Friday, January 17, 2014

Larisa Yurkiw Qualifies for Olympics

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Last weekend in Zauchensee, Canadian ski racer Larisa Yurkiw officially qualified for the Olympics with her 6th place finish in the downhill. Since being dropped by her federation (see this story),  Larisa went on to form Team Larisa, got her own sponsors, and trained independently. She has had two top-10 results so far and could have even more by the time this season ends. We would normally stay away from this story, since the others have already reported it. But Larisa succeeded despite the odds against her and the one thing that she and Team Larisa were missing. One of our intrepid reporters tried to talk with her in Cortina, where she will be racing this weekend, but she was unavailable. However, her main trainer, Kurt Mayr, talked to us. Let's find out what he has to say.

BB: Congratulations to Larisa on qualifying to the Olympics. She certainly exceeded everyone's expectations.
Mayr: Thank you. But that would be almost everyone's expectations. Larisa knew she could do it, as did everyone else involved with Team Larisa. She is the most intrepid person I know!
BB: Nobody is as intrepid as our reporters and research team, not even Larisa! She does come very close though. (slight pause) Alpine Canada set a high bar with its qualifying standards of at least two top-12 finishes. Did they purposely try and set Larisa up for failure?
Mayr: It sounds that way, but she worked hard and rose to the challenge. Everyone associated with Team Larisa is so proud of her.
BB: As they should be.
Mayr: Larisa's story is the stuff of legends. Athlete suffers devastating injury, gets dropped by her federation, trains independently, and makes the Olympic team. TV producers will eat it up!
BB: I'm sure they will. It's a perfect Olympics success story that TV producers and the fans would love. What makes Larisa's story even more special is what she had to do without.
Mayr: Are you talking about support from Alpine Canada?
BB: She had to go out on her own because she lacked the support from Alpine Canada. But that's not what I mean.
Mayr: What do you mean? We at Team Larisa gave her everything possible to help achieve her goals.
BB: No you didn't. What makes Larisa's success even more remarkable is that she accomplished everything without a witch doctor on her team. She had to succeed the old fashioned way.
Mayr: A lot of athletes don't have witch doctors on their teams.
BB: Sorry, but your way of thinking is so 2012. Most  ski teams now have a witch doctor.
Mayr: Austria doesn't have any team witch doctors. Neither does Switzerland.
BB: Austria is Austria and doesn't need a witch doctor. But the Swiss men could have used a witch doctor last season.
Mayr: The Swiss men needed something last season because they were awful!
BB: They were indeed. Germany was the first team to acquire a witch doctor and now Maria Hoefl-Riesch is leading the World Cup overall standings. Coincidence?
Mayr: No. Maria has always been great. She just needed to believe in herself more.
BB: If you feel that a team or racer doesn't need a witch doctor, then how do you explain Sweden kidnapping Germany's witch doctor, Dr. Mabongo, during the last world championships?
Mayr: Maybe the Swedes were bored and had nothing better to do at night in Schladming. It's not exactly a place that's known for wild nightlife.
BB: Are you saying that nobody on Team Larisa even tried to get a witch doctor for her?
Mayr: We didn't feel the need for one. Anyway, I read that the Congo stopped issuing witch doctor visas. Therefore, there was no point in trying to get one for Larisa.
BB: Weren't you worried about other teams' witch doctors trying to put a curse on Larisa because she is doing so well?
Mayr: No. She is so nice. Why would anyone want to put a curse on her?
BB: That is true about Larisa being very nice. But some of the other racers may be jealous of her success and would ask their witch doctors to curse her. Do you think she could have been on the podium in Lake Louise or Zauchensee if she had a witch doctor to give her that extra boost?
Mayr: Larisa will get on the podium without a personal witch doctor! Anyway, I have overheard a lot of the women in the World Cup saying that they admire how successful Larisa is without a witch doctor. They wish they could do what Larisa did.
BB: Have you thought about having a Mafia hit man on Team Larisa? Red Bull Mafia enforcer Vinnie "The Shark" Razzovelli is looking for a new assignment.
Mayr: Why would Larisa need a Mafia hit man?
BB: Vinnie is very good at eliminating the competition. With Vinnie by her side, Larisa will be on the podium in every race.
Mayr: Larisa doesn't need a witch doctor or Mafia hit man to be successful!! Anyway, wasn't Vinnie the bodyguard who couldn't ski and caused Lindsey Vonn to get injured in Schladming?
BB: It wasn't his fault. He was never told that skiing ability was part of being a bodyguard for a World Cup racer. Red Bull forgave him and gave him his job back.
Mayr: Thank you for the suggestion, but Team Larisa will pass on hiring Vinnie. Larisa will continue to succeed the old fashioned way, through hard work and determination.
BB: Well, it looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you for this interview. We at the Blickbild wish Larisa continued success this season and next month at the Olympics in Sochi. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters are naturally intrepid. They don't have to rely on witch doctors to succeed.

The Boston Blickbild is on Facebook. If you enjoy our unique perspective on World Cup Alpine skiing, please like us in Facebook. We are also on Twitter as bostonblickbild.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Help get Larisa for flag bearer of the Canadian Olympic Team. Visit here!/pages/Larisa-Yurkiw-for-Flag-Bearer-at-the-Opening-Ceremonies-in-Sochi-2014/640494159330165