Saturday, October 31, 2009

33 years later, Klammer's run still exciting

Once again I'm in danger of angering people who dislike winter by writing about my favorite sport — even before the all the leaves have fallen — but I have a good reason for my early enthusiasm about skiing. You see, Marge and I just booked a ski vacation, so we're psyched about the upcoming winter.

I can almost hear the roar of the snow guns at night, and can see the rime in the trees sparkling in the morning sunlight. I can almost feel the wind in my face as I swoop down the mountain, leaving my cares far behind. For me, winter brings clarity to life like no other season. It is a time when everything seems in sharp focus, a time when every breath offers a visible affirmation of life.

So today I'm posting one of the most electrifying ski runs of all time, Austrian Franz Klammer's gold medal-winning performance in the 1976 Olympic downhill in Innsbruck, Austria. I know people who don't even ski who remember Klammer's run.

Compared with what today's powerfully built racers can do on modern equipment, Klammer's 1 minute and 45 second journey looks almost primitive. Yet it remains a let-it-all-hang-out pursuit of victory for the ages that begs a question:

How much are you willing to risk to achieve your goals?

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