Last weekend, I went skiing for the first time in over 10 years. To say I was nervous and excited would be an understatement; in the days leading up to my trip, I couldn’t help but worry about breaking a limb or, I don’t know, being crushed by an avalanche.
Thankfully, the friends who came along with me were much more experienced than I (like, pro level) and promised I’d be in good hands. Their teaching method? Throwing me in the trenches headfirst. They taught me how to stop and start using my skis, and that was about it – off to the chairlift we went. No ski school, no detailed lessons. Had I thought about what was happening I probably would have objected, but I blindly went along until I realized halfway up the lift that this was not the normal path for a beginner. But this was how they had learned, they explained, that putting yourself in the thick of it was the fastest way to get off the ground, and that they’d be nearby there the whole time. (By the way, PSA time, I am not saying you lovely readers should learn this way — it’s pretty risky!) Keep reading »
The 2014 Winter Olympics will be the first time ever that women’s ski jumping will be a sport. Previously, women were only allowed to test the courses for the men. The International Olympic Committee has long said women were excluded from competition because the category does not have enough elite female competitors, a charge actual women ski jumpers disputed. So it is with great “Ugh”-ing and eyerolling that I point out the actual fucked-up, sexist, medically inaccurate belief that was (not officially, but still) holding women back: ski jumping is bad for the uterus. Keep reading »
0.56 of a second is, quite literally, the blink of an eye. But that’s all the time it took Lindsey Vonn to win the Olympic gold medal in yesterday’s women’s downhill skiing competition, beating her rival, fellow American skier Julia Mancuso. What makes Vonn’s win even crazier? The news has been inundated with tongue-wagging about whether Vonn’s bruised right shin would dash her Olympic dreams. But despite her injury — painkillers helped — Vonn raced down the Whistler, British Columbia course in a brisk 1 minute, 44.19 seconds.“It was a fight all the way down but I told myself to keep pushing regardless of the consequences,” Vonn told The New York Times. When she crossed the finish line and saw her name at #1, Vonn fell backwards into the snow, raised her arms in the air and bawled tears of joy. “Seeing my name and the number one next to it was the best feeling I’ve had in my life,” she continued. “I came here to win a gold medal. I stood up to the pressure. I went for it with no fear. I will attack in all the next events; I’ll keep that promise. But I simply can’t feel any happier. And I know I will always have today.” [New York Times] Keep reading »