UKC

/ Women’s Slope Style Snowboarding

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Yanis Nayu - on 12 Feb 2018

Watched some of this earlier and was surprised at how poor the women were compared to the men, until I realised that they were doing it in horrendous winds. Felt really sorry for them - the results were just a lottery and it seemed ludicrously dangerous. 

Is it normal to compete in conditions like that?

BnB - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

The winner was a highly experienced double gold medalist, and the athlete widely regarded as the best in the world by some margin.

Not exactly a lottery therefore, although you're right to point out that the conditions were exceptionally challenging. I suspect that in a less crowded programme they would have moved the event to another time. Nevertheless I thought the conditions made the competition more interesting and it was clear that the best competitor won.

Post edited at 12:32
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summo on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I'm wondering if they've been unlucky with the weather, or if the venue is a bit of a natural wind tunnel or funnel. 

kathrync - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to summo:

Don't know about the slopestyle but they were having some problems with the mens' ski jumping the other evening in the wind too.  From what the commentators were saying there it was bad luck.  It sounded like both the test event and the qualification rounds were fine.

John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

> The winner was a highly experienced double gold medalist, and the athlete widely regarded as the best in the world by some margin.

> Not exactly a lottery therefore, although you're right to point out that the conditions were exceptionally challenging. I suspect that in a less crowded programme they would have moved the event to another time. Nevertheless I thought the conditions made the competition more interesting and it was clear that the best competitor won.

The fact that last the defending champion one isn't proof that there was no lottery though is it. It was quite clear that some top riders simply couldn't put down a run through no fault of their own. I think the most striking thing I saw was one of the last riders back out of a jump as she could see a gust hit the flags as she was approaching the lip of kicker.

The problem seemed to be the switch from cross head wind to cross tale wind at random

The ski jump did look fair by comparison with strict rules about wind limits and I believe a score compensation based on the wind that people jumped in

BnB - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

> The fact that last the defending champion one isn't proof that there was no lottery though is it.

 

I'd have thought that's exactly what it proves.

Let's be clear I acknowledged the challenging conditions in my post. It just wasn't a lottery. The rider who adapted to the conditions best won the contest. The commentators even pointed out (and any keen boarder can see) how Jamie Anderson even changed her rotation mid-trick and mid-air on the penultimate kicker in order to master the conditions. Seriously impressive.

 

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kathrync - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

> The ski jump did look fair by comparison with strict rules about wind limits and I believe a score compensation based on the wind that people jumped in

Oh yes, for sure.  And when it gets too windy to be safe, they move the start point for the ski jump down and compensate for that accordingly too.  I found a paper yesterday outlining the maths behind how the compensation works.  But for clarity, my point was that they do seem to have been unlucky with the wind, as opposed to building the venue in a stupid place.

 

Yanis Nayu - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

Well, yes, the favourite won, but it doesn’t change the fact that someone else could have if they weren’t being blown into crashing, or that the other medal positions may have been different. Nearly every single rider crashed (only 9/52 runs didn’t include crashes) - this can’t represent good competition, and was stupidly dangerous. 

I just feel desperately sorry for them training for 4 years for that. It should have been postponed  

 

Yanis Nayu - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to kathrync:

I was surprised that all the snow is artificial though. You’d think they’d have the Winter Olympics somewhere it actually snows. Dread to think of the environmental cost. 

Post edited at 19:38
John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

We'll have to beg to differ

 

The winning run was great and did include good adaptation. But one of the big gusts would have wrecked it. Others tried to adapt but where hit by winds too strong to adapt too

My main feeling is that yet again the Olympics doesn't work. World cups etc. really do average out he ups and downs of conditions and judging decisions. The Olympics clearly works better for objectively decided events with reproducible conditions. Like long track speed skaing

summo on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I was surprised that all the snow is artificial though. You’d think they’d have the Winter Olympics somewhere it actually snows. Dread to think of the environmental cost. 

Most countries, don't want it due to the cost in meeting the ioc's 'special' demands. Sweden and Norway both dropped out the bidding process a year or two ago for one of the next winter games. It's fair to say most people here think we've had sufficient snow this winter. 

1
Robert Durran - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Lots of big crashes. What's not to like? 

1
Robert Durran - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

> My main feeling is that yet again the Olympics doesn't work. World cups etc. really do average out he ups and downs of conditions and judging decisions.

But isn't that what makes the Olympics great? The all or nothing, gambling everything and going for broke, the triumph and the tears. It's a bit like the difference between throwing everything at an onsight and grinding out a redpoint.

summo on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think it is one thing to pull off a challenging jump in a cross wind, with gusts hitting the board and trying to swing you; it's another when it's a headwind and you don't have the take off speed to even try the trickier jumps. 

kathrync - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I was surprised that all the snow is artificial though. You’d think they’d have the Winter Olympics somewhere it actually snows. Dread to think of the environmental cost. 

