Alpine Skiing discussion - no spoilers please

Ale Xander

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yesterdays Men's Downhill and tonight's Women's Giant Slalom (with Mikaela Shiffrin) postponed due to bad weather (is this a thing?) to this Thursday
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Turns out skiing 80 mph in 50 mph winds is dangerous, so yeah the thing that happened is a thing.

Men's Combined is tonight. One run of downhill and two runs of slalom. Hopefully weather isn't an issue.
 

jungleboy

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Men's Combined is tonight. One run of downhill and two runs of slalom. Hopefully weather isn't an issue.
It's one run of downhill and one run of slalom. Since combined became super combined and now alpine combined, they have only done one run of slalom because it was previously skewed too much towards the slalom skiers. As I wrote in my preview post, Alexis Pinturault (FRA) is the big favorite for the event, but Marcel Hirscher (AUT) has decided to race which could make it interesting if he can post a respectable downhill time. Hirscher has always preferred not to race speed events but has often done well in the limited times that he has done so.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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It's one run of downhill and one run of slalom. Since combined became super combined and now alpine combined, they have only done one run of slalom because it was previously skewed too much towards the slalom skiers. As I wrote in my preview post, Alexis Pinturault (FRA) is the big favorite for the event, but Marcel Hirscher (AUT) has decided to race which could make it interesting if he can post a respectable downhill time. Hirscher has always preferred not to race speed events but has often done well in the limited times that he has done so.
Interesting. Thanks!
 

The Napkin

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right here
For the combined, is it generally more successful to be average at both or really good at one and bad at the other?
 

BigMike

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I don’t get the ‘no spoilers’ part. If you don’t want to talk about what happens, why start the thread before you’re caught up?
The only problem with a thread like this is when is it ok to spoil. for example the Nordic combine was showed on network TV last night around 1am. Can I talk about it now. I would think so.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Well, that’s kinda my point. If you haven’t watched it yet, why even click on the thread, let alone start it? I understand the time delay and all but it’s also not the new Star Wars movie or whatever. How does one discuss the event without talking about the event?
 

BigMike

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Anyway you have to feel good for Marcel Hirscher. He may have been carrying the mantle of best solo athlete in an Olympic sport who had never won an Olympic medal

It will be interesting to see how much the stacked schedule starts to impact the events, assuming we ever get to have any other Alpine races
 

streeter88

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It will be interesting to see how much the stacked schedule starts to impact the events, assuming we ever get to have any other Alpine races
There might be the obvious impact on the multi event skiers whose preparation and recovery time between races will suffer. However, the best staffed teams will have an advantage one would think.

Beyond that, the organisers, course setters, timers, on hill staff, groomers, not to mention all the volunteers who are the glue at any Olympics, may struggle a bit as well due to the number of races in succession. Looks like they are at the point where multiple events must occur each day. Hope for a good show, but also one that is safe for the athletes.

Mens DH and Ladies GS today, with any luck.
 

drleather2001

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Technical question: the beeping at the beginning of each run; is that just a suggestion or a deadline or what?
 

Mr Mulliner

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We’ll see if Dan Hicks can manage to speak again - a good 15 seconds of silence after Bode said that Anna Veith sucks now because she got married.

“It might be her husband’s fault”
/dead air
 

streeter88

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All I can say is, the weather looks sparkling with not a breath of wind - announcer even just said “just a very light breeze today” - so they better run the downhill.
 

54thMA

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We’ll see if Dan Hicks can manage to speak again - a good 15 seconds of silence after Bode said that Anna Veith sucks now because she got married.

“It might be her husband’s fault”
/dead air
I was waiting for canned laughter from Hicks after that comment but all we got was crickets.........Bode later said he was sorry, it was a poor attempt on his part at a joke, so there you go.

Jim Ed Rice in HOF beat me to it........
 

CoffeeNerdness

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The off camber fall away section at the top of the downhill course looks frightening. Otherwise this course looks pretty flat and turny.
 

Mr Mulliner

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The off camber fall away section at the top of the downhill course looks frightening. Otherwise this course looks pretty flat and turny.
I agree, except that traverse is nothing compared to the one at the bottom of Kitzbuel, where they’re going twice as fast, it’s after 1:30 of risking your life, it’s 4x longer, and it’s solid ice, as opposed to this man made grippy snow.

