Fog & Frustration on the Mountain

[tweetmeme style=”compact” source=”JohannaAP25″]

Kindly Twitter informed me of the women’s giant slalom debacle long before it aired last night, but that didn’t make prime time coverage any less upsetting to watch.

The weather trending topics for the day were “soupy” “split pea” and– less poetically– “dense fog.” Skiers were able to see gates only 300ft ahead, nevermind the actual terrain they had set out to conquer.

Lindsey Vonn had an unfortunate trip-up on the way down. She caught the edge of her ski, crashed into a gate and then tangled into the fencing. Meanwhile at the top of the course, Julia Mancuso had already been sent down a minute into Vonn’s run (in order to get the most skiers through before conditions worsened). Mancuso was leading the race by the first split time, then got a yellow flag to stop. She slid down toward’s Vonn’s crash site obviously very disoriented and irreparably jarred out of her ‘zone.’

Sidenote: Johanna wonders what it is like to have a ‘zone’… hmmm.

Mancuso ended up re-slotted to 31st position where she handed in a disappointing 18th place run, contending with a course deteriorated by uncooperative weather and the twelve athletes who cut up the slalom after her interrupted run. Mancuso second performance was no doubt marred by the mental jolt of being flagged, the physical toll of an extra half run and the technical edge lost when the wax treatment on her skis was no longer fresh.


Mancuso reached the bottom of the course in tears, clearly devastated by such a poor performance in the event for which she is the gold medal defending champion. Rough city. I won’t ruin your prime time but the event has already happened, so if you don’t want to know the results… you know the internet self-censorship drill

On the upside, here’s a fabulous new image of her tiara helmet. Getty Images

Not so fabulous is how unfortunate the picture is.

And then the drama started. There were tweets of frustration. Whispers of a Vonn-Mancuso hatred, or at the very least a feud. Hours later efforts were put forth by both women to quell the talk. Vonn saying that she felt terribly that her crash had so negatively affected Mancuso. Mancuso spinning things on twitter with later statements explaining that she was just frustrated by the situation and reminding everyone that it’s true, these things happen in ski competitions.

She also posted an old feature video from Torino that outlines the differences between Vonn and herself, urging Facebook fans/ the world to understand that they are friendly competitors. I have to say the video makes Mancuso out to be much more sympathetic that Vonn, and that’s why we (read ‘I’) here at Words to Bumble love her. Also that is probably why she posted it– but still.


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Filed under [Obscure] Winter Sports

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