I am not a skier. So, when I began intermittently writing about the sport in the 1980s, I had no first-hand appreciation of the speeds top Alpine ski racers reached – and the danger that sped along with them.
Television didn’t help, because the head-on camera angle does not provide a frame of reference. And you could tell me they were hitting 75 miles per hour, but I had no perspective on what that meant until the 1989 World Championships in Vail, Colo.
One day during women’s downhill training, I hiked partway up the side of the final pitch to the finish. From that vantage point, with the skiers coming past me rather than coming at me, as they did when I stood in the media area at the finish, it was very clear how fast they were moving. Frighteningly fast.Read More