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Olympic Women's DH (SPOILERS)

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
"Watching" it now on Live Timing via fis-ski.com.

It would be pretty exciting if one could actually see the racers, rather than mere numbers and little red and green bars on the screen. I might even tune in for the NBC highlight reel (errr, sorry, I mean "coverage").
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 
With the 30th racer done, I think we can call it a race:

[Spoiler space]

US goes 1-2, and by a convincing margin....
post #3 of 27
Quite spectacular I would say. Extremly good skiing by 1 and 2 but the course was mursiless. Bumpy and icy and full with double fall line jumps and turns. I have not seen such a demanding womans course ever I think. Anjas jump was scary. Too many crashes and bad ones. Anjas was the worse. 60m and on your butt! Hopefully nobody got seriously injured.
post #4 of 27
I watched the race via a BBC video feed that somebody "liberated" to the internet via a Slignbox.

Anywho...

It was quite the race!  tdk is right: this was a technical course, even more technical than the men's course, by my estimate.  There are a ton of jumps, big and small, fall-aways, banks and compressions to keep the racers off-balance.  Combine that with the fact that none of their training runs featured snow this cold, consistent and fast, and it became a course of whichever racer could mate risk and control the best.

Vonn and Mancuso really mastered this balance.  They both took a lot of risks, but only in the areas where it made sense to do so.  They skied cleanly and loosely, where other women skied either with stiff, unforgiving technique that resulted in skidding, or by trying to be aero in the wrong spots, or by simply letting the higher speed intimidate them.  I think the reason Görgl did so well is that she didn't have the benefit of a course report from a fellow competitor, so she skied it more loosely and with less apprehension than most of her teammates.

The Canadians simply let it get into their heads that this was "their time to shine," and overskied, overthought, and stiffened up.  Neither Janyk nor Brydon (I didn't get to see Rubens) really had the whole game today.

Paerson did give the course a great run, but she's been really apprehensive in the air since her last string of knee injuries, and she entered the Hot Air jump with a lot of speed and without the proper line.  She didn't time her move well, and ended up popping the jump, rather than pre-jumping it.  She flew over 60 meters, which is insane.  I'm betting she blew out one, if not both knees, and likely cracked a rib or two.  Very scary crash.
post #5 of 27
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
We had some people watching over in the 30min DH thread. This is from there.
Originally Posted by Tog View Post


Lindsey in Action:

Headed Down!

30238
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/ph/index.html?tmp=mslideshow&p=women+downhill&b=35

Then up:

30241
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/ph/index.html?tmp=mslideshow&p=women+downhill


30237
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/ph/index.html?tmp=mslideshow&p=women+downhill&b=33



Spent at the Finish. Many racers collapsed after the run. Several slid across the finish after crashing.

30236http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/ph/index.html?tmp=mslideshow&p=women+downhill&b=34

Julia Crushing the course:

30240
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/ph/index.html?tmp=mslideshow&p=women+downhill&b=42

30242
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/ph/index.html?tmp=mslideshow&p=women+downhill&b=8

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post


Paerson did give the course a great run, but she's been really apprehensive in the air since her last string of knee injuries, and she entered the Hot Air jump with a lot of speed and without the proper line.  She didn't time her move well, and ended up popping the jump, rather than pre-jumping it.  She flew over 60 meters, which is insane.  I'm betting she blew out one, if not both knees, and likely cracked a rib or two.  Very scary crash.

She was completely on her tails when she hit the jump - she never got a chance to control it, and landed it equally deeply if you can call that a landing. Until then she looked like splitting Lindsey and Julia who were both superb.

Anja is reported in the Swedish press saying its the worst experience she's ever had skiing, but she'll be biting her teeth, knocking back the painkillers and competing again today! Wow.
post #7 of 27

That was a shocking fall. I'm really glad to see that Paerson's fabulous career didn't end on that note. She's tough as nails, give her that. Too bad she couldn't finish, 'cause that was a podium run for sure.

 

Great run by Mancuso, I thought she skied better technically than Vonn, just doesn't have the raw speed Vonn has. I've seen Vonn ski much better than that, she seemed a little wooden at times. And still won by over half a second, right? Geez. Wonder how the shin holds up in combined. Gotta figure the SG, at least, is a lock if she doesn't have a setback.

post #8 of 27
I've been watching a lot of high level ski racing for many decades, and that run of LV's yesterday was one of the most impressive that I've seen. Clearly, watching the video, the shin is a problem. Who knows how much pain she's in, but the fact that she had to favor and unload the pressure on the right leg a number of times was clear. The course had a ton of turns, and the surface looked absolutely brutal in places. Then, add to it the incredible pressure of being expected to win, along with the pressure she put on herself to win to fulfill a life long dream. Just incredible. Tremendous.

