A disappointing end to Lindsey Vonn's Olympic run: After skiing off course in Thursday's GS race -- and arguably derailing teammate Julia Mancuso's defense of her 2006 gold -- Vonn straddled a gate just 16 seconds into today's slalom race and failed to finish. It was the final women's alpine event of the 2010 Games, and it seemed as if Vonn was happy to see it all end.
Downhill–with its autobahn speeds and spectacular crashes—may be the mountain's riskiest event, but the turny, precise technical courses demand a level of exactitude unmatched in the Winter Olympic arena.
Giant Slalom The Austrians—perennially dominant across the alpine field—prize the GS above all and consider it to be the skier’s event. It requires deft precision and measured abandon, making it, arguably, the most challenging discipline to master. Thank goodness for malleable polycarbonate gate poles, which give a little when racers hit them. Even at relatively slow GS speeds, forces can exceed 75 gs—roughly equivalent to a full-speed helmet-to-helmet collision in football—as racers brush gates aside with their forearms and shoulders.
In Vermont’s remote, lovely Northeast Kingdom, resort developers have big plans for a quiet little town and its long-slumbering ski area.
“This is it?” That was my first thought upon arriving at Burke as a teenager for a ski race some 25 years ago. That phrase became a refrain as I hiked the slalom course next to the small, broken-down, Poma and sought refuge from the New England cold in the bare-bones Mid-Burke Lodge. Knowing Burke Academy’s reputation for churning out Olympians, I was shocked that so humble an operation had such stature. Of course, like many youngsters, I wasn’t looking very far beyond my own ski tips.