Hello and welcome to my new blog, On Edge. I will be covering the FIS Alpine World Cup. I will start off from the very beginning and by the end of the World Cup season in Spring you will be so educated on the world of skiing you might just have a new favorite sport!
As I sat down to write this I thought to myself…where do I start? Alpine skiing as a whole is such a huge and overwhelming topic it is difficult to know where to begin. Then I decided to start with the athletes.
Turn on any obscure sport you have never watched. A sport you know absolutley nothing about, you don’t know the contestants you don’t know what is going on. Watch it and for one you will not feel a connection as you would to your favorite sport and sports team because you have not connected with any of the athletes, but you will notice the enthusiasm the announcers have for the contestents.
Lets go back a little bit, at the time I knew nothing about skiing’s athletes I watched it every Olympics because I found the sport cool itself, but I would never watch it on a regular basis. It is the Sochi Olympics, the event is the Ladies Alpine Downhill The broadcasters start with a piece on Tina Maze (prononced Mah-zay). She is a Slovenian skier, at the time I didn’t even know what Slovenia was! (An Eastern European country.) They said how she was a pop star in her country, she had a number one single and she was also a ski racer. She also did a lot of work for children in her country. I thought she seemed like an inspiration and wanted her to win. Maze started her run and as she was going down the hill I watched and cheered on as she built up a big lead at each interval. I watched holding my breath as she apporached the finish line, she had to be a time of 1:41.57, she comes to the line and she ties the leader! Two 1:41.57’s it was incredible I thought, my God what fun that was cheering on Maze then the race is so close they tie! I mean how improbable is that?!
I had to watch more, I watched later in the Slalom event. American Mikaela Shiffrin was supposedly the woman to beat, she was only 18, the talk was about wether or not she could withstand the pressure and win. In slalom you get two runs, the person with the lowest time after both is the winner. Shiffrin was the last racer to start her second run. If she could beat Austrian Marlies Schild’s time then she would win the gold medal. I was feeling the tension for her! Shiffrin gets in the starting gate, but before she does she looks at the camera and winks, as if to say… “I got this.” Shiffrin starts her run, she has a 1 second lead after the first run. She is losing a little bit of time at each interval, then she almost loses it as her one ski goes in the air and she gets off balance. She contines down the course and I remember holding my breath hoping she could come away with the gold, she crosses the line…. SHE DID IT!! By a margin of .53 seconds 18-year-old Mikayla Shiffirn won America the gold.
Now after this I just had to watch Skiing outside of the Olympics. There were so many stories to tell, so many characters to witness. For me Sport is not just about the games they play, it is mainly about the people who play them. Sport would be boring with boring personalites. If you want to see a sport just to see sport go down to the local park and watch random people playing soccer or basketball. Sport as we know it on television is all about the athletes that play it. Their triumphs become our triumphs and their losses become our losses.
With this blog I want to help capture and share with you the human side of the sport that I have come to love so dearly. I then will go into the technical aspects of racing, then once the season starts I will cover the races as they happen all while keeping the goal in mind of connecting to the competitors first.
I thank you for joining me and I hope you will learn a lot about ski racing, if you already know about ski racing I hope you comeback to read the coverage of the races!