It’s too bad this downhill course is so tame. Nowhere to make up speed, no real challenging sections. But, it did produce the “right” leaderboard. All the guys who should have been up there were, so it was fair if nothing else.
 

jungleboy

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Anyway you have to feel good for Marcel Hirscher. He may have been carrying the mantle of best solo athlete in an Olympic sport who had never won an Olympic medal
He won silver in slalom in Sochi, so he had a medal, just not gold (and if you meant best athlete not to win an Olympic gold, a better answer is Martins Dukurs, who is easily the best skeleton slider of all time but has two Olympic silvers and looks like he will miss out on gold again this year halfway through the competition). I'm happy for Hirscher too. But the combined gold is not what he came here for. I think he needs to win either GS or SL (or maybe even both) to validate his dominance in these disciplines over the arc of the last 6-7 years.

We’ll see if Dan Hicks can manage to speak again - a good 15 seconds of silence after Bode said that Anna Veith sucks now because she got married.
I'm watching on Eurosport so I didn't hear that, but that's awful. She had a serious knee injury and then a recurrence and missed nearly two seasons because of it, so that's enough to explain her long road back. Plus she did win a SG WC race earlier this season. She has never recovered her GS form coming out of the injury but SG was always her best discipline anyway and I think she's still in with a shot at a medal next week.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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The ski areas hosting these events are really odd. There are maybe 5 trails narrowly cut straight down the mountain which makes them look like a small east coast ski area on mountains that look more like something in the Rockies. The trails probably get boring after an hour or two but the off-piste possibilities look endless.

Does anyone know much about skiing culture in SK? Is skiing/riding relatively new there? Has this been an atypically bad year for natural snow?
 

Mr Mulliner

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The ski areas hosting these events are really odd. There are maybe 5 trails narrowly cut straight down the mountain which makes them look like a small east coast ski area on mountains that look more like something in the Rockies. The trails probably get boring after an hour or two but the off-piste possibilities look endless.

Does anyone know much about skiing culture in SK? Is skiing/riding relatively new there? Has this been an atypically bad year for natural snow?
They aren’t ski areas. Just mountains that they carved a couple of runs into, for the sole purpose of hosting the Olympic speed events. They’re literally in the middle of nowhere.

I think they are going to take it all down, re-forest and leave be area alone for another 1000 years as soon as this is done.
 

GoJeff!

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The ski areas hosting these events are really odd. There are maybe 5 trails narrowly cut straight down the mountain which makes them look like a small east coast ski area on mountains that look more like something in the Rockies. ?
The mountains aren't that big. The summits are at around 4000 feet, so more like Vermont.
 

jungleboy

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Hopefully another great day of alpine starting in a few hours with the two runs of the ladies' rescheduled slalom sandwiching the men's Super-G.

In the ladies' SL, Mikaela Shiffrin is about an unbackable favorite as you can be in a slalom event, given that she's won the last four major championships slaloms (1xOWG, 3xWCh) and already has ~30 WC wins in the discipline. In the last WC slalom, she skied out about six gates from home in the second leg with a massive lead, which shows that anything can happen in a slalom race. That said, the race is hers to lose and if she keeps it clean and error-free, she'll win it comfortably. She has nerves of steel and with a pressure-relieving gold medal in her back pocket already, I just don't see her faltering. I like Wendy Holdener (SUI) for silver and Frida Hansdotter (SWE) for bronze, with Petra Vlhova (SVK) next in line.

In the men's SG, my tip is Kjetil Jansrud (NOR), who is also the defending champion. He took silver in the DH on Thursday after having the green light over teammate Svindal at every intermediate split. Being a great downhiller doesn't automatically mean you're a top contender in SG (e.g. Feuz, Paris, Fill), but Jansrud goes across the two speed disciplines as well as anyone. I originally tipped Svindal for bronze and Hannes Reichelt (AUT, age 37) for silver, so I'll stick with that even though Reichelt is a bit of a wildcard pick and was only 12th in the DH. I'd love to see Svindal do the double but I'd be equally happy to see Jansrud get it and have the two attacking Vikings take home one gold each from the speed events.
 

