St. Anton, Austria Feb. 8, 2001
The artist formally known as Prince
Prince Hubertus Von Hohenloe is a regular at World Championships and Olympics. The royal from, well, some former empire, has traditionally raced under the Mexican flag. In St. Anton, his chief appearance was as singer and composer of the Opening Ceremonies song. In fact, he swore he wasn't there to race. But, Hohenloe and behold, he appeared on the men's GS startlist, "partying from startplatz 99."
Signs of intelligent life:
Notably absent at the start of the men's downhill were Norwegians Lasse Kjus and Kjetil Andre Aamodt. Kjus was apparently sick, not hard to believe given his struggling performance in the Combined slalom. But Aamodt just the day before had won the Combined event with a solid, if tactically conservative downhill run. The word is that the five-event skier ran some Vegas odds on his chances for the next few days: try for a medal on a hairy, chewed-up downhill against bloodthirsty Austrians, or save some strength for the slalomand GS. Now wait, is this a trick question?
Five really loud stars
The US Ski Team has impressive digs in the center of town at the Hotel Alte Post. But no other teams are envious. The front and side of the Alte Post is also the staging area for every boisterous act that invades town. That includes marching bands, horn-toting men in gold lame ballgowns, and most recently a disco float. The slow-moving vehicle laden with lip syncing tranvestites trawls the main drag blaring "I will survive." Meanwhile, the shutters at the Alte Post are all closed tight. The Americans, it seems have had enough of the night fever, night fever.