Top News

Jenna Conter: To hill with the Olympics - luge hill and ski hill, that is

Luge
Luge - 123RF Stock Photo

Someone is going to have to explain luge to me. First of all, how does one discover that one is good at luge? Does one slip and fall on the ice with such speed and precision that the adrenaline rush is so great that you think, “I want to do that again but in Spandex!”

Branded as a unique marriage of bravery and brawn, luge was created by the Swiss because after dreaming up bobsledding they thought that was far too safe so some modifications were made to help keep the Swiss population under control.

Regardless of your motivation to take on this sport (perhaps you didn’t make the hockey team or your parents wanted a chance to cap the weekly food budget) having watched hours of it thus far for these Olympics, I am coming to slowly understand the skill it requires.

Nerves of steel is one thing, but while you’re whipping around the corners of the ice track, reaching speeds of 130 km/h+, to have the wherewithal to push your left shoulder down to turn right while skimming the surface of your right big toe just enough to keep your straight line – you can’t help but hold your breath. And though there is some thrill in seeing these top-of-their-game athletes falter (oh, stop, you’re all thinking it) there’s something to be said about the ability to maintain composure at that speed, in front of that crowd, when your sled pushes too far right, turns nearly perpendicular to the finish line or, as Andriy Mandziy of Ukraine experienced, fully bucks you off during your event and you have to figure out how to get back on.

Jenna Conter
Jenna Conter

That’s going to hurt later.

Speaking of speed and epic body awareness, the men’s moguls super final continued to bring chest clenching, gasp-worthy rounds early this morning. In less than 30 seconds, these boys flew down the mountain, their knees functioning like pistons absorbing the massive amount of pressure from each turn over the edges of the moguls. The key is to keep vertical, nail your two mandatory jumps, maintain the same approach downhill to the finish and try not to epically catch an edge and take a tumble – an all too common occurrence during this morning’s event. Most painfully experienced by our own Philippe Marquis who took on his run sans a right ACL (just a little ligament that keeps your knee from hyper-flexing, no biggie).

But with the fist pumping finish line cross of the now gold medal winner, King Of The Hill Mikael Kingsbury, you can appreciate the draw of such an adrenaline rush!

Finally adding gold to his Olympic medal collection, Kingsbury also adds to the overall medal tally for Team Canada!

This was our second gold of the morning after the super squad that makes up our Olympic Figure Skating team earned the top spot for their efforts over the last few days. Now the band has to break up and worry about dropping their own albums as the individual events start up tomorrow.

Recent Stories