Monday, November 18, 2013

Levi Summary

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

The first slalom races of the year are over. Mikaela Shiffrin and Marcel Hirscher were worthy winners in Levi and we congratulate them. We also congratulate Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Tina Maze, Mario Matt, and Henrik Kristoffersen for their podium finishes. The others will talk about how Henrik got his first podium finish at age 19, or how it looks like Marcel is headed for his third overall Globe, so we won't. Our intrepid reporter in Levi is bringing our readers the stories about the weekend's races that the others don't dare to print. Instead of our usual interview format, we will use news briefs. Let's find out what the others did not dare to print.

Biggest Comeback Since the Universe Was Created: Sorry Lindsey Vonn, but Julien Lizeroux of France had the best comeback this season. We will get serious for a moment and print something that the others have already covered. Julien missed over two seasons due to injuries. He had low expectations for himself in Levi, especially with start number 63. His goal was to have a good first run and, if he was lucky, make it into the second run. Julien finished the first run tied for 28th place and moved up to 17th after the second run. Chapeau to Julien for his amazing comeback! Welcome back, Julien!  We at the Blickbild wish you more success this season. 

Reindeer Saga: The winners of the Levi slaloms each won a reindeer. Mikaela Shiffrin named hers Rudolf and Marcel Hirscher named his Ferdinand. While Rudolf happily went up to Mikaela, Ferdinand refused to go onto the men's podium to meet Marcel. At first Ferdinand's handlers thought that he was just trying to prove to his fellow reindeer that he was not gay. Then the reindeer herders realized what was happening. Third place finisher Henrik Kristoffersen is Norwegian. Ferdinand overheard Henrik telling Marcel and Mario Matt that he looked like he would have the perfect sized heart for ojlmsfjaegger. Henrik even shared his mother's favorite ojlmsfjaegger recipe with Marcel and Mario. After hearing what Henrik said, Ferdinand was understandably afraid to go onto the podium. Reindeer have very sensitive hearing, plus every reindeer north of the Arctic Circle knows the association between Norwegians and ojlmsfjaegger. Note to those who are not our regular readers: Ojlmsfjaegger are cubes of pickled reindeer heart with a special smoked salmon and chocolate sauce. They are a beloved Norwegian birthday treat.

More on the Reindeer: Contrary to rumors floating around Levi, neither Rudolf nor Ferdinand will be sold to Norway and used to make ojlmsfjaegger or other meals. They will remain in Finland with their herds. Rudolf and Ferdinand will be equipped with the latest in video technology so that Mikaela and Marcel can watch them through Skype anytime they wish. Like good helicopter parents, Mikaela and Marcel can ensure that their babies are not being bullied or otherwise abused by their fellow reindeer or their herders.

Dr. Djibuku vs Dr. Mabongo: It looks like German team witch doctor, Dr. Mabongo, is back in favor after six German women made it into the second run on Saturday.  This week Dr. Mabongo gets the edge over French team witch doctor Dr. Djibuku. While France also had six men in the second run on Sunday, three of them did not finish it. All six German women finished their second run in Levi. Maria Hoefl-Riesch was 2nd, Christina Geiger 6th, and the other four German ladies were 12th, 16th, and tied for 23rd. 

Sweden's Curse: It looks like the curse against the Swedish team has still not been lifted. Sweden is still winless. Ski racing fans are trying to figure out exactly how many yak milk pellets it will take for the Mongolian judge to order the curse lifted. Last year's defending champion, Andre Myhrer, made a huge error in the first run and failed to qualify for the second. The best Swedish finishers in Levi were 5th place Matthias Hargin and 8th place Frida Hansdotter. We believe that Sweden is finally starting to realize that kidnapping Dr. Mabongo last February in Schladming was such not a good idea after all. Dr. Mabongo was found hidden in Matthias Hargin's speed suit and Frida Hansdotter was his actual abductor. Oh the ironies of life!

Perfect Score: Felix Neureuther gets the award for the most artistic racer this season. In Soelden he got high marks for staying on his feet when he lost a ski in the second run.  But in Levi, the judges gave him a score of 17 out of a possible 10 points. Felix did a cartwheel into a perfect sideways somersault/shoulder roll, got to his feet, and carried on skiing. He didn't even miss a gate! Watch it here. All six judges on the sideline, even the extremely strict Estonian judge, gave Felix a score of 10. But because Felix was able to finish the run, and even score points, the International Ski Federation (FIS) allowed the judges to give him bonus points for style and artistic impression. French racer Alexis Pinturault fell and slid on his back a long way down the course. But the judges were not impressed and gave Alexis a score of 7.3. After the race, both Felix and Alexis said that they were trying to promote the new sport of Alpine gymnastics so that it can become an Olympic sport in 2018.

And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive report.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: If Alpine gymnastics becomes an Olympic sport, our intrepid reporters will be there to cover it.

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