Byrdbrain

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All she needs to do to make up that 0.48 is a little pre-race nap and puke.
 

DukeSox

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0.48 is a shit load. and she's not just behind the leader, she's behind everyone between her and the leader.
 

Mr Mulliner

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0.48 is a shit load. and she's not just behind the leader, she's behind everyone between her and the leader.
It can be, but Shiffrin often wins slaloms by well upwards of a second, and she’s overcome similar deficits this year already. And with the course chewed up a bit she’s got an advantage, in my opinion.

Partly depends on the set.

I’m really hoping Andrew Weibrecht can pull another rabbit out of his ass here in the super g. I know him a bit, great kid, and somehow seems to show up in the olympics. He’s pretty banged up this year though.
 

BigMike

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That last Norwegian won't win a medal, but that was the most fun run of the night, finishing the last half with only 1 pole, and still despite 2 crazy moments was just over a second behind
 

Mr. Wednesday

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It seemed like the wind really came up for the last five or six skiers. Of course, Gallhuber's run was missed in a commercial break, so we really don't know what the conditions were like for that run.
 

Mr Mulliner

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Well, I was wrong about that. Hansdotter surprised me, very impressive. Great example of skiing without pressure for the perpetual bridesmaid.

Slalom is brutal - one hiccup and you’re done.
 

jungleboy

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To give you an idea as to how rare it is for Shiffrin to finish a slalom race and miss the podium, it hasn't happened on the World Cup circuit for over three years. In her last 27 WC slalom races dating back to December 2014, she has 21 wins, two seconds, two thirds and two DNFs.

Not a great day for my predictions today. I got three of the six medalists but only one in the right position (Holdener).
 

jungleboy

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Back to it in a few hours with the ladies' Super-G. My pre-Games medals tips were Tina Weirather (LIE, bib 7), Lara Gut (SUI, bib 5) and Sofia Goggia (ITA, bib 13), although I'm not really sure why I bet against Lindsey Vonn. She is the only woman on the WC circuit this season with two wins in Super-G.

Vonn has bib 1 which could be a disadvantage if there are some difficult parts to the course set. In the men's SG, the first two skiers missed gates and skied out before word got back to the top of the course that there were a couple of tricky gates to watch out for. (There is only a course inspection and no training runs for SG.)

Others to watch include Federica Brignone (ITA, bib 11), Nicole Schmidhoffer (AUT, bib 9, Super-G world champion) and Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR, bib 17), who will be skiing with house money after taking a surprise medal in the GS. Actually she's a really good dark horse for a medal here. Finally, Anna Veith (AUT, bib 15, née Fenninger) is the defending champion but hasn't gotten back to her best after returning from significant knee injuries, although she has shown flashes of her old form and did win a WC Super-G in December.

I'd be very surprised if any of the medalists came from outside these eight skiers that I've mentioned, but, then again, that's why they ski the races.

Edit: Let me add Connie Huetter (AUT, bib 19) to the mix to really cover my bases, although her best shot will come in the DH.
 
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BigMike

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Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR, bib 17), who will be skiing with house money after taking a surprise medal in the GS. Actually she's a really good dark horse for a medal here. .
Every time they say this name on the telecast my brain processes it as Rocky and Bullwinkle
 

BigMike

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What is weird is despite the complete bleep at the end of the reace, she actually picked up time on the 2 people who came after in the bottom portion of the race.

I can;t imagine it ends up being a medal run, probably more like 6-10
 

AB in DC

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Strange how NBC is declaring a winner when there are 25 skiers left. Why would the event organizers put the supposedly-worst competitors toward the end? I thought they usually do it the other way around to keep the suspense up.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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Strange how NBC is declaring a winner when there are 25 skiers left. Why would the event organizers put the supposedly-worst competitors toward the end? I thought they usually do it the other way around to keep the suspense up.
Um...you might want to check the final results of this race. (Hint: it was un-fricking-believable.)
 

AB in DC

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That was kind of my point -- it's like someone tried to set it up so that the winner would be declared after 20 skiers, rather than just play it out normally. But why?