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The kings of the piste

Thanks to modern safety improvements, motor racing is not quite as dangerous as it used to be – although it probably still takes nerves of steel to hurtle around a circuit in a modern F1 car – but if there is a sport that for me demonstrates sporting bravery at its most extreme, it has to be the downhill skiing and bob-sleigh events I am currently watching at the Winter Olympics near Turin.

Being only a moderately competent skier myself, I bow in awe when I see the pros hurtle down icy slopes at speeds touching 100 mph. Wow.

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6 comments to The kings of the piste

  • Ted Schuerzinger


    You weren’t watching bobsled; you were watching luge.

    In sadder news, Grandma Luge broke her wrist and may miss out on the competition.

  • Pete_London


    I’m someone who’s been described as an advanced skier and have done race training on a few occasions. Those men and women who point their skis straight down the mountain and let’em go are lunatics. Really, they are lunatics.

    I know a trainer who used to race for GB at junior levels and is a dream on skis, once keeping up with me on slalom and GS runs with a stopwatch in one hand and clipboard in the other. I asked him one day why he didn’t take it all the way instead of becoming a trainer – was it lack of funding, injury – or what?

    “No” he says, “I lost my bottle. Those downhillers you see are nuts and I just couldn’t do it anymore”

    Two days later I stood beside the OK run in Val d’Isere and watched the men’s World Cup downhill. As in F1, television doesn’t do them justice. It just doesn’t convey how fast these racers are going. At the Hahnnenkahm in Kitzbuhel the quickest men are doing 95 mph at one point! I have no doubt you must be a bit odd to do that for a living.

  • Heads Up:

    This bill gives Ministers the right to Order the creation of new crimes and redefine existing crimes.

    I’m not joking.


    The blogosphere seems to be waking up to it, but its not had much scrutiny AFAICT.

    On my blog, I’m calling it the Totalitarianism Bill, others have dubbed it the Henry VII bill. Its real name is perculiarly boring.


  • Julian Taylor

    And if that isn’t enough they then have the freestyle skiing event – one serious fall in that sport and I just bet you’re not going to be doing it again.

  • Julian, even if you don’t break every bone in your body in a fall, you’ll end up with the knees of an eighty year old after a career on the moguls. BTW, the moguls are done on snow. The alpine events are on ice.

  • Johnathan

    Simon, keep things on-topic, please.