To all

Thanks for looking in and tolerating these feeble efforts while I’m finding out how to do the blog things. I’ll keep it short while I’m learning.

As most of you know, we are back in Utah now and getting back into our American social network. Hope this blog will be a good bus to get on. So, please join in.

Immersion into American, Western, Utahan, Park City culture has been immediate and easy. A few days of powder skiing right out of the starting gate, then a house visit and some sunny skiing. Now, it’s churning from mild to warm to rain to snow to cold and then more snow, hopefully. Big views, wind, sun. The dynamic landscape. Apologies to Barry Lopez and Galen Rowell. On this level, to compare Utah to England, where everything is monochromatic and safe, is unfair. But it’s easy to imagine options here that just didn’t exist there.

Anyway, it’s great to be back and on to new things. More later.

Storm clearing

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  1. March 13, 2006 at 11:33 PM

    In ski racing it is very difficult to create the exact frame of mind needed to produce great results. Furthermore, each racer is different, and may have ways to prepare himself mentally that don’t fit some coach’s mold. For instance, I have had trouble getting to sleep before a race. Turning out the light and lying on the bed in the dark is worse than useless. I read a book until I fall asleep. As long as I don’t worry about it, I find that I perform well enough on only six hours of sleep, as long as I’ve slept reasonably well the previous two or three nights. Bode Miller may well perform best if he goes out and has a beer the night before a race. Without knowing the detail of his supposed debauchery at the Olympics, it wouldn’t surprise me if he prepared in the same way that he prepared for all the races that won him the overall World Cup last winter. I didn’t hear any detail on Bode”s supposed partying that convinced me that the press really knew anything very incriminating, and the press acted as if lkthey had made up their mind to trash Bode even before the Olympics started.
    Even if Bode had the right frame of mind to ski well, he still could hook tips in slalom twice in a row, the way he did. Ligety hooked a tip in a race that he was winning just before the Olympics, and he hooked a tip again in the slalom at the Olympics, after two perfect runs in the DH/slalom combined. Ski racing is flakey. I have no doubt that Daron Rahlves did everything he could to prepare for each Olympic race, because he is a plugger. He won three downhill races this year, including a classic, the Lauberhorn, and he won a training run at the Olympics, but somehow he couldn’t perform when it counted most. That is ski racing.
    I totally agree that the USST was naive and unprepared, publicity wise, but they did help to provide one of the best U.S. ski teams ever. They set goals to be the best in the World in 2006, and, partly as a result of clarity about what they wanted to accomplish, almost succeeded. Of course they never should have promised anything for the Olympics. I have to say I didn’t understand before this the need of the legitimate press in certain circumstances to have someone to feed on, and who could predict the manner in which Bode, with Nike’s help, served himself up as a live offering.
    I agree that the Olympics were a publicity nightmare for Alpine Racing, and a first class publicity team
    might have avoided the worst of it, but the USST is a non-profit organization with limited resources that they choose to spend mostly on trying to perform well. Live and learn.

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