Tuesday, February 28, 2006
You may have noticed that the USA's alpine skiers didn't do so well in the recent Olympics. I've got a theory about that. A fair portion, nay a majority, of the worthwhile skiing areas in the States is not coastal, but significantly inland, sheltered behind coastal ranges. Consequently, they receive lighter, drier snow, not Cascade Concrete or the Atlantic equivalent. Kids who grow up skiing at these areas live for powder days, as evidenced by the local paper reporting that nearly 1 in 6 students were absent from the local high school following "the storm of the year." Their health was reportedly "going downhill." Contrast this ethic with the inscrutable scruples of ski racing where
Course workers pulled an all-nighter to prepare the Giant Slalom course for yesterday's race, trying to get rid of all the powder and scrape it down to that bulletproof ice that only a ski racer could love.Not only are the majority of American ski areas blessed with conditions imperfect for ski racing, but also they are culturally skewed against conditions conducive for racing.