Friday, October 25, 2013

Vonn, Others To Skip Soelden

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

By now everyone knows that Lindsey Vonn is skipping out on racing at the World Cup season opener in Soelden. The others have already reported about Lindsey's cancellation, so we would normally avoid it like we would  a river full of hungry piranas. But there are others who have also decided that they won't be racing in Soelden. They just did not get as much media attention as Vonn. One of our intrepid reporters is on the scene in Soelden and found two other American skiers who will not be racing in Soelden. They called a press conference to announce that they are coming back from injuries but decided not to race this weekend. Our journalist was the only one who showed up. As a result, we were able to interview them and bring you a story that nobody else dared to print. The skiers' names are Dick Nessman and Jane Volinsky. Let's find out what Dick and Jane have to say.

BB: Dick, let's start with you. What was the nature of your injury?
Dick: Twenty years ago I fell while skiing and broke my shoulder. This is the first time I have been back on skis since then. 
BB: You look like you're about 40 to 45. Therefore, you haven't been on skis since you were in your mid-20s?
Dick: I'm 47. 
BB: Don't you think you're a little old to be racing in the World Cup?
Dick: Patrik Jaerbyn was racing in his 40s. There have been guys in their 40s and 50s who competed in the Olympics and World Championships. 
BB: Patrik Jaerbyn had a long career as a world class ski racer before he retired. He also trained seriously for races up until the day he retired and never took 20 years off.  
Dick: I don't think that anyone has come back 20 years after incurring an injury. I would have made World Cup skiing history for my big comeback. 
BB: Sorry, Dick, but if Lindsey decided to race in Soelden, she would have been the history maker. Her comeback in Soelden could have been the most spectacular ever in the history of skiing.
Dick: But she was only off of skis for a few months and I'm coming back after 20 years. 
BB: Sorry, but when Lindsey returns to racing, her comeback will be the most impressive of all time. Nothing can beat it, not even a 20-year absence. (short pause) Why did you wait 20 years to get back on skis? Were you afraid of being re-injured?
Dick: Fear of injury had nothing to do with it. After my injury and surgery, I was transferred by my firm from Colorado to Iowa. It is very flat in Iowa and there is no place to ski. I got married, had kids, and just could not find the time for a ski holiday. Now that my kids are older, I decided to take them to Soelden for the races. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to make my big comeback.
BB: What made you decide to come to Soelden?
Dick: I did a little bit of local ski racing when I was in college and am the only ski racing fan in the state of Iowa. If Bode Miller, who is not that much younger than me, can make his comeback in Soelden, then I could too. 
BB: Did you really think you had a chance against men who have trained their whole lives as ski racers?
Dick: Yes. Soelden is a tough course and there are a lot of racers who can't finish. I figured if I went at a careful pace, I could make it into the top 30 and get a second run. There are many guys who can't finish the second run, which could give me a good chance at a being on the podium. 
BB: What made you decide to skip racing in Soelden?
Dick: I was skiing fine, though at first I felt a little rusty after not skiing for 20 years. But after watching some of the other racers train, I realized that the odds of getting on the podium were slim to none. I decided not to race here and will make my comeback at a local master's race in the States. In the meantime, I will be a spectator here.
BB: Good luck with your comeback. I'm sure it will be spectacular. (short pause) Jane, tell our readers about your injury.
Jane: I was out hiking in July 2012 and got a splinter in my left pinky. I couldn't get it all out and the part that was left in ended up getting infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. My doctor thought he would have to amputate my finger. I couldn't ski for a whole season because it hurt too much to have my hand inside a glove and to hold a ski pole.
BB: It looks like you have all of your fingers. How did you recover?
Jane: I had surgery over the summer to remove the splinter fragment. The infection went away and now I am able to wear a glove without pain and ski again. I came to Soelden with the hope of being able to show the world I could come back from my life-threatening injury.
BB: Have you done any ski racing before?
Jane: No, but I am Lindsey Vonn's biggest fan.
BB: Stop right there! You can't be Lindsey's biggest fan because you don't look a thing like her. You have short dark hair and Lindsey has long blonde hair. If you were really Lindsey's biggest fan, you would make an effort to look just like her.
Jane:  Lindsey is not a natural blonde. She dyes her hair. But I decided that I would wear a blonde wig under my helmet when I raced so the spectators would think I was her.
BB: Why should you make your comeback to skiing here in Soelden? There are plenty of places in the States where you could get back on your skis.
Jane: I came to Soelden specifically to see Lindsey make her comeback. It would have been the biggest world event since the Berlin Wall came down. But she decided not to race here. I was disappointed almost to the point of depression. Then I had an idea.
BB: Which was?
Jane: My real name is Linda Jane Volinsky, but I always preferred to be called Jane. But I thought I could use the initials of my first and last names to my advantage. I approached one of the coaches of the US ski team and asked if I could race in Lindsey's place since we had the same initials and I was also coming back from an injury.
BB: What did the trainer say?
Jane: He told me to work out with the team. Afterward, he asked if I thought I could get on the podium in the race. I told him probably not since it was my first time back on skis in a year.  At that moment I realized that if Lindsey felt that she couldn't get on the podium in Soelden, then neither could I. She only wanted to race there if she was assured of a podium place. I didn't want to be a disgrace to my idol by finishing off the podium, so I made up my mind not to make my comeback on skis in Soelden. I will wait another month for my finger to fully heal.
BB: Since you're not making your comeback in Soelden, where will you do so?
Jane: I live in northern California, so probably at one of the ski areas by Lake Tahoe.
BB: I hope your finger feels 100% ready soon and that your comeback is a success.
Jane: Thank you. I know I will come back stronger than ever.
BB: Well, it looks like we are just about out of time. Dick and Jane, I want to thank you for your time and wish you both success in your big comebacks. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

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