Olympic gold medal winning skiier Aksel Lund Svindal reveals his unenviable birthday tradition and spends some time in Italy skiing in the dark in his latest blog entry...
Getting a few days off for Christmas and being able to see friends and family is always nice. I flew to Norway and enjoyed a traditional Christmas celebration at my dad’s house in Oslo. But before you even have time to fully digest the Christmas meal, it’s back on the downhill tour. The next stop being Bormio, Italy.
I always get on the first flight out of Oslo on the 26th, as Bormio is a fair way from anywhere and it takes 10-12 hours to get there. As December 26 happens to be my birthday, travelling alone to Bormio is my traditional birthday celebration. Not a tradition I would recommend… I’m thinking of moving my birthday to the summer ;)
The Bormio downhill has a mean reputation, or as Marco Büchel said this year; “this reminds me why I retired”. It’s not as spectacular as Kitzbühel, but it’s very dark and that makes it difficult.
I was quoted in a Swiss newspaper as saying 'it was like getting hell for Christmas'. I’m not sure if I ever said that, but it sure wakes you up if you ever felt like were on a Christmas holiday. It’s over two minutes of fast and bumpy ice in the dark.
I ended up in 11th place in Bormio after a mistake in the middle section. Michael Walcchofer won ahead of Silvan Zurbriggen and local favourite Christoph Innerhofer.
Walcchofer and the rest of the Austrian downhill team are looking very strong this year. Seems like they are back where they were, as the biggest and strongest downhill team in the world. Silvan Zurbriggen is current leader of the overall World Cup. He’s been impressive this year. But I and a few other guys are chasing right behind him, and there is still a long way to go 'til the finals!
That was the last race of 2010. Stay tuned to see what 2011 brings. I will do my best to keep you entertained throughout the winter. We start off with a parallel slalom in München, on January 2.
Happy New Year!
- Visit Aksel Lund Svindal’s personal site
- Aksel Lund Svindal’s retro look for winter
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