I agree that the environmental impact is awful.  But think back to the last two where the temperatures were warm and the organisers were struggling to maintain the snow they had and in the case of Vancouver were shipping the stuff from other areas in trucks.  There is an argument that, environmental costs aside, this is better because at least they know the snow will stick around...

galpinos on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

I think it was a bit of a shame that the progress that women's slopestyle has made wasn't showcased.

The conditions certainly played to her (and the other older more experienced riders') strengths as the big tricks the youngsters can pull, that are beyond her, would have been too risky. Not seeing a big 1080 was a real shame and it reduced it to tricks you see in a snowpark on a normal day. She managed to win with a run with similar tricks to her last gold (though now that same run is worth fewer points as the tricks have got so much bigger).

summo on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to kathrync:

I think the problem is the games are too big for any winter venue to hold, to many different sports, different types of arena, more competitors, more media. Then add in the iocs and corporate demands, which must be met to even hold the games;5* hotels, special traffic lanes just for ioc officials... It's reach the scale that only capital cities can meet. So all the places that have previously held the games say 20+ years ago just couldn't handle it now, even though they have exactly the right conditions and facilities for countless different individual world level events, that they host annually. 

It's a shame, don't want the winter games to become a commercial farce that alreasy over shadows the summer version. 

John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> But isn't that what makes the Olympics great? The all or nothing, gambling everything and going for broke, the triumph and the tears. It's a bit like the difference between throwing everything at an onsight and grinding out a redpoint.

But where the outcome can be the difference between the next 30 years being supported by media work or sport development  work and starting a career from scratch in your 30s

BnB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

> But where the outcome can be the difference between the next 30 years being supported by media work or sport development  work and starting a career from scratch in your 30s

That's always the case. There can only be one winner whatever the weather. As Robert Durran noted, that's the difference between the Olympics and the World Cup.

Ask Liz McColgan or Steve Cram, who, incidentally, seem to be keeping busy despite the lack of Olympic gold.

Post edited at 11:44
Robert Durran - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

> Ask .......Steve Cram, who, incidentally, seem to be keeping busy despite the lack of Olympic gold.

He seems to be reduced to commentating on snow boarding! Compare that to Olympic champion Coe's career.

 

elsewhere on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

The possibilities of lottery funding or a longer career in media, sport or corporate events vanish without the winter olympics.

A high profile every 4 years is better than nothing*.

*All other winter sport competitions are of such low profile in the UK I don't think they're even on terrestrial TV. I see coverage in other countries but not here.

 

BnB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

Both were superb athletes but the difference in their trajectories strikes me as a fair reflection of their respective talents, ambition and work ethic. Slightly better on the track, and with 2 Olympic golds to prove it, Coe is in a different class away from it. Although Cram is a decent commentator. I'm not knocking his abilities.

Post edited at 12:10
summo on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

> Both were superb athletes but the difference in their trajectories strikes me as a fair reflection of their respective talents, ambition and work ethic. Slightly better on the track, and with 2 Olympic golds to prove it, Coe is in a different class away from it.

I don't think Cram ever had the same political aspirations though. Ever since that un/read email my respect for Coe declined. 

The New NickB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> He seems to be reduced to commentating on snow boarding! Compare that to Olympic champion Coe's career.

Curling, which he seems to enjoy. Cram has a very successful career, mixing coaching, commentating and various commercial interests. You will notice that the BBC have got 4 x Olympic Champion Matthew Pinsent doing links for the sliding sports.

I could name at least 20 British Olympic Champions that have less succcesful careers than Cram.

BnB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to summo:

> I don't think Cram ever had the same political aspirations though. Ever since that un/read email my respect for Coe declined. 

This discussion isn't about making a moral judgement, although you're welcome to one.

Ambition is a vital ingredient of achievement.

The New NickB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

Coe = Wonderful athlete, woeful human.

Cram = Wonderful athlete, good bloke.

As you say, different class away from the track.

Post edited at 12:14
BnB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Top sportsman turns out to be single-minded to the exclusion of all others. Hold the front page.

The New NickB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

> Top sportsman turns out to be single-minded to the exclusion of all others. Hold the front page.

Coe is certainly the pinnacle of that. The point is, Cram was the better 1,500m runner,  despite the two Olympic Golds. I bet it still hurts Coe that he was never 800m champion, because he was the best 800m runner.

Robert Durran - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> Coe is certainly the pinnacle of that. The point is, Cram was the better 1,500m runner,  despite the two Olympic Golds. I bet it still hurts Coe that he was never 800m champion, because he was the best 800m runner.

