Monday, March 1, 2010

Parallel Giant Slalom

Parallel Giant Slalom is a stupid sport that doesn't belong in the Olympics. I spent two days in terrible weather watching a boring sport and I'm not happy about it. Now, there was one exciting moment. We ended up slipping down the course 1 or 2 heats before the 2nd run of the gold medal final. Amazingly, the crowd had sat through a day of snow, rain and cold but were all really pumped up. When old Jasey-Jay Anderson came down and managed to create a win out of thin air, it was pretty exciting. But one exciting moment in two days of competition does not make for an Olympic event. Here's why:

1) The course was so dull. World Cup GS races (skiing) do not take place on blue square runs that are about 30 seconds long. If they did, they would be boring. If they had no terrain, they would be boring. They would also be more similar to parallel giant slalom.

2) The athletes are inconsistent. Yes, I know, you can't be perfect for the 50 runs that is required to win a gold medal. But still, I was shocked at how consistently sketchy many of the racers looked while completing their runs.
3) This race makes no sense and is hard to follow. There's so many runs and every athlete looks the same. I even knew what was going on and I had a hard time following it. Everybody understands skiercross/boardercross. Be one of the first two down the mountain and you move on. I can't remember how many times I heard "What? They have to go down again?" over those two days.

This whole theory can best be proven by telling you about a conversation with a photographer on my way down the course. See, we were slipping down the course between every freaking run. Like, thousands of times up and down the course. We'd do half of the run between each heat and then finish it up and head back around to the top. At one point I was beside either a Reuters or AP photographer. This was as I slipped down before the 2nd run of the bronze medal heat.

Photo Guy - "How many heats are left."
Me - "I'm not entirely sure. I think the next one might be the second heat for the bronze medal."
PG - "God. This makes no sense. This is the most uninteresting sport I've ever photographed. You get like 10 chances to win a medal. All these runs..."
Me - "Well...I think it's more that you get 10 chances to screw up and not win a medal."
PG - "No. (looks annoyed) It's definitely 10 chances to win a medal. I wish I had 10 chances to win a medal."

Then he looked even more annoyed and walked off. I don't even think he took a picture of the bronze medal heat. He was just angry and bored. And wet.

Anyhow. My Olympics ended with the Jasey-Jay Anderson gold medal. Once again, I was in the finish. I'm 3 for 3 on being in the finish and Canada getting a gold medal. And then I got the hell out of there and never looked back.

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