January 31, 2005

Medal count time! : No, it's not the Olympics, it's the alpine skiing World Championships -- and with two of twelve events completed, the US has two medals, both in super G, from a win by Bode Miller and a third-place finish by Julia Mancuso. Austria has two medals (silver and bronze), Sweden one (gold), and Italy one (silver). The week is young and the next races are on Wednesday (see schedule). Finally, lest any racers should be tempted to wear anything non-regulation in these races, be warned: the Underwear Police are prowling the hills of Bormio.

posted by lil_brown_bat to other at 05:29 PM - 2 comments

What was wrong with Miller's suit and how can someone be disqualified from a practice run?

posted by billsaysthis at 05:43 PM on January 31, 2005

They didn't say, but the usual thing is porousness. Speed suits are slick, and while that's great when you're still upright, it's very bad when you've crashed and are sliding over the snow praying to Our Lady of Friction to slow you down. So the FIS regulates suits so that they can't be but so slick. As it happens, if you try to pass air through a speed suit, it's a pretty good indicator of how much it'll slow down once it hits the snow. So they test suits, and -- for reasons I really don't get -- they also sometimes test what's worn under it, body armor or whatever. Hence, the Underwear Police. As for how someone can be DQ'd from a practice run, they can't, although if the officials want to be pissy, they can do things like mess with your start number. It's just a way of saying, "We're watching, gentlemen, so don't pull this in the race or you'll have wasted a minute and thirty seconds of your life and someone else will get the medal."

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:05 PM on January 31, 2005

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