Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Some Back-Of-The-Envelope Calculations: Pissler is Starting to Run Out of Time

After thinking about my previous post for a few minutes and having a quick look at the alpine schedule, a very grim thought started to congeal in my fetid, leaky brain: Pissler is starting to teeter on the brink of running out of time. The idea that The Olympics will finish with alpine races having to be canceled is starting to vaguely come into focus. It's not in sight yet, but like a shark circling off in the distance as you tread water with a bleeding foot, it's starting to close in.

I haven't read anything about this in the media yet, probably because there are few (if any) journos out there who have the faintest clue as to the factors involved. Gianfranco Fucking Kasper, the President of the FIS, is such a corrupt vapid dumbass that he made a comment about how inconceivable it is. His words may just come back to haunt him. Kasper wouldn't know a developing scheduling catastrophe if it swam up to him in the hot tub and bit a chunk out of his pudgy ass. Kasper's comment reminded me of Village Idiot Bush inviting terrorists to "bring it on". Guess what, Gianfranco....Pissler just might, in fact, "bring it on". Pissler has thoroughly and crisply kicked your ass for the past week.

Doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations, here's what I'm thinking, in no particular order of priority:

1) With today's cancellations (Tuesday) there are now 12 days remaining in the Olympics.

2) There are still 9 alpine races to run.

3) Having skied Pissler quite a bit and worked races there a lot, I would predict that in 12 days of skiing @ Pissler, on at least 6 of those days, the weather would be so bad that I wouldn't bother walking out the front door of the hotel. Whether those averages hold up, and whether the weather (pun intended) will be awful enough to cancel those days or merely just be awful, remains to be seen.

4) Races cannot be moved up on the schedule, they can only be moved back, because the public has bought tickets. For example, this Friday and Saturday are the two Super-Gs. Let's say the weather is perfect on Friday and the weather is forecast to be terrible on Saturday. Since Super-G is a one-run discipline, you could, in theory, run the men at, say, 10 AM Friday and run the women at 13:00. But in practice, you can't, because 7,000 paying customers have bought tickets to the womens Super-G on Saturday. You have to wait until Saturday goes all Pissler on you, and by then it's too late to do anything proactively about it.

5) More than half of the remaining races are two-run races (SL x 2, SC x 2, GS x 2). Three are one-run races (Womens DH, SG x 2). In a pinch, with a little luck, you can double up on one-run races in a day (as long as at least one has already been postponed), but you can't double up two-run races on the same day.

6) Having all the race courses finish in a common area is a big advantage in many ways. However, it cuts off a lot of options, specifically, it's impossible to run two races simultaneously.

7) The weather has to be really bad to cancel a slalom. I've seen a lot of slaloms in Austria run in absolutely appalling conditions. It can be foggy, raining, snowing, windy, and you can still run slalom. It may not be a fair race, but nobody is going to die in a slalom, so they go almost no matter what. Also, in terms of maintenance, you can work pretty fast on a course that's only 300m long; whereas with, say, downhill, you've got 4 Km of course to deal with. The exception is a big powder dump. If you wake up and there's 40cm of fresh glop on the course and it's still puking, you're hosed, even with the vaunted Weasel Workers in your quiver.

The next two or three days are supposed to be somewhat clear and somewhat cold (as good as it gets at Pissler), so Greg, Günther, and Atle can make up a fair chunk of lost ground. But as the weekend approaches, do not be surprised if more cancellations rear their ugly heads. And the Olympics are starting to run out of wiggle room.

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