Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Women's Ski Cross

Well, it kind of feels like my volunteer experience is over. I have two more events to do (women's and men's Snowboard PGS), but I really don't care at all about those events and have no interest in being involved.

The women's event was quite different than the mens. Mostly, just due to the weather, I guess. The day started out and it seemed like things would be perfect. It was cloudy and cold. But the course didn't really set up top to bottom. Many of the landings were very sugary and we battled all day to keep it in decent shape. Then the snow started. It was kind of embarrassing to see the ladies poling across the flats like, to steal a joke from Brian Stemmle, Bjorn Dahle.

The good thing about the women's event was that I had a smaller crew for the heats so we were able to slowly make our way down the course, helping out where we were needed. I saw the course from some different vantage points.

The best was just below the large wooden jump in the middle of the course. We'd watched a lot of racers go by from just above it, but the view from below was crazy. One of the heats we saw was the semi-final where the French girl over-jumped trying to make a pass and blew out of the course. Oh my god. It looked like she was a good 10 feet higher than the other girls. It was crazy. She pulled off the course about 10 feet above us and the medic came down to see if she was alright. It was an odd conversation that ended with her saying (in her thick french accent) "You can have no possible idea on how I am feeling right now." She looked over at us with sad eyes and skied down the course.

From there, we worked on a few more corners and ended up in the finish for the final. Once again, me being in the finish corral seemed to be very important and Canada won a gold. The crowd went crazy. Flags were waved. Etc.

Which brings me to...something. I realize that my thought process is different from many. There's been a lot of comments over the past week about "being around all these Olympians". Nobody has really been all that star struck (as nobody that's been working around me seems to have any idea what the sports have been about) but there's still this strange reverance for any athlete remotely attached to the Olympics. I've seen it at work where an Olympian shows up and people just lose their minds. I understand this reaction (I myself get a bit giddy when I see a World Cup ski racer) but I don't really understand how it can be present when you:

A) Don't know anything about the sport the person is participating in.

B) Have no idea who they are, have never heard their name and know nothing about them other than that they are an "Olympian".

So. With that in ski cross experience ended late in the day. We were walking from the bottom of the course and as we got to the lodge, Ashleigh McIvor came out from someplace, most likely after peeing in a cup. There were 2 other volunteers with me. They hooted and hollered, I raised my poles in my patented victory salute. She looked over and smiled. Then thanked us all for our hard work. It was a nice moment and I kind of felt that "Olympic presence".
PS - These long days are really getting to me. I just spelled "know" as "no", not once but twice.

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