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Janica Kostelic: greatest ski Olympian of all time?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
By any standards of Olympic history, her results are phenomenal.
GOLD in the Slalom
GOLD in the GS
GOLD in the Combined
SILVER in the Super G
Whether Jean-Claude Killy and Toni Sailer, who in their days also won three Olympic gold medals, felt lesser or greater competitive pressure, is a matter of debate.
But Kostelic has arguably surpassed even these heroes by winning the additional silver medal in the Super G.
In terms of the GS, she had never placed higher than 4th in a World Cup event, so yesterday's victory was sensational.
You could argue that she didn't win the downhill, but she won the combined, which is a tough enough test of downhill performance.
The comparison is also slightly unfair on Killy and Sailer, since the Super G and Combined didn't exist in their days, but what the hell!
My verdict?
The greatest Olympic ski champion of all time, because she achieved all this after three knee operations! (does anyone know who did her knee surgery?)http://news.bbc.co.uk/winterolympics2002/hi/english/alpine_skiing/newsid_ 1836000/1 836763.stm

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 23, 2002 03:37 AM: Message edited 2 times, by David Goldsmith ]</font>
post #2 of 23
What's more she comes from a non-alpine country!

Just immense - that second run yesterday was absolutely out of this world!

(By the way, I hope you checked that everyone's caught up with their recorded highlights before posting!!)
post #3 of 23
It definitely make for a great debate. It's pretty darn hard to argue against it. You have to wonder what changed between the WC races and the Olympics. I hope it wasn't the extra pressure on the women who had been winning the WC races, and she starts getting beat again on the WC circuit. I really want her to prove heself over the long term.
post #4 of 23
There will be no clear answer. Can you ask Sailer or Killy to do any better than win them all? Sailer to some huge margins. Killy with the slalom controversy actually having lost to Schranz who eventually got disqualified for a fault on his aborted run. So maybe there are some negatives to Killy's accomplishment.

But today there are so many specialists, and that needs to be considered when looking at Kostelic's performance. She is truly great and worked so hard to get where she is. Her entire family contributed. I think she is the best of all time and seeing her smile as she was carving those incredible GS turns yesterday was pure joy.
post #5 of 23
Norfjell wrote: I think she is the best of all time and seeing her smile as she was carving those incredible GS turns yesterday was pure joy.

The smile is what I love about her!! She seems to be having fun!!just awesome
post #6 of 23
Rosi Mittermaier came close in '76...if it hadn't been for that Kriener girl from the Great White North!
It has been a great olympics, but I think the US Ski Team needs to terminate the women's speed and technical coaching staff as well as the men's speed group. Top of the list? Caroline Lalive's sport psychologist.
The Alpine Canada last week announced the dismisal of the men's speed squad and coaching staff.
In north america the pool is so shallow and the stock so well heeled that the goal remains "get on the team, get the uniform and travel in Europe". There needs to be hunger and accountability.
Janica is refreshing, engaging and charming. She smiled through her GS runs and showed the world her playful passion for the sport and olympic experience. The last to show that charasmatic grace with a winning determination was Nancy Greene....yeah, she ranks up there! How do we inspire and grow that here?
post #7 of 23
Nope...not unless she placed in the downhill. As seen in the Minturn Saloon inscribed by Dave Murray on a Hahnenkamm poster: "Abfahrt rocks, slalom sucks".
post #8 of 23
Maybe the best female...but I'm sure most male racers that finish 15th-20th would beat her 9 out of 10 times. I've always been a huge fan of Erika Hess though...even name our daughter after her and our dog after Klammer!!
post #9 of 23
K2rider:

So you are saying that for females to be judged they have to compete head to head with males? Makes no sense!
post #10 of 23
David G.,

That's right, Sailor and Killey won their three gold medals, and they didn't have a chnace at a fourth, there was no Super G.

Also look at todays equipment when compared to the equipment then. They did some amazing things on those very long and narrow boards with little or no side cut, bear claw bindings, and laced boots.

To better understand, I suggest you rent the Robert Redford movie,"Downhill Racer." There are some excellent shots of the skis, bindings and boots [check out those buckels,on the leather boots ] of that era. Today they would be antiques, or certainly collectables.

Still Kostelic did accomplish some amazing things at these Olympics, but to make her the Greatest Alpine Olympian of all time is unfair to both her, and to those that in thier own day, accomplished some amazing things.

