"Hurry up buddy, time is money." That was my friend Spook (think his real name is Kevin) shouting, while holding the cat tracked truck so I could catch a ride to the Birds finish.
Bob Condron always said, get to know the guy who has the biggest key chain. He's right, but in the world of winter sport, it's the guy wearing the most radios. Spook has at least five.
"Hi, I'm Jeb. Just wanted to tell you how much fun it's been volunteering this week. The U.S. Ski Team is making all of us incredibly proud to be fans." There were five other guys sitting in the truck bed with me for the five minute ride. The conversation went like that. I handed out a batch of pins, slapped some high fives and went on my way.
Funny, but the world seems to be taking notice too. My colleague Matt Futterman put together an amazing story that's running in today's Wall Street Journal entitled Is American the New Austria - As U.S. Skiers Win Races and Ink Deals, the Sport's Royal Power Frets; 'All the Kids Love Bode'. It's totally worth a read - http://goo.gl/XMGGo.
In Vail, all the kids love Lindsey and today is her first World Cup race at home. Here's the notes:
Beaver Creek, CO – Audi Birds of Prey 'the sequel' – women's super G
- Toss aside that Lindsey has won four of the five races she's entered this year (in three different disciplines). Ditch the fact that last weekend she produced the first clean sweep in Lake Louise since 1997 for victories 43-45. Journalists have been asking her about all of these things. Lindsey's answer – "Lake Louise is Lake Louise, and I have to really just focus on this course and the tactics that are going to help me win this race," she said to Lauren Glendenning at the Vail Daily after the Tuesday free ski on Birds (Full story: http://goo.gl/y6flC)
- They'll go from just above the men's GS start in Pete's Arena (Map: http://goo.gl/PK8j4). "It's going to be a fun ride," said women's Speed Head Coach Chip White. "It's pretty turny, but nothing these girls can't handle. The snow is perfect and totally edgeable. They'll have to lay it down in a few spots, but this is our kind of hill. They'll probably be pissed that can't run it again." Only they can, we're training here after tomorrow's slalom. 2015 baby.
- The racers, wide-eyed with their cheeks pinned to their ears, said the same thing after the free ski. Turny, tons of terrain…um, Julia Mancuso. You can fill in the details here. She was in the finish for Ted's win yesterday. She's a keen study that one.
- Stacey Cook has bib No. 1, but she won't be the first gal to do a super G race run on this hill. Resi Stiegler foreran the men's SG in 2007…and Mikaela Shiffrin wore F1 yesterday for both runs of GS. Beyond that, this is brand spanking new to the entire women's World Cup field. I've said it before, Birds of Prey has a mystique. That hasn't changed one bit with regards to women.
- Watch Alice – another CO gal from right down the road in Glenwood Springs – she was 8th in the season opening downhill after missing most of last season with a busted knee. She has free skied this hill a bunch and was telling the other girls about it on the drive to the hill this morning. Leanne, Kiley, J. Ford and Brooke Wales were all ears. The energy level in the truck warmed up my hour-old coffee.
While I can't say for sure, my guess is there will be a lot of 'sick' kids…and parents in the Vail Valley today. History is in the making my friends and Universal Sports is running the entire deal LIVE. You might want to check it out.