Originally Posted by johnnysdg
Whoever designed that course should get a gold medal. Sickest I've ever seen!
I wonder how many women will start to use mens skis in the downhill now?
The course is something, isn't it? It's easily one of the most challenging courses ever used by the women, and I'd argue that it's possibly more challenging than the Dave Murray course used by the men.
By the way, the Hot Air jump at the bottom of the women's course used to be part of the men's course, and was a big, nasty jump for them, too. The courses changed in 2007 when the Franz's DH was laid out for the women, forcing a re-routing of the men's course from Coaches' Corner down: the Pipeline section and beyond is all new stuff, and the finish area of the Murray course was moved up a few hundred meters from its original finish due to crowd control concerns. The Whistler Weasel Workers' website
has great info on the history of the two courses, and some awesome pictures of the construction that took place to get them both in order.
As far as more women racing on men's skis, that's a tough one. I'd imagine that some of the stronger and taller women would benefit from such a move - skiers like Pärson, both Riesch sisters, Chemmy Alcott. These women would need to be very strong, and Vonn has totally raised the bar in that respect: she works out harder than any of her competitors, and the results are quite amazing. I can't imagine the aforementioned racers - especially Maria Riesch - sitting idly by come next season.
There's also a bit of a move afoot to try and keep women from racing with the men's equipment. Granted, this movement originates in Austria, where their current crop of female racers and smaller and would be totally overwhelmed by most men's equipment. And really, it seems like a silly stance: the men's skis have less forgiving sidecuts, are stiffer and are generally tougher to turn.