Posts Tagged ‘snow leopard’
Another early start. Met our Canadian hosts at 0715 for a home-cooked breakfast at Chez Merrell – I knew it was going to be a fun day as we started with a Caesar (similar Bloody Mary- contains vodka, clamato (a blend of tomato juice and clam broth) , followed quickly by a Mimosa (Bucks Fizz).
After a huge plate of waffles and bacon with the obligatory maple syrup, and a tonne of coffee, we walked over to the Olympic venue at Whistler Creekside for the Men’s Slalom race – security was airport style (which I have to say was slightly OTT) before we were allowed access. Once inside the venue we grabbed our seats in the stadium just as the 3 forerunners were skiing the first course. There was live commentary from Chris Davenport and all the video playback and display you could handle on a giant screen. The atmosphere was intense and the venue was packed with loads of different nationalities – we sat beside the ‘snow leopard’s’ supporters from Ghana. The Croatians were all in to watch Ivica Kostelic, the Italians were there en-masse, everyone it seemed had a cowbell to ring, the Russians were there in hordes again and the beer was flowing. Suddenly it was time for the first of the 103 skiers (the top 30 are seeded, then the rest follow). They have a run down the first course, then a run down the second course after a short break – the times are added together and the winner has the fastest overall combined time. The best feature is that the fastest 30 skiers from the first run, then ski in reverse order for the second run – ie: the 30th placed skier in the first run starts 1st in the second run. It makes for a very exciting finale. I was blown away by the talent the skiers showed – the course was steep and very icy and visibility was awful, but they blasted down the course as if they were on rails. Out of 103 starters on run 1, only 53 posted a time and went through to the second run.