But the fact that he came back twice from disappointment at 800m to win Gold at 1500m is one of the great Olympic storys. 

Only the Olympics can throw up such incredible stuff.

I still think he is probably the greatest middle distance runner of all time.

Robert Durran - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> Coe is certainly the pinnacle of that. The point is, Cram was the better 1,500m runner,  despite the two Olympic Golds. I bet it still hurts Coe that he was never 800m champion, because he was the best 800m runner.

But the fact that he came back twice from disappointment at 800m to win Gold at 1500m is one of the great Olympic storys. 

Only the Olympics can throw up such incredible stuff.

I still think he is probably the greatest middle distance runner of all time.

BnB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> Coe is certainly the pinnacle of that. The point is, Cram was the better 1,500m runner,  despite the two Olympic Golds. I bet it still hurts Coe that he was never 800m champion, because he was the best 800m runner.

They were both superb. Cram had an incredible mile-eating stride and Coe glided around the track with astonishing grace. And we haven't even mentioned Ovett who was Coe's equal as a competitor. Oh, to experience those days again.

Post edited at 13:38
Robert Durran - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

> They were both superb. Cram had an incredible mile-eating stride and Coe glided around the track with astonishing grace. And we haven't even mentioned Ovett who was Coe's equal as a competitor. Oh, to experience those days again.


Yes, amazing times. Cram only missed out on Olympic Gold because he was just one of arguably the three greatest British athletes of all time. It is not surprising that he has since had a more successful spin off career than many Olympic Gold medallists in sports which only ever attract much public interest each time the games come round.

BnB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, amazing times. Cram only missed out on Olympic Gold because he was just one of arguably the three greatest British athletes of all time.

Steady on. What about Mo Farah?

 

summo on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB: 

> Ambition is a vital ingredient of achievement.

Was Coe driven to such a high level of achievement as much because he was in direct competition with ovett? One without the other, might have achieved less. Cram although their era just overlapped, was admittedly not quite of their class. 

Robert Durran - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

> Steady on. What about Mo Farah?

I am a big Farah fan, but the absence of world records and the fact that he didn't have an Ovett and Cram to beat for his medals detracts a little for me.

BnB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

That's a fair criticism but the sheer weight of MO's major championship gold is hard to ignore.

Sally Gunnell was peerless in her prime and can boast the full set of championships and records

The New NickB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

Farah would easily beat Coe and Ovett over anything 3,000m or longer. Probably worth remembering that Farah has run faster over 1,500m than Coe or Ovett (and Cram as it was his British and former World Record that he beat).

Farah hasn’t really raced against Bekele at his best on the track, but then Coe never raced against Wilson Kipketer or David Rudisha.

Yanis Nayu - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to BnB:

It was a relatively new event when she did it - I don’t know if it’s developed much since then though. 

BnB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I honestly don't know. But I do remember Sally raced week in week out for over a year without once suffering defeat during which she cleaned up a full set of major championships and a WR. Seriously impressive.

Robert Durran - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> Probably worth remembering that Farah has run faster over 1,500m than Coe or Ovett (and Cram as it was his British and former World Record that he beat).

Yes, that fact is pretty astonishing.

> Farah hasn’t really raced against Bekele at his best on the track, but then Coe never raced against Wilson Kipketer or David Rudisha.

In the end I don't think it makes much sense to compare athletes with those from different eras. I think what counts is what other great runners they beat and what records they broke.

 

Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> But the fact that he came back twice from disappointment at 800m to win Gold at 1500m is one of the great Olympic storys. 

> Only the Olympics can throw up such incredible stuff.

Don't you think that Grand Slam tennis can? For example Federer just recently, and various Hingis doubles titles after at least two "retirements"?

 

galpinos on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Thankfully the women's half pipe showed they have truly come a long way and are capable of "throwing down" the big tricks.

Robert Durran - on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Don't you think that Grand Slam tennis can? For example Federer just recently, and various Hingis doubles titles after at least two "retirements"?

Yes, of course, but I think that, in general, the currency of Olympic gold is greatly increased in value by the fact that it is only available once every four years rather than four times every year. 

Alyson - on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to galpinos:

> Thankfully the women's half pipe showed they have truly come a long way and are capable of "throwing down" the big tricks.

Yes, it was awesome to watch! Can't wait for Big Air. 

I love the winter Olympics and have managed to be on maternity leave for this one as well as for Sochi. How's that for planning?

Blue Straggler - on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

Good point although - admittedly me going off on a bit of a tangent - why is that nobody seems to care about Olympic tennis?

Post edited at 19:12

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