Escarpment Magazine Winter 2013
Often times throughout your commentary during a race
you share intimate stories about athletes and obviously speak to coaches
and trainers. How do you interact with the athletes and their staff during
World Cup season?
I’ve been fortunate to maintain a close relationship with Head
Skis, the company that sponsored me throughout my ski racing career.
For the last 7 years, I have worked as the National Director of Racing
for Head, overseeing the sponsorship programs and our Elite level rac-
ing involvements across Canada. This has kept me in close contact with
Provincial and club racing teams, coaches, racers and parents. As well,
I maintain a good relationship with my Head colleagues in Europe and
our National Team sponsorships on the World Cup, which keeps me
very much in the loop with the international scene. In general terms, it’s
a very small community, where news and gossip travel as fast as the
racers. For me on television, its not difficult to think of stories to tell and
things to say, but much more difficult to NOT say too much!
There has been a lot of talk about Lindsey Vonn compet-
ing in men’s downhill events – she is certainly head and shoulders above
the rest of the female field in downhill. Do you think she should be al-
lowed to compete amongst the men? Do you feel she could handle the
toughest event on the men’s World Cup calendar – the Hahnenkamm?
I really think the FIS missed out on a great opportunity by not
allowing her to race with the men. Lindsey Vonn is by far and away, the
best female racer in the world, soon to become the greatest female
champion in the History of ski racing.
TheWorld Cup would enjoy the benefit of a global surge in interest sur-
rounding a course that nobody really takes too seriously right now.
Vonn’s entry in the race would bring thousands to the hill and millions
to their televisions to watch.
The fact is that her one time participation is not going to start a flood of
other women all wanting to compete on the men’s tour. Her request was
not meant to be the start of something like that. It would be a ‘one off’,
an opportunity to see how she measures up against the men, and that’s
it. There is not another woman capable of racing on a man’s course.
Sure, it’s a ‘publicity stunt’. Who cares?
I’d make sure I was watching. I don’t think she would be in any more
danger as some have talked about. It IS downhill, but it’s also Lake
Louise, where she has won 7 times on the same hill. I personally think
she would do very well to finish within the top 30, which at Lake Louise
is about 4 seconds behind the winner. But I think it’s just sad the way
the bunch of old fuddy duddies who lead the FIS, hide behind their stu-
pid, ancient rules to deny her request to race with the men instead of
taking advantage of the momentum this athlete has brought to the sport.
I feel she has earned the right to race. The rules that the FIS are hiding
behind should have no bearing on allowing for this historic event to take
place. They’re just being so short sighted. What a surprise?!?!?
todd brooker
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