Olympic Briefing: The Downhill

Press Clippings: The Downhill is considered the ultimate event in alpine skiing. The concept is simple: start at the top of the mountain and go down it–often straight downhill but with enough turns to hold your attention–as fast you can.
There is none of the rhythmic direction changes that mark the slalom or the gentler sweeping turns of the Giant Slalom (which, BTW, only look gentle from a distance).
Go down the hill on the course as fast you can, navigating the turns, the bumps, the jumps, and try to stay in form,  aerodynamically correct, and strong all the way to bottom and maybe you won’t wad yourself up in the safety fences, so twisted it takes  experts fifteen to twenty minutes to extract you. In other words, mistakes on the downhill can result in very serious injuries. The course at Sochi is considered difficult and dangerous. It’s a serious test. Do not leave the starting gate unless your insurance is paid up and you have done all the dry land training your coach mandated. Otherwise…it’s not going to end up good.
Once you leave the gate, you must be focused and committed and there is no time for doubt.
Luckily for us, the small size of modern digital video cameras provides us with viewpoints in sports that were previously never available. Today’s clip will give you with a view which will either confirm your decision to stay out of downhill competition or make you get all itchy and sweaty because you’re not in the starting gate. For more background on The Downhill, check out this wiki. The Downhill competition will be telecast on NBC’s Olympic coverage tonight, 9 February 2014. 
Either way, click the play button to get a racer’s view of the downhill at Garmitsch, one of the classic downhill courses in skiing. Prepare to be simultaneously amazed and terrified.  Also: Video embed courtesy of VIMEO. Thanks guys!

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