And Julia's performance after two years that have been very tough in so many ways was equally impressive. Really great skiing, and fun to watch. Very sad to see Paerson "biff" it so hard, and glad that she sounds OK. I think seeing Maria Reisch skiing as she did was understandable after that, to we mortals. But seeing somebody at her level, appearing to be very tentative instead of charging was eye-opening.

This racing has been great, so far. Just wish we had better TV access.
post #9 of 27
Agreed.  It was amazing how she used her uphill ski to compensate for the bad shin. 

Well, the ladies Super-Combined will start soon.  If my feed crashes there is always the FIS website: http://live.fisski.com/live5405.htm

The forerunners are now on the course.
post #10 of 27
Don't know if anyone watched the medals ceremony but it looked like it was a pretty frosty relationship between LV and JM?
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

Don't know if anyone watched the medals ceremony but it looked like it was a pretty frosty relationship between LV and JM?

They're two very contrasting personalities, a bit of an oil vs. water situation.  If you look back at it, there's a similarity to the time when Hilary Lindh and Picabo were on the USST: Hilary was the more introverted, cerebral, quiet one (akin to Vonn, in many respects), and Street was more of the "wild child" extrovert (akin to Mancuso).  Eventually, Picabo discovered a good balance of extroversion and restrained focus, and evolved into a personality similar to Vonn's.

And like Vonn and Mancuso, Lindh and Street seldom seemed like they had any relationship outside of being teammates.  However, they ended up being good friends off the snow and on the road, once they grew up a bit.  I think that Vonn and Mancuso just aren't there right now, and may never be.  Mancuso's erratic approach over the past few years doesn't co-exist well with Vonn's methodical planning and execution, and that may have caused some rifts.

And then there's the case of coaching, where Vonn and Mancuso largely train apart, with different coaching staffs.  These two likely don't see a lot of each other, outside of race day.

Sorry for the ramble - just trying to uncover all the possibilities.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post

Quote:


They're two very contrasting personalities, a bit of an oil vs. water situation.  If you look back at it, there's a similarity to the time when Hilary Lindh and Picabo were on the USST: Hilary was the more introverted, cerebral, quiet one (akin to Vonn, in many respects), and Street was more of the "wild child" extrovert (akin to Mancuso).  Eventually, Picabo discovered a good balance of extroversion and restrained focus, and evolved into a personality similar to Vonn's.

And like Vonn and Mancuso, Lindh and Street seldom seemed like they had any relationship outside of being teammates.  However, they ended up being good friends off the snow and on the road, once they grew up a bit.  I think that Vonn and Mancuso just aren't there right now, and may never be.  Mancuso's erratic approach over the past few years doesn't co-exist well with Vonn's methodical planning and execution, and that may have caused some rifts.

And then there's the case of coaching, where Vonn and Mancuso largely train apart, with different coaching staffs.  These two likely don't see a lot of each other, outside of race day.

Sorry for the ramble - just trying to uncover all the possibilities.
 

that's pretty much what it looked like.  It was almost as if Lindsey was a little bit miffed at Julia detracting a little bit from her well=deserved moment of triumph. 
post #13 of 27

Eeeek sounds like a soap  opera here on epic.  They both raced really well, the different styles were interesting.  Liked Mancusco's line better but technical proficiency doesn't always mean you're faster,  as we learned.

post #14 of 27

Last olympics there was a guy on the men's long track speed skating team (he may be skating this year too) who didn't race in the mens relay because he said it would interfere with the individual events he was in. He was a bit of an arrogant dick. But anyway, he said that is not really a team and he is actually right. Even though he was an arrogant  SOB.

We say men's or womans ski team, speed skating team, or whatever. But, the fact is that they are competiting against each other no differently than they compete against skiers from other country.


With that said, they both looked great. And, their skiing was excellent too!


 

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysdg View Post

Last olympics there was a guy on the men's long track speed skating team (he may be skating this year too) who didn't race in the mens relay because he said it would interfere with the individual events he was in. He was a bit of an arrogant dick. But anyway, he said that is not really a team and he is actually right. Even though he was an arrogant  SOB. 

Shani Davis. Given your comments in the Bode Miller thread, I'm kinda surprised at your opinion of him. Shani is no more of a jerk than Bode is.
post #16 of 27

Just googled it to refresh my memory.

I stand corrected - I had the wrong guy. Shani is not a jerk.  Although, he was a little arrogant but I don't have a problem with that. I think he was just pretty pissed at the media circus.

The guy who complained about him, Chad Hendrick, was acting like a little beotch.

