today is Sep 27, 2022

The world’s best male downhill ski racers have finally got to ski on the 2022 Winter Olympic Downhill course, 72 hours before the Men’s Downhill is due to kick off the Alpine ski racing at the Beijing Games on Sunday.

It is not the first-time racers have skied it this season but the first time ever, with planned test events in 2020 and 2021 cancelled due to the pandemic.

A reporter for USA Today compared the situation to those dreams where you arrive for an exam without having done any studying.  Only this is real and skiers are expected to hit 90 mph on the unknown course.

The course has been designed by from World and Olympic Champion Bernhard Russi who has designed most of the previous winter Olympic courses for the past three decades or so. He commented several years ago that he thought it was a superb course. The ski centre where it has been created has been built from scratch for the Olympics and will be turned in to a regular resort after the Games and the subsequent Paralympics.

American ski racer Travis Ganong told USA Today that the initial experience was “kind of stressful … trying to figure that all out,” having not even seen videos of test racers on the slope before. He said he initially took it easy on his first run.

“With the jumps, with the terrain, with the snow, it’s a really nice flow. I’m excited to ski it again when I actually know where I am,” Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde commented after he had his first run down the slope, “I’m excited to see it tomorrow. See actually where you can improve and have more fun with it, knowing where you are (rather) than just let the course ski you.”