I don't think this was posted here before; from Bode Miller's diary at Universal Sports, an entry titled "Ski Racing is a dangerous sport" (www.universalsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml}
(Posted Jan. 26, 2009) SCHLADMING, Austria -- I saw the Albrecht training crash from a TV at the top of the Hahnenkamm. It was pretty aggressive. It’s scary to see someone go down right in front of you, but I’m pretty good at putting it out of my head and not dwelling on it. If you go out there and give 100 percent on some of these courses, the chances of hurting yourself are really really high. A lot of racers went down in the actual race too. TJ Lanning hurt his knee and a bunch of other guys crashed out.
There’s not much that can be done to make the sport safer. The risk and danger is just a part of it. With all the safety netting, I think some guys have a false sense of security. I’m pretty aware of the dangers involved. There are a lot of different ways you can mess yourself up. It’s just you, your skis, helmet and tiny spandex suit. You don’t have much protection. When you go down, you go down really hard. On that hill in particular, the crash zones are really tough and unforgiving.
Let me repeat one line in particular from above: "The risk and danger is just a part of it. With all the safety netting, I think some guys have a false sense of security"
Wow. This is from a guy who is known for thinking outside of the box, if anything. A guy who never takes equipment for granted and is actually actively working on improving (at least his own) equipment, a guy who actually complained about the dangers of the course prep at Kitzbuhel last year, a guy who probably has given the dangers of the sport more than just a passing thought.
So for Bode Miller to not only state that there isn't much that can be done to make the sport safer, but that he accepts those risks, and that some of the current safeguards may in fact be causing the racers to feel overconfident to the point of injuring themselves....well, then he must be just CRAZY, right?
I'm not trying to talk shit on anybody's opinions, and while I could probably have used more articulate language when I called "the same old arguments retarded", I stand by the basic sentiments in that statement. It seems the majority of those who think the risks of downhill racing are unacceptable would probably always think they are unacceptable, no matter what was done to improve it.
On the other side, there are those of us who have willingly accepted those risks and some of us continue to do so, and so would probably think too much intervention to change downhill racing to make it "safe" would probably ruin it by making it slower, less challenging, less exciting, not downhill, or basically LESS RISKY. That doesn't mean any of us are crazy, stupid, foolish or blind to the dangers, it just makes us able to accept higher conditions of risk.