Friday, April 26, 2013

Larisa Yurkiw Dumped by Alpine Canada

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive
The Canadian press has reported that Alpine Canada has dropped Larisa Yurkiw from its downhill ski team. Yurkiw came back to World Cup skiing after missing two seasons because of an injury. She is a real inspiration to athletes with severe injuries because she showed that she could come back to world class level. In fact, Canada has dropped its women's downhill program. We at the Blickbild admire Larisa for her intrepid spirit and hope that she can find a team to train with. In the meantime, one of our intrepid reporters caught up with Alpine Canada's Max Gartner. Let's hear what he has to say.

BB: Please tell our readers why you decided to discontinue the Canadian women's downhill program.
Gartner: None of the ladies on our ski team have a chance to win a downhill medal at the Olympics. In Canada hockey and curling are our top sports. Very few people care about skiing in Canada.
BB: Don't you think that having athletes competing in all of the skiing events will help to publicize the sport more in your country?
Gartner: It hasn't happened yet. It would really help if one of the female skiers would get involved with a famous athlete in another sport.
BB: Like Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods?
Gartner: Exactly! The other alternative would be for one of our female skiers to have a relationship with a famous actor.
BB: I see.  But assuming that the female skiers prefer their current partners, don't you think that they deserve a shot at competing in the Olympics?
Gartner: No. Only those who have a realistic chance of winning a medal should go to the Olympics.
BB: Let me see if I have this straight...You say that only those athletes who have a good chance of winning a medal should go to the Olympics?
Gartner: That's correct.
BB: Have you not read the Olympic Creed lately? It says, "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
Gartner:  Alpine Canada doesn't have the money to send every athlete to the Olympics. We have to draw the line somewhere. Otherwise any skier with a dream of going to the Olympics will think that she can automatically go.
BB: What would you say to countries like Albania, Lebanon, Romania, Portugal, Israel, Mexico, and Argentina who send athletes to the Olympics? Those skiers also have no chance of winning a medal, yet their countries send them.
Gartner: They are crazy and are doing it just to get the publicity.
BB: Maybe so, but their federations are living up to the Olympic Creed more than Alpine Canada.
Gartner: Our money is limited. We can fund only the most promising skiers. Right now Larisa is not good enough for our standards.
BB: Even though she is the Canadian national downhill champion?
Gartner: Right. But she didn't do well in the World Cup last season.
BB: She came back from a two-year injury layoff and was obviously good enough to compete at the World Cup level.
Gartner: But she is not good enough to win an Olympic downhill medal.
BB: According to your logic, the only skiers who should compete in the Olympic downhill event are those who have a realistic chance of winning a medal. It would be a very small field with only Lindsey Vonn, Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Tina Maze, Daniela Merighetti, Marion Rolland, Tina Weirather, Julia Mancuso, and Elisabeth Goergl in the competition.
Gartner: Uh--
BB: Okay, let's look at this another way. You are promoting your technical skiers: Marie-Michele Gagnon, Erin Mielzynski, and Brittany Phelan. What are their chances of winning any Olympic medals?
Gartner: Our women's technical team actually has a chance to win some Olympic medals.
BB: Let's put your logic to the test once more. Between those three ladies they have 148 World Cup starts and 3 podium finishes. They have been on the podium two percent of the time. If you want to look at it the opposite way, they have a 98% chance of not winning a medal. It looks to me like two percent is your threshold for deciding if someone gets support from Alpine Canada.
Gartner: Two percent is still greater than zero. Larisa does not have any World Cup podium finishes. We need to concentrate our funds on the next generation of skiers and hope that they can win some medals and bring glory to our program.
BB: Young racers need role models to emulate. If you discontinue your downhill program, who will be the role models for young skiers?
Gartner: They can watch World Cup races on TV and use the stars as their role models. One TV for our junior skiers costs a lot less than having to provide them with training, equipment, and funding.
BB: You said before that Larisa is not good enough to be an Olympic level skier. If you discontinue your downhill program and take away her funding, how can she improve to meet your standards?
Gartner: That's an unfair question!
BB: I thought it was a straightforward one. Anyway, Marie-Michele Gagnon and Marie-Pier Prefontaine have also started to compete in speed events. If there is no more funding for the Canadian women's downhill program, how will Marie-Michele and Marie-Pier improve? Marie-Michele just scored her first World Cup speed points in the Garmisch Super-G race. How can you deny those two women their chance to become all-around skiers and not just technical specialists?
Gartner: Isn't there something called journalistic ethics? You seem to be missing them and are trying to make me look like the bad guy in this situation.
BB: Actually you're doing a good job of that all by yourself and also of making Alpine Canada look bad. Using your logic, Switzerland should dismantle its men's ski team because the Swiss men only had one podium finish last season and their big stars often finished out of the points. The Swiss men should not be allowed to compete in the Olympics because of their poor performances last season.
Gartner: That's an unfair comparison.! The Swiss men get a lot more funding than the Canadian women. Their men also have a long history of winning Olympic medals.
BB: Maybe it has something to do with Switzerland funding its skiers and helping them to achieve their potential.
Gartner: I've had enough! This interview is over! (he gets up and walks out)
BB: Anyone who would like to help Larisa with funding can contact her at  And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fake, very obvious troll job.