Canadians would a more manly men's Olympic downhill
The 2014 Sochi Olympic downhill is being held in a place called Rosa Khutor.
And to hear the Canadian downhill racers describe it, the place is incredible.
Erik Guay: “The area itself is actually really spectacular, very beautiful mountains, nice forest. It’s pretty unique. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it. There’s no coniferous trees. It’s all aciduous leaves. It’s a pretty sweet area.”
Jan Hudec: “It almost seems like the perfect open canvas for an artist to build a downhill track.”
But as far as most downhillers are concerned, what's been done with the course is like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa. The course setter has made the layout tight and turny so that it’s more Super-G than downhill.
“I think maybe a lot of racers are frustrated because the venue’s so cool here, it has so much potential, but the course setting doesn’t portray the run as well as it could,” said Hudec, who is the athletes’ rep for the race. “Hopefully, they clean that up for the Olympics.”
Let’s hope that they do. One of the things about Olympic courses is that they’ve either tended to be a great test of an athlete’s skill or they get dumbed down so that the guy from Ecuador who’s starting 82nd will be able to make it down safely.
It sounds like the one in Sochi has the potential to be a keeper.
“It has all the terrain you need to make it a manly downhill,” said Hudec, who prefers his downhills manly (He's Canadian, isn't he?). “It’s got enough steeps, it’s got plenty of ice this week but it also has amazing terrain features, possibility for huge jumps.
“One of the jumps we’re hitting is 60 plus metres of flight, but with no issues at all because the landings are steep. I think it can be amazing venue for people to spectate because of the amazing jumps and terrain changes and wide open space.
“But at the same time unfortunately, it also depends on the course setter.”
The course setter works for the International Ski Federation (FIS) His name is Helmut or Heinz Something-or-Other (always is). Hopefully, he gets his act in gear for the big show in two years.
“They can definitely a nice flowing downhill from top to bottom,” said Guay. “It would be a venue to compare with any other venue on the World Cup tour.”
And worthy of an Olympics.
(Photo OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)