Reading the Sochi Olympics I: Bode Miller

Yesterday, self read an interesting article about Bode Miller in the Los Angeles Times.  Seems he came up medal-short (8th place) in the men’s downhill.  He’d done spectacularly in the training runs, but there was a 15-minute delay while he was up in the slot, due to a malfunctioning gondola.  And this 15-minute difference, the Times seemed to imply, was enough to melt the hard snow a little more, and make it less than optimum for Miller’s type of skiing.

In addition, the Times article was the first self had heard of Rosa Khutor, the name of the particular mountain on which the downhills were run.

Today, self is reading the on-line magazine Grantland.  She isn’t quite sure yet what it is.  It seems to have articles on movies, sports, and everything in between.  So it’s like the Village Voice?  Or The Brooklyn Rail?  Anyhoo, self bookmarked the site last week.  This is only the third time she’s perused it.

Rhosa Khutor, says the Grantland writer (Louisa Thomas), “is a hungry God.  Ten of the 55 skiers who participated in the final training run on Saturday didn’t complete the course.  One of them, Rok Perko of Slovenia, smashed his face and left blood on the snow.  ‘If you’re not paying attention,’ said Bode Miller, ‘this course will kill you.’ ”

On training runs, Miller was superb:  he clocked first on two of the three training runs.  He was supposed to medal, dammit!

In other words, if you want to see the best performance ever by a man described by Thomas as “the best American skier of his generation,” you’d have to view Miller’s training runs.  Which don’t count for anything.

Ah, but note how Miller did not have a clean sweep of the training runs.  One of the three runs was won by a 23-year-old named Matthias Mayer, and this was the man who eventually won the gold.

Oh, the Olympics.  So much fun to watch, so many stories to tell.

Self could go on and on about how writers are similar to athletes, how writers have to write every day, how dailiness is as essential to the writer’s craft as training runs are to downhill skiers.  Etc.  But she will not inflict such thoughts on dear blog readers today, not when she herself is so bleary-eyed and hasn’t written much of anything (yet) today.

Stay tuned.

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