Friday, December 11, 2015

Battle of the Sexes: Austrian/Canadian Style

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

The ski press has written about Lindsey Vonn's desire to race against men and Mikaela Shiffrin's hope to be a forerunner in Schladming to see how she compares to the men. We will avoid those topics like we would two dogs fighting over a Frisbee. Instead, we will focus on a real competition where a male and female ski racer are facing off against each other. Injured Canadian Super-G star Dustin Cook challenged Austrian superstar Anna Fenninger to a race on crutches. Anna answered the challenge and hobbled 20 meters in 12.9 seconds. Dustin responded by going down a homemade hill on a specially-modified sled. Who won this epic battle? Was Dusting cheating by using a sled and not his legs? Well, you are in luck. One of our intrepid reporters was able to interview both Anna and Dustin using a satellite link. Let's find out what they have to say.

BB: We at the Blickbild, as well as most ski racing fans, were saddened to hear about your injuries. How is your rehab and recovery coming along?
Cook: As well as I expected it to. I hope to be back strong next season.
Fenninger: I will be a long time off of skis but my recovery is going at the right pace.
BB: Dustin, what inspired you to challenge Anna to a race on crutches?
Cook: She seems like a nice lady with a good sense of humor. I had a feeling that she would go along with it.  
BB: And your intuition was right. Anna, do you think that Dustin was cheating because he was using a sled and you used your legs?
Fenninger: Well...we could have had a more direct comparison if we both did the same thing.
Cook: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to give the impression that I was cheating. But I have a possible solution. Why don't I go 20 meters on either my legs or with crutches and you sled down a hill? Then the winner could be decided by combined times of each event.
BB: That is an excellent idea! 
Fenninger: Would you come to Austria and use the same course I did, and then would I go to Canada and use your sledding hill?
Cook: That would be ideal. If we used different walking tracks and hills, they could not be directly comparable because of weather conditions and height differences of the hills.
BB: So you are proposing that you fly to Austria and Anna flies to Canada to complete the challenge? Who is going to pay for this?
Cook: I could pay for it. 
BB: That is a very generous offer. But suppose that you don't wish to fly because of the discomfort on your legs? Could you think of something that you could both do that is the same?
Cook: How about a chariot race?
Fenninger: A chariot race? Where are we going to find two chariots?
Cook: Since I am not training or racing, I could go online and look up museums in both Canada and Austria that have Roman antiquities. They are bound to have some chariots that we could borrow. There are plenty of horses in our countries to pull the chariots. We also have tracks where we could set up the race.
BB: Isn't the point of this challenge to see who is the best on crutches or under their own power? Anyway, chariots would be painful on the knees because they are not exactly smooth. You could also fall out and injure other body parts. 
Cook: You are absolutely right. What about a camel race?
Fenninger: Then the camels are racing against each other.. We need something different that is directly against each other.
Cook: Anna, you are right again. Let's see....what about an auto race? We could then compete to see who is the fastest driver.
BB: That sounds like an interesting idea. But the concept is for you to compete head-to-head. Anyway, there is the problem with deciding if the car will have an automatic transmission or stick shift. 
Cook: True. We want this competition to be fair for both of us.
Fenninger: Dustin, are you always this nice?
Cook: Well, I am Canadian. We are supposed to be nice. When I was a kid and was rude to other people, my mother would beat the living daylights out of me.
BB: That doesn't sound very nice at all. In fact, that sounds downright un-Canadian.
Cook: You're right. But if the Blickbild can do parody, I can make fun of my upbringing. Anyway, my parents were really both very nice people. And if you think I'm nice, you need to meet Jan Hudec. He reinforces the stereotype of Canadians being nice.
BB: Back to our original dilemma of getting you two to compete against each other. 
Cook: I know! We can have a kangaroo boxing match. I can fly to Austria, where there are plenty of kangaroos.
Fenninger: The only kangaroos in Austria are in zoos.
BB: Anna, you are from Salzburg and I know that the Salzburg Zoo has at least two kangaroos.
Cook: I'm very sorry. I confused Austria with Australia. Please forgive me. I'll make it up to you by making Canadian and Austrian t-shirts for the kangaroos.
BB: Hold up here! A kangaroo boxing match is not a competition between you two, it is between the kangaroos.
Fenninger: But the kangaroos will have t-shirts so we'll know which one represents Dustin and which one represents me.
BB: You're missing the point. We are trying to find a way to directly compare you two, not a couple of kangaroos.
Fenninger: Back in the Middle Ages, a nobleman would designate a champion to fight for him. Why can't we have the kangaroos as our champions?
BB: OK, let's suppose that you have kangaroo champions. Are they going to box, or will they have an actual race against each other?
Cook: Well, I suppose the fair thing would be to have the kangaroos hop a certain distance on a pre-measured course. But if that doesn't work because the kangaroos start fighting with each other, we can have them box.
Fenninger: We will need a referee to either keep time in a hopping race or boxing match. (to the reporter). Are you intrepid enough to be our referee?
BB: Of course I am! The Blickbild has the most intrepid reporters in the business!
Cook: Shall we have this match during the Christmas holidays?
Fenninger: Sounds good to me!
Cook: Here's what we'll do. Anna, can you borrow two kangaroos from the Salzburg Zoo?
Fenninger: I can talk to the zoo. I'm sure they will lend them to me.
Cook: I'll get the t-shirts made. Since the kangaroos are from the Salzburg Zoo, I'll fly out there with the shirts and we can take it from there.
BB: This isn't quite what everyone had in mind when your fans wanted to see you race on crutches, but it will do. I'll do my part as your referee. We will see you in Salzburg for the final Cook vs Fenninger showdown. Well, it looks like we are out of time. Anna and Dustin, I want to thank you for this interview. We at the Blickbild wish both you a full and speedy recovery so we can see you back in the World Cup. It just isn't the same without you. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters do their own interviews. They don't hire a champion.

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