A look at the men’s Winter Olympic downhill course

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on February 9, 2010 12:24 pm

Unlike the Super Bowl, there will be a decided home field advantage for the Canadian team in the Winter Olympic downhill this Saturday. While most racers have yet to make a full run on the downhill course, the Canadians have been lapping the course for years now. Their assessment?

“I think it will be one of the tougher Olympic tracks,” Canadian downhiller and Whistler local Robbie Dixon told AP. “It stacks up well against the ones we race on regularly on the World Cup.”

The course is called the Dave Murray downhill. It is named for Dave Murray, a member of the Crazy Canucks, a group of fearless downhill racers of the late 70s and early 80s.

The track has been compared to the World Cup downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway. Kvitfjell is one of the most difficult downhills on the men’s circuit, and that comparison means the Whistler course will definitely be hairy. The Kvitfjell course is filled with fighter-jet compression turns, a huge jump, and steep pitches.

The gold medal may very well be decided in Coaches Corner. It’s a 180-degree turn out of the “After Burner” and into the “Powerhouse Trail.” Dixon said, “If the weather is good it will be quite icy and hard there, and you pick up a lot of speed. And it’s a 180-degree turn back to where the slalom hill starts. To do it properly and carry the speed isn’t easy.”

February 13, Saturday, the marquee event of the Winter Olympics, the men’s downhill. The last downhill American Bode Miller won was in Kvitfjell in 2008. A possible foreshadow of Winter Olympic glory? We will soon find out.

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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