Ski Minus 6 Months: Vancouver Winter Olympics Preview

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on August 12, 2009 10:13 am

It’s as if the entire ski community is kept sealed and hidden in the Map Room.  But, once every four years, the media descends into our sacred space, pulls out its Staff of Ra, and shines a piercing spotlight on our beloved sport. 

It is exactly ski minus six months until the Vancouver Olympics!  The sun is nearing its optimal position, Bob Costas is preparing to summon all his incredible smugness as MC, and America readies a capital “P” to slap onto a feverish Patriotism befitting Olympic time.

The story lines are yet to be written, but summoning the power of prophecy, here are a few predictions of possible Olympic glory.

Next page: Lindsey Vonn’s Wheaties Box


Lindsey Vonn’s Wheaties Box


Not since that rave in the middle of the desert and the Chemical Brothers dropped the needle on “Bloc Rockin’ Beats”, has someone been peaking at such the perfect time.   Lindsey Vonn‘s moment of ecstasy will soon be upon us.  Madison Avenue is already drooling over the prospect.  She’s beautiful, fun-loving, charmingly geeky, and an absolutely dominating beast on skis.  Already the greatest American woman skier of all-time at the ripe old age of 25, Vonn will enter the collective consciousness of America and make the jump from the back bowls of Vail to the front of her very own Wheaties Box.  Prophecy!

Next page: Errol Kerr gets a new ride







Errol Kerr gets a new ride

It’s a 1996 Chevy Astrovan.  And from the time of Errol Kerr’s entrance into the skier cross world three years ago, the beat-up ride has shepherded Kerr from obscurity to possibly becoming the story of the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Truckee’s own will be racing under the flag of his father’s island nation, Jamaica.  But, this is not Cool Runnings part deux, as Kerr is a legitimate podium contender in Vancouver.  It’s an underdog story we can all cheer.  Raised by a strong single-mother, Kerr’s skiing career was financed in part by the NBS, the National Brotherhood of Skiers.  Errol Kerr will add a heaping amount of Jamaican flavor to both the Winter Olympics and a sport in dire need of more inclusiveness.

Next page: Bode Miller’s Redemption Song

[page]Bode Miller’s Redemption Song

After feeling the collective gut punch of the mass media at Torino, it’s understandable why Bode Miller is hesitant to make another Olympic run.  To the true fans of ski racing, Bode Miller is already a hero.  But, currently, he’s a rebel in need of a cause.  And could there be a more perfect cause for Bode Miller than one last chance to stick it to his critics?  A chance to stick it to Bob Costas’ pompous moralizing.  A chance to stick it to conformity.  A chance to stick it to an American public obsessed with assigning blame when expectations are left unfulfilled.  Bode has always done it his way, and not since Alberto Tomba has there been a more electric skier.  One last time for us, Bode!  One last time for our hero to rewrite the last scene of the script that has Bode winning the gold and shutting up the naysayers.

Next page: Erik Fisher summons the ghost of Bill Johnson





Erik Fisher summons the ghost of Bill Johnson

Straight out of nowhere, almost.  Erik Fisher comes from Middleton, Idaho, population 2,978.  His outward demeanor of calm and coolness belies an internal wild man akin to Bill Johnson, minus the booze.  Yes, Fisher is sober when he claims pink as his favorite color.  A bit of craziness is a prerequisite for any downhill racer, as no sane human would be willing to voluntarily tackle the frightful slopes of the Hannenkahm.  But, as Mr. Fisher says, “Chicks dig scars.”  With a podium finish in Vancouver, there will be a lot more chicks digging Erik Fisher’s scars.

Next page: The little round meatball makes horse meat of his competition





[page]The little round meatball makes horse meat out of his competition

Raised on a horse-and-hay ranch, mogul skier Pat Deneen’s home digs sit above a barn in tiny Cle Elum, Washington.  His former camp coach called the 5’7″, 175 lb Deenan a “little round meatball.”  Well, it was the 21-year-old Deenen that grounded up his competition, winning gold at the World Championships this past season in Inawashiro, Japan.  In mogul comps, speed counts for a quarter of the score, and there are few faster than this one-time equestrian youth champion.  If Deenan does indeed make horse meat of his fellow competitors at the Winter Olympics, he can drop their remains at Granville Island Market in downtown Vancouver, where, yes, horse meat is on sale.

Next page: Seth Wescott’s top-heavy approach



[page]Seth Wescott’s top-heavy approach


Michael Jordan has Michael Jordan’s Steak House in Manhattan; John Elway owns two John Elway’s in Denver; and golfer Sam Snead has Sam Snead’s Tavern, ten of them spread-out across the country.  Famous athletes have always been in the culinary biz. 

Seth Wescott, boardercross gold medalist in Torino, must have missed the memo about sticking your name in the title of the restaurant.  His Sugarloaf, Maine eatery is simply “The Rack.”  Friends of Wescott would tell you it’s only coincidence that the name of his restaurant is also the same trait he admires most in a lady.  Before Wescott goes the way of big-mountain messiah Jeremy Jones, he’ll go for the repeat in Vancouver with patrons of “The Rack” cheering him on.





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