Friday, February 21, 2014

Wide World of Fail

With the Olympics going on I've been asking people what would be the sport they'd participate in if they could be a gold medalist in the winter games. Most of my friends don't care for the subjective, scoring-based events like figure skating. But performance based sports like the luge/skeleton, alpine skiing events and snowboard-cross were the favorites.

I'm not so sure about snowboard-cross. Events like luge/skeleton or alpine skiing are time-trial based sports that pit the racers against the clock. Snowboard cross is too chaotic. Every race I saw had a least one crash. And that crash had devastating effects on the field, often taking out one or two more competitors with them.

Who thought up this event?

I can only think it was a sadist. Prolly somebody who grew up watching the ABC Wide World of Sports to watch the "agony-of-defeat" guy, Vinko Bogataj famously decide to lay it down about 20 meters before launching off the ski jump. Seriously, what was Vinko thinking? Eh, I've had two good jumps already today, so I'll pass? (lays it down, tumbles uncontrollably -- oh snap!-- yard-sale)

Anyway, snowboard cross is like watching old Vinko participating in every single race. The crashes are just as spectacular, if not more so, because it usually involves taking out one or two others with him.

It's preposterous. Could you imagine training for this type of race? How do even qualify without snapping a collarbone every few weeks?

I dunno. I like the performance sports, but snowboard cross seems to be too much of a crap shoot to take it seriously. Exciting? You betcha. Probably even more so for the competitors than it is for the fans. And it's very fan-friendly to watch.

So maybe I should have asked next: if you could only watch one winter games event in person, which would it be?

If you can parrot Jim McKay's ABC Wide World of Sports monologue, then perhaps snowboard cross is for you.

That's all I've got today.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Sounds like you're trying to convert people back from [snowboard] cross. No dice pally.

  2. I'm seriously mixed up about snowboard cross. It's thrilling, but there's so much chance involved in deciding the victor.

    Oh well, it's not like I'll be competing in it anytime soon. I'll just focus on cyclocross and not worry about converting anyone else back from [snowboard] cross