Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Speaking of women in high places. How about ski jumping.

Events for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouber are being set and in the hunt is:


Skicross runs on the circuit now and features a downhill race among a handful of athletes over bumps and without lanes. Snowboarders did it last time. Think short track speed skating but on a mountain.

Women's ski jumping.

Individual curling.

Team luge.

My favorite is the involuntary luge. Picture someone giving NBC's Today weather personality, Al Roker, a huge push and unwilling sendoff while at the top of the bobsled run. We'll have to turn to YouTube for that sport I fear.

Women don't do ski jumping in the Olympics now. Nor do they do the 1500 meter event in swimming, sadly. It is only fair that they have a medal opportunity too. The first world championships for women in ski jumping isn't slated until 2009. So, this might be your opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new sport and hit the big time.

Pittsburgh, give its Mt. Washington landscape, and the backdrop of the city, could be a wonderful venue for the 2007 women's ski jump state championships. I have never understood why we don't have soap box derby events down Mt. Washington too. We did have a great professional bike race, but that went poof!

I'd like to put my voice along with that of the Canada's women ski jumpers asking the Vancouver organizers to "embrace this opportunity to remove the final barrier to equal participation by women at the Vancouver Olympics."

If you have not heard, Philly is NOT in the hunt for hosting a future summer olympics. They pulled the plug on that effort some time ago. But in the UK, the British government announced that costs for the main Olympic complex for 2012 had gone up by $1.7 billion to $6.25 billion, mainly due to higher steel prices and security concerns. Some suggest the total cost could reach more than $15.1 billion.

London organizers and the IOC insist, however, that many of the costs are not directly related to the Olympics, and are meant for the long-term regeneration of the rundown east London site where the main Olympic park is being built. The actual games operating budget is around $3.87 billion, and the IOC says it is satisfied with the pace of preparations.

Perhaps we should push for McKeesport and the Mon Valley as a host for a future Olympic Games. And, we'd have the steel prices under control as we could fire up a historical steel mill. That would make good sense for a heritage project. And, perhaps we'd then be off the hook and have volunteers run the operation, like they do now with the model train displays. That could by-pass any prevaling wage and union issues.

The I.O.C. may or may not provide news still pending from Italy's Olympics. Still in limbo, like the ones in Guantanamo Bay, is the alleged doping substances, equipment at the lodgings, and the Austrian cross-country and biathlon teams from the Turin Games. An update from them might come concerning the continuing investigation. Perhaps Dr. Cyrl Wecht should hop a flight and get to the bottom of this, along with Sheriff DeFazio, of course. Preliminary findings from Italian authorities have been furnished (pun), but not enough exists to take any action so far.

Tell the travel agent, the meeting is in Kuwait.

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