Since I talked to you last I have been to NYC and Lake Placid in upstate NY. While I was in NY I Stayed at this awesome place called the NY Athletic club. It is a 21 story private club in NYC where almost every floor has some athletic set up. A pool on one floor and an indoor track over two basketball courts surrounded by a weight room on another in addition to fencing and judo rooms. It also has hotel rooms, a billiards room, card room, library, dining rooms and a pub. On floor is dedicated to its athletic heritage. A Hall of Fame honors all the Olympic champions and other accomplished athletes that are members there. The club was started in 1868 so they boast over 200 Olympic medals with over half of them gold. Very impressive. One member in particular, Al Oerter won four gold medals in four different Olympics in the discus. The club was founded by a group of amateur athletes and grew to be a force in both the production of great competitors and in the direction of various Olympic sports. I noticed a complete absence of winter Olympic athletes but the club is very old school so perhaps they don’t really see the winter Olympics as a “real” Olympics. Either that or the facilities could never accommodate the training of winter sports athletes. I really loved the place and was amazed that something like that existed in Manhattan. Thanks for hooking me up Meredith.
While I was in NY that plane crashed into the Hudson. I was thinking about that when I jumped on a small puddle jumper to upstate New York. I was amazed at how long that plane floated after it landed. Especially with all those people standing on the wings. I guess the wings are just big balloons filled with jet fuel. Jet fuel floats on water, not that it matters if the tanks are sealed. The real tail fins are essentially just sealed aluminum airbags essentially. Makes me feel good if we had to land in the Atlantic. What does not make me feel good is that a couple birds can easily bring you down. That is a very sketchy, but I pretty much expect to go down every time I fly anyway.
I hit Lake Placid for the Freestyle world cup. Normally when you hear freestyle you think moguls, aerials, big air, halfpipe, slopestyle, but skiercros is now also under the umbrella of freestyle when it comes to the International Ski federation aka FIS. It makes sense except that all the dudes in it now are former Alpine racers. The sport is cool, but man it is sketchy. Even though the FIS has cut down the number of racers from 6 to 4, the crashes are still nasty. Which I suppose will make it a great spectator sport in the Olympics in 2010. However, I have competed in a couple and it was fun but sketchy. Even on a course like the one in Lake Placid which was relatively low speed, there is a major blow up in every other race. The problem is the athletes know how hard it is to pass because you don’t have a throttle, so they get dirty. There are judges and rules but in the end they don’t help after you already got smacked up side the head because someone clipped you by standing on the back of your skis. Daron Rahlves and Casey Pucket are the top US guys. Casey is ranked third. in the world with two X Games Gold Medals. He has been to four Olympics in Alpine racing with a 7th place in slalom in Lillehammer, Norway in 94. Impressive record. He was a bit off in Qualifying and had some tough heats out the box including a match up against Daron Rahlves in the second round. In his first heat Casey had a nice pass on the inside. Then he was involved in a huge tangle up in the second heat where Rahlves advanced.
Rahlves was looking very slow all day out of the gate but managed to advance through a combo of luck and skill. In the end he could got through to the small final and ended up fifth. Lars Lewen won the event with Patrick Koller second, and Thomas Kraus third. Kraus leads the standings going into the X games, and Puckett is third.
I don’t how long these guys will last. The crashes are ridiculous, look at you tube. Pucket takes a snow nap there. In alpine you might crashe really bad once or twice a year, In Ski cross these guys get worked every other week.
AC/DC ultimate freestyle skiing band.
BTW I am calling the event for NBC’s coverage which will be on this weekend.
Aerials was pretty standard. Jared Peterson won the event with a monstrous dfff stomped. That’s three flips with four twists. Two on the first flip one on the second and one on the third . Nissen and Shouldice were 2nd and third. Both Olympians from Torino as I found out in the bar late night that they are Faction listeners. I told you that most of the faction listeners were Canadian stoners. Eh. Nah just kidding, these guys are serious Olympics athletes that get drug tested every week. Thanks to their fellow countryman Ross Rebagliati. Damn snowboarders. Shouldice does an insane trick and stomped it in Placid. Lay triple full full. That means no twists on the first flip, three full ones on the second, and one on the third. Very cool. Imagine trying to fit three full spins into one flip while 60 feet in the air. You can check it out this weekend on NBC.