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Winter Olympic Games(4 posts)

Winter Olympic GamesVelocipedio
Jan 22, 2002 8:53 AM
The "Skeleton" is an event in the Winter Olympics this year. Cyclocross is not.

What is the "Skeleton?" HAs anyone ever seen a "Skeleton" race? How many "Skeleton" racers are there in the world anyway? Is the "Skeleton" a participation sport?

Why does cyclocross get so little respect?
CX is not a Winter Olympic this time because....Cima Coppi
Jan 22, 2002 9:26 AM
The U.S. has no change in hell of medaling in the event. If the U.S. can't win a medal, then what's the point in having a new event. If the Olympics were held in Europe right now, CX would most likely be a exhibition event, the step before becoming a full blown medal event.

It's for the same reason the Olympic commitee allows professionals to compete, so our Basketball team can destroy the rest of the world, and still have no idea why they are even at the games.

In my mind, the Olympics have become an international sporting joke, not worthy of glamour it receives.

CC
BS answerbn
Jan 22, 2002 10:23 AM
Skeleton being in the Olympics has alot less to do with the US than you think. It was a demonstration sport in Nagano, which means that the US didn't have as much to do with it being a full blown medal sport this year as you believe (the host country gets to pick the demo sports). Before that it was at the Olympics back in the '40s. The US didn't just decide to put it in to rake in a few more medals. Also, it's alot cheaper to use an existing facility (skeleton, luge, bobs) than to create an entirely new one.

see article

If CX were in the Olympics, who do you think would be competing? Pros, that's who. Just like road, track, and mtn biking. You want the best competing, and that means pros. One could even argue that it evens that playing field (Russian army hockey players were essentially pros and crushed their competitors just like the US in roundball). The true amateur athlete is an idealistic thing of the past. And contrary to what people apparently believe (prob due to the most recent Worlds), snow is not a prerequisite for a good cyclocross course. In fact, next year the Worlds are supposed to be in Monopoli, the south of Italy (but may end up somewhere else).

To answer the original poster's question, ALL fringe sports get little respect. Look at the original post; you can just imagine a hockey player or skier asking the same exact questions with "cyclocross" substituted for "skeleton".
My "experience" with skeletonbk19
Jan 25, 2002 8:00 AM
Skeleton is basically head first luge. The difference is, the only way to steer the sled is through body english. One of the top skeleton racers in the U.S. and the world is from my hometown (Chris Soule- Trumbull, CT). If you see the Demi Moore movie "G.I. Jane" the opening sequence is supposedly her skeleton racing (Soule was her stunt double).

A friend of mine tried to get me to try it when I lived in CT. He was training in Lake Placid, NY for a spot on the bobsled team, but also did skeleton. I believe the conversation went something like this...

Him: You should come up to the track with me some weekend. We'll set you up on a skeleton sled and see how you like it.

Me: What's skeleton?

Him: It's basically head-first luge, but you use your body to steer the sled. You can get going pretty fast (I think he quoted up to 80 mph).

Me: (hesitantly)Hmm, sounds...interesting.

Him: Yeah, it is. It used to be an Olympic sport, but people kept flying off the track and getting killed, so they stopped.

Me:Ummm....

Him: Don't worry, it's a lot safer now.

Me: Umm...

Needless to say, I never made it up to Lake Placid with him.