Olympic odds, ends & trends: The American silver medalist luger who is also an avid climber of mountains
In today’s Summit Daily Olympic odds, ends and trends, we pose the question: Should the women’s snowboard slopestyle medal round have been postponed due to high winds? Also, the weird things that people are doing to stay warm in Pyeongchang and the tale of an American luger who is also an adept mountain climber:
SUMMIT STAT: 81.5
The percentage of women’s slopestyle snowboarders who crashed on their first runs during the Olympic women’s snowboard slopestyle medal round. It was a tough week on the slopes for each and every female snowboarder, as the women’s qualifying round was canceled. That meant all snowboarders advanced to a final round where the original three-run format was dropped to two. It was probably a good thing each shredder only got two runs, as many of them commented about how torrid the winds were in the air above the slopestyle jumps. As a result, the vast majority of the boarders either crashed or didn’t even attempt going off of the bottom jumps due to constantly changing winds. The men had to deal with it too, as before the men’s snowboard slopestyle qualifier started, one of the world’s greatest snowboarders, Sebastien Toutant of Canada, made the following remark to other riders at the top of the course:
“The wind is, like, changing. There are little tornadoes. So hopefully I don’t get that.”
Must. Stay. Warm.
For all us High Country folk used to layering up properly for winter’s worst, just what naive media members and spectators from around the world are doing to stay warm in South Korea may seem comical. That said, the temperatures have been downright cold for competitors and onlookers to deal with.
So what if you arrive at one of the Olympic venues in the mountains of South Korea without the proper gear to stay warm? Some spectators with children were observed sheltering their toddlers within plastic-covered carrying cases. Others are setting up street-side warming shacks. And then there are the skiers, many of whom have turned to applying Vaseline and tape to their faces to add a little comfort via a layer of protection from the piercing winds. That said, the company who makes one of the face tapes, KT Tape, told The New York Times the company does not even know if it works.
“KT Tape is in the process of testing for similar uses, but has not completed the research at this time,” a KT Tape spokeswoman, Lisa Ramsperger, told The Times.
The American Luger-Mountain Climber
Early Sunday morning, many in the Adirondack mountain village of Saranac Lake woke with their annual Winter Carnival hangovers to watch their hometown boy Chris Mazdzer enthusiastically win the country’s first ever men’s singles luge medal, a half-a-world away. But the tried-and-trued Adirondacker Mazdzer is not only a legend in American luge history, he is also one of just several thousand people who have climbed the Adirondack 46 High Peaks — the 46 tallest mountains in New York’s North Country. For Mazdzer, he started conquering New York’s highest points with the state’s tallest mountain, Mount Marcy, as an 8-year-old in July 1996. He finished the 46ers fewer than three years later, as a 10-year-old, by summiting the state’s third highest point, Mount Haystack.
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