Wednesday, February 24, 2016

If I Had a Hammer...

 Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Lindsey Vonn's video of her destroying the ski that came off during the first downhill race in La Thuile last Friday is all over the Internet. That is what happens when you post something on social media--it never dies. The others have written about the destruction of the ski, Head's reaction to it, the fans' reaction to it, and even the reaction of people who never heard of Lindsey Vonn. In fact, the most mail that we have received was about Lindsey's rage against her ski. Here to talk with one of our intrepid reporters, and to provide our unique perspective on this story, is our intrepid researcher who went undercover at Head two years ago (see this story). He still does not want to be identified, so we will refer to him as "IR." Let's find out what he has to say.

BB: I see that you still do not want to be identified. Are you still worried about repercussions from Head?
IR: Yes. The powers that be are not very forgiving and have an incredibly long memory. Head also has a large stable of witch doctors and Mafia hit men. I could have a curse put on me or find a horse's head in my bed one morning.
BB: They seem to have forgiven Lindsey Vonn destroying her ski.
IR: Yes, but I am not a blonde female ski racer who brings in big money for Head.
BB: No, you are not. If you were, Head would have forgiven you for exposing its plans for world domination. But let's get back to Lindsey and her ski. Was it really defective?
IR: No. She made a mistake and the ski came off like it was supposed to.
BB: Would taking a hammer to the bindings ensure that the ski would stay on next time?
IR: No. If the ski did not release, Lindsey would have suffered another injury. But hammering the binding would make it worse, not better.
BB: Why did Lindsey wait several hours after the race to pound on her ski with a hammer?
IR: The short answer was that she did not have a hammer with her during the race, so she had to search for one. She was obviously never a Girl Scout.
BB: What does being a Girl Scout have to do with carrying a hammer while competing in a downhill ski race?
IR: The Girl Scout motto is, "Be prepared."
BB: I thought that was the Boy Scout motto.
IR: It is both the Boy and Girl Scout motto. If Lindsey were a Girl Scout, she would have had a hammer with her and she could have pounded her binding while still standing on the side of the race course. In other words, she would have been prepared to smash her ski right away instead of waiting several hours after the race to do so.
BB: Wait a minute! How would she carry a hammer in a race?
IR: In a rucksack of course. She would have the hammer along with: other tools, a first aid kit, spare socks, a flashlight, waterproof matches, insect repellent, sunscreen, a mess kit, a pocketknife, energy bars or dehydrated food, a bottle of water, water purification tablets, a poncho that could be used either for protection against rain or for constructing an emergency shelter, and a phone or camera to record destroying her ski and posting the resulting video on social media.
BB: She would need a very large rucksack for all of those things and it would be quite heavy. Wouldn't that make her a lot less aerodynamic?
IR: Yes. But what is more important in the grand scheme of things, winning races and setting records, or being able to build an emergency shelter on the side of the course if a sudden blizzard comes up?
BB: What are the odds of there being a blizzard that requires an athlete to stop and build an emergency shelter on the side of the course to wait it out?
IR: I admit they are slim. But it is best to be prepared for anything that could possibly happen, even if the odds are extremely remote. Nobody ever imagined that Marcel Hirscher would almost get hit by a drone during a race and it happened.
BB: True. (short pause) Let's say that Lindsey was a Girl Scout when she was younger. Would she have wanted to join the Boy Scouts?
IR: I would imagine so. She wanted to race against men a few seasons ago and the origins of that wish had to come from somewhere.
BB: Would the Boy Scouts have allowed her in?
IR: Probably not. The Boy Scouts are for boys and the Girl Scouts are for girls. Just like FIS women's races are for women and men's races for men.
BB: Getting back to Lindsey and her hammer. If she started carrying a hammer and other tools during races, would that set a precedent for the other athletes to do the same?
IR: It could. In fact, the FIS could start requiring the athletes to carry survival essentials during races.
BB: Wouldn't that make races slower and less exciting?
IR: Yes. But slower speeds would mean fewer injuries. And if a racer were to get injured, she would be able to perform First Aid on herself because she would have a First Aid kit in her rucksack. She would also have some food and water to eat and drink while waiting for a sled or helicopter. If the sled or helicopter takes a long time to come, she could build an emergency shelter and a fire.
BB: Wouldn't the fire melt the snow on the race course?
IR: Yes. But that's a small price for the other athletes to pay for letting their  injured colleague stay warm, dry, and fed and not dying of hunger or hypothermia while waiting for the sled or helicopter.
BB: What is the purpose of the dry socks?
IR: When the injured racer gets to the hospital, she won't get foot fungus from wet socks. She has dry socks to keep her feet warm.  
BB: And if an athlete loses a ski during a race, she would have a hammer in her rucksack so that she could pound on her ski immediately instead of waiting several hours to find one.
IR: That's right! Or if she were really handy with tools, she could even use a screwdriver or wrench to bash her bindings. The FIS is even thinking of adopting the motto of, "Be prepared" instead of its current one of, "We're always right even when we're wrong."
BB: Ski races will certainly be more interesting if the athletes had to carry heavy rucksacks full of survival essentials. Who knows how many emergency shelters and fires we'll see on the sides of race courses in future seasons. Well, it looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you for your time and insight. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters are not only intrepid, they are prepared for anything that may or may not happen.

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

No comments: