course in the Sochi 2014! thread.

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