Originally Posted by Uncle Louie
It's too bad that the only people who take skiing seriously here in the US are skiers themselves. (Like us here)
I would be willing to guess in other places (europe for example) that skiing is more of a lifestyle than something you may do a couple times a year. Could some of you overseas folks enlighten us ?
I´m afraid skiing is definitely NOT a big deal - except Austria/alpine and Scandinavia/nordic.
It´s a lifestyle for a limited number of people in a very limited number of countries or even parts of the countries with mountains (Italy, France, Germany, Slovenia?).
The most fanatic skiing countries are small ones with limited population and correspondingly small markets (Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Norway, Finland).
Skiing and its heroes don´t make headlines.
The last personality addressing more than the ski world was probably Alberto Tomba, to some extent maybe Hermann Maier after Nagano 1998. Their popularity was created by the media and mostly based on non-ski qualities (unorthodox playboy Tomba) or an unusual rags-to-riches-story of the bricklayer outsider (Maier).
With an inflation of World Cups or similar contests in lots of sports and games and lots of World Championships held annually just being one of many WC holders or world champs (remember the father in Downhill Racer: "the world is full of ´em"?) doesn´t make such winners to celebrities.
Logically, they become heroes within their respective worlds, but not generally.
Still, Austrian boys wanting to be "Miller" when skiing must be a nightmare in a country like that.
Could you imagine an Italian basketball player being an idol for US boys?