As I mentioned last week, the Adirondack region recently hosted the Federation Internationale De Ski (FIS)Freestyle Skiing World Cup events. The mountain events were held at Whiteface, the site of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games alpine events, in Wilmington, New York. The nifty, hot-dog aerialists did their flipping and flopping at the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid. We’ve hosted many World Cup ski competitions over the past twenty-some years, but the interesting thing about this year’s event was the debut of a new kind of Olympic event - Ski Cross. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has anointed a new sport as “worthy.” Or marketable. This is a neat one. It fulfills every teenage ski racer’s dream:
“Behold the event of ski cross, or roller derby on skis, in which four to six racers simultaneously dash through a snowy version of a carnival fun house — with banked turns, bumpy surfaces and soaring leaps — all while elbowing and pushing their way to the finish line. Last racer standing, or limping on one leg, wins.” NY Times
It is pretty fun to watch, although I cannot imagine participating. Clearly there is a huge market; teenage boys like my son, who told me he would have continued to be a cross-country ski racer if he could race in a full-contact cross-country ski event. You heard it here first: Cross-country cross - the next new Olympic Sport!