Tá piensando, tá piensando...
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
The X Games, perhaps the largest and most prestigious freestyle wintersports competition in the world, started on thursday and has lived up to its legacy for pure and unpredictable adrenaline sports. There have already been gold, silver and bronze medals handed out and the weekend action has not yet begun. Surprises always seem to snake their way into these types of competition, so far most notably Shaun White's first failure to qualify for a final (this time it was in slopestyle) in his X Games Career, Torstein Horgmo's stomp of a triple cork to win him gold in the snowboard big air final late last night and the drama in Ski Men's Superpipe. Check out the X Games 2011 site and watch all the action on ESPN (if you're in the States).
X Games Site
X Games Site
Monday, January 24, 2011
Wintersports are all about feeling, touching, interacting. From when you put your boots on in the morning to the last chair of the day, all you do is be. Sensing the wind, biting and frigid, the snow, cool and crisp, and the atmosphere of the cold. Step out the door.
Click in. From that moment onwards the day unfolds. Snake your way to the chairlift and be swept off your feet by a soft pad because to some it's all about the down. The sound of skis edging through the snow, the perfection of their edges, gripping, slithering. At the bottom. And what is the true beauty of these sports? You just do it again, and keep doing it, all day.
To me, snow is just a feeling. You can sense when it's going to fall. It carries no gravity, it is still, silent, pure. The whole day is one large feeling that no man can quite put his finger on, but knows nonetheless. It fits somewhere between purity, intensity and vitality. Some may think this a broad range, but all three are closely associated. If they were pigments suspended in the form of paint, all three mixed together would form a color that is not so much understood, but if it is applied correctly it is felt.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
A false start always makes it that much more intense. But they’re off second try. You can hardly call him a leader, but the man in first is being chased down by a mass of the best of the best winter biathletes. The location, stunning. The athletes, top of their game. The race, excruciatingly intense.
The big mountains of South Tirol loom over perhaps the most unpredictable type of race on skis, the mass start. As they approach the first shooting position they, in the back of their minds, are shouting at themselves that “every shot counts!” The first shooting finished, the first true show of the unpredictability of the mass start biathlon, where every shot missed means a penalty lap where all those covering the extra meters are hitting themselves over missing the shots. First place before the shooting relegated to eleventh. Finally, the monstrous multitude is broken up, and the leaders emerge. But just as they’re settling in the rhythm of skiing, time to shoot, and again, the drama unfolds. The hectic trading of places, the frantic rising from the prone position, and back on the trail.
It’s warm in Antholz, and the sun radiates off the perfection of the snow. Approaching the third round of shooting, the leading pack is clear and well defined, but the shooting takes its toll on even the most accurate athletes. Oh yeah, that pack I spoke about? Both shaken and stirred. Formerly a group of maybe 8, the pack was ground down to a group of four, two of whom have not missed a single shot on the day.
The final shooting proves always to be the decisive one. The former leader, previously perfect, misses two agonizing shots. The winner becomes apparent, and at this point the race is for the bottom of the podium, where three athletes fight for the coveted medals. They bring the fight to each other until that final shady finish line. As the last athletes arrive, their skis scraping the coarse ice, the crowd starts to disperse, and, 40 minutes after the starting gun fired, it’s all over.