I will grant you that she is the greatest female Olympic Alpine medalist of the 21 st Century......so far.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 24, 2002 02:43 PM: Message edited 1 time, by wink ]</font>
post #11 of 23
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wink:
I will grant you that she is the greatest female Olympic Alpine medalist of the 21 st Century......so far.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Could you add any more caveats to that?

S
post #12 of 23
Congratulations, Janica K! Best of the Best ever in Olympic skiing!

Non- sport Questions I Would ask The GS Medalists:
Janica: Is it true u have 2 brothers: Ivica and Obelix?
Anja: Why does everyone think that there is a resemblance between the size of a woman skiers butt and an airport?
Sonja: Would u marry me?


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 25, 2002 02:08 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Danone ]</font>
post #13 of 23
Croatia is very much an "alpine nation". Lots of mountains. All the former Yugoslav countries are.

As for the best...well I think athletes who put in great performances over many Olmpics rate higher. But in terms of a single Olympic performance, right up there with Mark Spitz and Eric Heiden.
post #14 of 23
OK, Rock Skier, Croatia has a few ski areas but it isn't - and never has been - exactly in the the alpine league. Which was my point.

And I don't think all the former Yugoslav republics have ski areas. Mountains, yes, but I've never come across a ski area in Montenegro or Macedonia, for example, but perhaps I wasn't looking!

Beautiful countries, though!
post #15 of 23
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Danone:
Congratulations, Janica K! Best of the Best ever in Olympic skiing!

Non- sport Questions I Would ask The GS Medalists:
Janica: Is it true u have 2 brothers: Ivica and Obelix?
Anja: Why does everyone think that there is a resemblance between the size of a woman skiers butt and an airport?
Sonja: Would u marry me?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Danone, you can have the GS girls, as long as I get Alisa...


DROOL!


S
post #16 of 23
I wasn't being picky or trying to belittle her achievements, just pointing out that it is not like she has come from Egypt or somewhere. I should have said all the 'significant' former Yugoslav countries. Skiing is the national sport of Slovenia.
post #17 of 23
Slovenia I know - I did most of my learning there a squillion years ago.

What about Serbia, then?

[img]smile.gif[/img]
post #18 of 23
This is really increasing my knowledge! You have picked up on my earlier statement, which I admit, was a bit sweeping, but I am now being forced to find out things about that area that I never knew. Regarding Serbia:

Northern Serbia is mainly flat, while its central and southern areas consist of highlands and mountains. The flatlands are mainly in Vojvodina (the Pannonian Plain and its rim: Macva, the Sava Valley, the Morava Valley, Stig and the Negotin Marches in Eastern Serbia). 55 per cent of Serbia is arable land, and 27 per cent is forested. Of its mountains 15 reach heights of over 2,000 meters , the highest being Djeravica in the Prokletija range (2,656 m).

So it is reasonably mountainous. I have found mention of several ski areas.
[img]smile.gif[/img]
post #19 of 23
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Danone:
Anja: Why does everyone think that there is a resemblance between the size of a woman skiers butt and an airport?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

..."even the white boys gotta say, baby got back..."
post #20 of 23
post #21 of 23
She has to rank up there with the greatest OLYMPIANS of all time.
And definatly as one of the greatest if not the greatest Olympic performaces of all time.

I might be biast as my heritage is CROAT.
post #22 of 23
What I like about her is her style. Last year she won 8 of 9 WC events. Then had knee surgery. She has slowly been getting back to her normal ski self all year. But her style always seem to be the same. When she was slow early on she still looked as if she was skiing the way she did as she got faster. And vice versa, if that makes sense.

Wait, there is a difference: when she is fast she smiles more...
post #23 of 23
Though killy didn't win super G (seeing as hiow it wasn't invented in those days, he did winn all three existing events that she only got two golds and a silver (don't mean to use "only" to demean the phenomonity of her victories) and killy also quit skiing competitivly after '68 and started on the curcuit again in '72 after only ten days of training on snow, no off snow training to win with the most pro points. If that is not the best skier, than this is much more debatable than I thought.
Don't get me wrong, I love kostelic, she is amazing to watch ski and no one has mor fun racing than her ( watch her and you can tell) and she is definatly the greatest olympian skier of today and the greatest woman's olympian skier of all time but I believe greatest olympian skier of all time should go to killy (still skiing, though he claims to only board).
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