Never the less, Shani was 100% right. You are competiting against everyone out there. Countrymen or not.

post #17 of 27
Actually, I think US speedskating is managed by Bill Marolt's twin. That was a completely stupid management move, and the athletes were the ones that lost.
 
I'm just completely impressed how Jules has stepped up and how Vonn is performing. If Julia can keep it up in SL/GS and Lindsey can hold it together for the SG, the women will have a very good Olympics indeed. Heck, it already is a great Olympics.
 
I'm also really, really impressed with Anja's bronze, given that crash. She's always been a favorite of mine.
 
Now Ted and Bode need to try to keep up with the girls.
post #18 of 27
Can anyone tell what boots Lindsey was wearing during her slalom run?  They certainly didn't look like Heads.
post #19 of 27
They're Head boots, for sure.  Some of the men are one them now, too, these white-shelled models.  It seems to be their new SL boot, but the shell design is the same one they've been using for the past few years.
post #20 of 27
Thanks for the quick reply.  The commentators mentioned that she wasn't quite happy with them yet?
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Mike View Post

Actually, I think US speedskating is managed by Bill Marolt's twin. That was a completely stupid management move, and the athletes were the ones that lost.
 
I'm just completely impressed how Jules has stepped up and how Vonn is performing. If Julia can keep it up in SL/GS and Lindsey can hold it together for the SG, the women will have a very good Olympics indeed. Heck, it already is a great Olympics.
 
I'm also really, really impressed with Anja's bronze, given that crash. She's always been a favorite of mine.
 
Now Ted and Bode need to try to keep up with the girls.

That is amazing that Anja even competed let alone got the bronze after that crash. I would still be in bed.


Julia's 2 medals impressed me. Especially her doing well in speed events. Not that Lindsey didn't impress me, but she was expected to win the downhill. Julia did say the rough course helped her. Definitely hurt others. 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?

It is the best winter olympics I remember since 1980. 

I'm not a big snowboard guy but watching that Shaun White was something else.

 
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilzthatkilz View Post

Thanks for the quick reply.  The commentators mentioned that she wasn't quite happy with them yet?

It's not just the boots, it's the whole slalom and GS setup.  Her switch to Head took place very late in the summer, so the amount of time to test setups and find things that work was truncated.  Vonn was able to find a good setup for the speed events, both boots and skis, and that shows in her results.  But her SL and GS skiing has been a shadow of its former self, especially on the more technically challenging pistes.

So Vonn has been working with Head to dial in the boots and skis.  The shin injury only adds more confusion to the matter.  I think that she'll have the best chance of getting things settled in the tech events during the off-season, when she can work outside of the pressure of an active competition season to get the skis and boots completely dialed in.  Until then, it'll be touch and go.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysdg View Post

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.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post

Quote:




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.


On the Canadian broadcast they mentioned that a few of the women, after seeing Vonn's success, have experimented on men's equipment but couldn't handle it. I can't remember who, but they were amongst to top women, they may have even said Paerson or Reisch,
post #25 of 27
Even if we don't see more women on full on men's skis, I think we'll see some more aggressive womens skis.

Songfta, I tend to agree with you about the course being tougher. Do you think the women's course is tougher than the men's in of itself  or do you think the conditions made it so? Its definitely the toughest womens course I've ever seen and with the conditions it looked like it should have had a skull and crossbones instead of black diamonds. 

I may need to watch the men's downhill again to take a look. I know that I don't recall watching the men's downhill and thinking the course was tougher than others I've seen.  
post #26 of 27
More women will switch to mens skis, but it will be a matter of their individual physical strength and needed time to do the necessary testing.  On World Cup Several years ago, some of the lighter men switched to the women slalom skis as they worked much better for them. 
Too bad Lindsy has not figured out her boots as she does not have any confidence in GS and SL. She said so herself in her post race interview that she has "one more shot at a medal".  The SC slalom hill and course was made for her, but she was too round on top and then ended it.  Glad she ski released as quickly as it did, as it usuallly whips you around.  Anja did great, I have yet to figure out why she did not go over backward on her fall.  That she was albe to get down feet first was a real accomplishment.
post #27 of 27
Vonn is 5'10", 165# according to the Olympics website.  What length ski did she use in the DH, and how does that compare to the women's ski length that a woman of her size would normally use for DH? 

Also (ignorant newbie questions):

-- How do men's and women's skis differ in waist width, sidecut (turn radius), or other measurable factors for a given length?
-- In a given race event, do ski lengths typically vary with racer size as recreational skis do, or do all skiers in an event typically use about the same length ski regardless of racer size?

Don
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