Thursday, February 18, 2010

Traveling the World to Compete with the Same Folks Again

So I'm noticing this Olympics that I pretty much know most of the big names in skiing and snowboarding, and if you tune in even just a little in between Olympics you will recognize names. Last year I wound up at Northstar and the weather was pretty miserable, so the only thing fun to do was go watch the snowboarding competition. And tonight's snowboarding competition was pretty much a replay of that competition. The Australian Tora Bright (who must never go home) won and Kelly Clark did very well, and one of the Tahoe locals Elena Hight placed. (I don't remember if Hanna Teter or Gretchen Bleiler were there).

This brings home in a way how small the world can get if you specialize enough. In Calif. in dog agility circles we joke that we travel 100s of miles and we see the same faces, and of course we can't help, but wonder why we bothered to go anywhere (but if you go far enough the faces do change and that's what makes it fun). I'm sure that occurs to the elite athletes as well. Their versions are even more extreme since they have sponsors and competing is their job as opposed to those of us with a moderately expensive obsession where we have to work so we can afford to do it. They really are always seeing the same people again and again, vs. the rest of us who recognize a percentage of the people we see, but by no means all of them.

I do love how in both skiing and snowboarding that the top women all know each other and seem to have this agreement about trading off who wins what.


Elf said...

Hey, that's what we need in agility, trading off who wins what!

Ellen said...

Yeah it was wild that Maria Riesch predicted that Vonn would win the downhill and she would win the combined (since she's better at slalom.) Apparently that was in an interview a few months back.