Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Agony of the Outrun

The Men's Alpine World Championships in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany was quite an interesting show yesterday.

Erik Guay of Canada won the Championship, taking the gold, in a 1 min 58.41 second run, but that wasn't the interesting part.

The outrun is the part of the slope that is after the finish line. It's where you see the skiers slide to a stop with a huge flourish. Only in Garmish, which recently underwent a $4 million dollar upgrade they forgot to extend the outrun and racer after racer went crashing into the wall unable to turn and stop in time.

A few of the skiers needed medical help after successfully navigating the actual course itself. Imagine, going 60 mph down a championship slope only to crash AFTER the finish line. It was the reality for most skiers yesterday.

Here is the link to see Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway crashing after his finish.

On the women's side, Lindsey Vonn took the silver medal. She caused some controversy earlier in the week by insisting on competing while recuperating from a concussion sustained last week in a horrific downhill accident.

In our opinion she should not have been allowed to compete. It was greedy, selfish and she was allowed to compete because of the money involved and her big name in the sport. A skier is at risk as it is and to risk further head injury was ludicrous and big time bad judgement. Obviously it is not the first time a skier, or any other athlete for that matter, has competed while injured, but this just set a bad precedent because everyone saw her fall last week and knew she had a concussion. To allow her to compete was pure unadulterated greed and just shows people and kids that all that matters in life is money and glory.

As Errol Flynn once said in the great movie, "They Died With Their Boots On," "The difference between gold and glory is that when you die, you can take the glory with you."

What if Lindsey had fallen again and at this moment was brain dead and had to be taken off life support? Would that silver medal be worth it to her family? We guess so since they let her compete with a concussion, as well as the the ski authorities that okayed it. We're pretty disgusted with that at this point.

Congrats to Erik Guay. O Canada!

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