Thursday, September 5, 2013

Summer Soelden Preview

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Even though it seems like an eternity to ski racing fans, the first race of the season in Soelden is just over a month away. While the others will give ski racing fans a Soelden preview, they will do so closer to October. The Blickbild is one of the first to discuss Soelden and the upcoming season. Our intrepid reporters found an American ski racing blogger who was willing to talk about Soelden and the 2013/14 season. During the winter this blogger is also a ski racing trainer, a skier, and motivational speaker. In the summer he plays the tuba and is available for all events including weddings and bar mitzvahs. Because the blogger wanted to remain anonymous, we will call him George N. Let's find out what George has to say. 

BB: George, let's start with the men. Who do you think will win in Soelden?
George: Ted Ligety. There's no question that Ted will win. He is Mr. Giant Slalom and has won multiple times in Soelden, including last year by a huge margin. 
BB: I agree that Ted will be the man to beat in Soelden. What is it about him that makes him so special?
George: When Ted is on skis, he is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Light also flashes off his teeth when he smiles. 
BB: Wait a minute! That's the classic description of Superman.
George: Ted is a Superman on skis, especially in GS. He should really be wearing a cape and tights instead of a speed suit. Ted can also get himself out of a locked bank vault using only a Swiss Army knife, duct tape, a bottle cap, and a piece of string. 
BB: I see that you watch McGyver reruns in your free time. 
George: Ted even resembles McGyver. I bet if he had a Swiss Army knife and duct tape during his races, he would beat the others by 10 minutes. 
BB: I see. Who do you see as the other men on the podium?
George: When Ted wins a race, who cares about who else is on the podium? He's the man! Maybe Tommy Ford has a chance of a podium place.
BB: What about Marcel Hirscher? He was third in Soelden last year and had a phenomenal season, winning his second overall title. I'm sure that he will do well in front of the home fans.
George: He's a foreigner. He's good in GS, but he's no Ted.
BB: Alexis Pinturault also has a good chance of being on the podium with Ted in Soelden. Two years ago he was second.
George: Second to Ted. Alexis is another foreigner and his last name is too hard to pronounce.
BB: Alexis came on very strong at the end of last season and even beat Ted in Garmisch.
George: That was a fluke because Ted made a mistake in the second run that allowed Alexis to win. 
BB: Manfred Moelgg was second to Ted last season in Soelden and was very strong overall in GS. Fritz Dopfer is also a dark horse favorite for a podium place in Soelden. 
George: Why do you keep mentioning all of those foreigners? 
BB: Because they are among the very best in the world. (pause) Now let's move on to the women. Who is your pick for Soelden?
George: Lindsey Vonn. Her comeback in Soelden will not just be the Comeback of the Year, it will be the Comeback of the Century. 
BB: Excuse me, but it's common knowledge that she will resume racing in the Stateside speed races and will skip Soelden. 
George: She will win in absentia. Your research team obviously is not very intrepid if they didn't figure that out. 
BB: How can someone win a race without being present? Normally you have to participate to win. And by the way, we have the most intrepid researchers in the business!
George: Whoever wins the race will give Lindsey her win and the 100 World Cup points that go along with it. 
BB: Just for fun, let's imagine that the FIS will only allow people who actually participated in the race to win and earn World Cup points. If Lindsey is not racing that day, who will win in Soelden?
George: Mikaela Shiffrin with Julia Mancuso second.
BB: Interesting choice. I would have chosen multiple Soelden winner, and last year's overall World Cup winner, Tina Maze. She had stiff competition for the GS globe last season and still won it. Viktoria Rebensburg, Anna Fenninger, and Tessa Worley also have a very good chance of winning, or at least being on the podium. Mikaela has really improved in GS, but I still see her as more of a dark horse. I also see Julia as a long shot to win. 
George: There you go again with those foreign skiers! You are from Boston, so I can't understand why you are so enamored with skiers from other countries. 
BB: Tina is the 2011 world champion in GS, Viktoria is the current Olympic champion in GS, Tessa is the current GS world champion, and Anna is among the very best in GS. All of them have a very good chance of a win or podium place in Soelden. 
George: Maybe so, but the only reason Tina got so many points and victories last season was because Lindsey missed about half the season due to belly aches and a knee injury.
BB: Right. And the moon landing really happened inside a Hollywood movie sound stage. 
George: It did. Nobody really landed on the moon. There is really a Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy too.
BB: Getting back to skiing and the real you think that the Swiss men will find their mojo next season or will they be forever relegated to skiing in women's races?
George: Who cares? 
BB: Who are your picks for the overall globes next season?
George: Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn. Bode will also win the downhill globe. Ted Ligety will win the others. Lindsey will win all five globes, with Mikaela Shiffrin being second in the slalom standings.
BB: That will be interesting because our intrepid research team learned that Lindsey will not compete in slalom races next season. 
George: Mikaela will give her slalom globe to Lindsey. Duh! Both Bode and Lindsey will also break Tina Maze's points record. 
BB: So you don't think that Marcel Hirscher will win 3 overall titles in a row or that Tina Maze will repeat her success this coming season?
George: No. 
BB: Do you feel that Benni Raich has a chance to make the 2014 Austrian Olympic team and be in his 4th Olympics?
George: Maybe. If the Austrian coaches think he's good enough, he'll make the team. But the guys of Team USA will put him in his place.
BB: What do you think of Lindsey Vonn working out at the Red Bull training center in Austria? As our readers know, it is run by a doctor who was an integral part of the East German doping program.
George: Lindsey has never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. But someone should test Tina Maze for doping because she was so great last season. In fact, all of the foreign skiers who beat Lindsey and Ted last season should be given extra doping tests.
BB: So if I understand you correctly, Lindsey has been successful because of hard work and natural talent while Tina had a great season because she was doping?
George: Tina does come from one of those former Communist countries. Every athlete from Eastern Europe is a doper.
BB: Just like Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones, and Barry Bonds. (pause)  Who are some promising young skiers to watch next season?
George: Julia Ford and Abby Ghent. On the men's side Nick Daniels. They did not have good results in the World Cup last season, but they have learned from their experience and will surprise everyone. 
BB: I'm sure they will. It looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you for your time and for this interview. You have certainly been a very interesting subject. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: All the news that the others are too lazy to report. 

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