Originally Posted by jc-ski
Great pix - thx for sharing!
Were you guys back out there when Ondrej Bank crashed at the end of his downhill run in the combined yesterday? That looked just awful, and the ensuing delay and course work apparently was a negative for Ligety, who was up just after Bank.
Also, did you hear any scuttlebutt amongst the course workers about the gate panels? Bode and others were complaining (with good reason) they didn't tear away easily enough.
Lastly MR, you raced when younger, and still race Masters. What's it like for you to see those WC skiers on the downhill? Be interesting to hear your impressions.
We didn't go yesterday so didn't see the wreck. I watched the video and it reminded me of loosing a ski at the top of a pitch in a DH. I was lucky enough to be able to straight line it and finish standing up.
The panels we were working with were the orange ones for DH. No one had mentioned the SG panels as an issue. I think all of the panels and gates were new and just for the Championships. I never had to remove a panel so don't know how easy they slid off (or not), but they looked like standard panels with sleeves to go over the gates and bungies with buttons to hold them from sliding down.
I am in awe when I see these guys, especially from the Brink to Pete's arena. I had sharp skis and had trouble holding an edge and the snow, while watered/injected, wasn't absolutely consistent. It was buffed by the time they raced but the strength they have to hold on the steep ice is simply beyond anything I have experienced. Going over the Brink has to be extremely challenging mentally. You go from relatively flat to tremendously steep with very little reference point:
The first left footer over the Brink
and have to make a left footer (above), a right footer and another left footer. When you are going from the right footer to the left footer you are pointing straight down and into A-net. You make the turn or you are a fish. Very intimidating.
Surprisingly, the Golden Eagle looked a lot less challenging than it appears on TV. Of course you have the Abyss, Harrier and Red Tail to deal with right after landing, but... :-)