Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Schladming's Night Race Drives The Fans Wild.

Our alpine gladiators put on a breathtaking show.

We have just had the most amazing weekend of alpine races in Kitzbühel and I didn't think it possible to get any better. But last night in Schladming, the stadium erupted in a frenzy of noise, flag waving and just pure joy as each skier hurled himself towards that red line in the snow.

Alpine slalom is a discipline that can only be described as a feast for the eyes. The skiers are quick and agile. So agile their bodies twists can hardly be seen with the naked eye. Often they show a slow motion re-run of certain twists around the poles, and let me tell you it is unbelievable. Those poles ( they have to ski as close as possible around them in a certain order ) are one on top of another. A case of hesitate and you are out.

Oh, did I mention that they go at quite a speed as well? Some of those downward slopes couldn't even be handled by a 4 x 4! Those thrill seeking skiers even add a wax to their ski. Gosh, the faster the better.

Schladming has now set the tradition for this night slalom race. The celebrities have marked it on their calender. To be seen or to see...who knows. Arnold ( ..." I'll be back " ... ) was there and it's nice to see him support a lot of the different alpine races. It was rather funny to hear the commentators speculate whether the lovely youngish lass next to him was in fact his girlfriend. The camera panned to that corner a few time to check for tell tale signs. Hand-holding etc.

Slalom is dominated at the moment by the duel of Felix Neureuther & Marcel Hirscher. Gosh, the two of them push each other to better and better runs. At times I hold my breath until Felix is over the red line. Only when I see the time flash a nice vibrant green ( green means he has the best time so far ) can I relax a bit.

It also adds sporting tension in our house as Bob supports Marcel Hirscher and I support Felix Neureuther.

Marcel often skies after Felix and yesterday he beat Felix by 0.01 of a second. Oh, you should have seen Schladming erupt in joy. Marcel is Austrian and Schladming is just down the road from us in Austria. A goose bump moment indeed.

But, there was still a skier to start at the top. A young new comer. In fact, a young new talent from Norway. A talent so fabulous that he has the ability to drive a wedge between the duel of Felix & Marcel. Oh and yes, he beat the both of them last night.

What a finish this young skier put on. Wow. As he bolted over the red finish line the time flashed green for him. Oh, you should have seen how happy he was. At that moment we could forgive him for upsetting our usual apple cart. His name and a name that will be a hot contender for this upcoming Olympic season, is... Henrik Kristoffersen....( I could only find his Twitter handle @H__Kristoffersen )

Biggi