Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bibs and Boards (Kuusamo Edition)

Having received widespread acclaim* for the first "Bibs and Boards" post, after Gällivare, I thought I'd do another for the races at Kuusamo.

In Friday's sprint races, everyone wore the bibs seen here on the blogger-like upper body of John Kristian Dahl:
It's actually kinda difficult to figure out just what Weber is, though the company's web page is a model of corporate-speak. Eventually one learns that Weber is "a leading manufacturer of easy to apply products in the facades, construction mortars, flooring systems and tile fixing markets." Nothing says aerobic sport like concrete! More importantly, I guess, the company supports the Norwegian women's XC ski team under its Leca brand name. This might be why I think of lightweight expanded clay aggregates whenever I think about Steira and Johaug.

With the bibs worn by the masked racers during Saturday's 5/10k classic races, we get right into doping. Or at least dope, for ratiopharm describes itself as "Europe's leading generics brand." The company makes 950 different drugs, with "the largest share (around 25 per cent)... aimed at treating blood circulation problems" and other products designed to treat asthma. Put differently, Russia loves ratiopharm and Kowalczyk hates 'em.

In the final race on Sunday, the men's freestyle pursuit, racers like winner Alexander "V2 to Death" Legkov sported these bibs, which are the best of the year. The Eurosport commentators could hardly wait to pun about Legkov's "gutsy" attack late in the men's 15k, an attack which might well have been powered by Gutzy's energy drinks and bars. It's Finnish Gatorade, basically.

Finally, I have to say that I welcome the trackside sound of vuvuzelas. They're not quite cowbells, but they're pretty good - and much more distinct on the broadcasts. I'm sure the Norwegians are opposed to this innovation, even as they secretly prepare a horde of the world's best vuvuzela-blowers to swarm into Holmenkollen for Worlds.

* This acclaim was "widespread" in intensity and credibility, consisting as it did of one tweet from the world's best nordic-skiing journalist.


statisticalskier said...

If FIS is so worried about making the sport accessible, particularly on tv, you'd think it might be worthwhile to invest in race bibs that prominently display the name/nation of each athlete.

Makes life much easier on the broadcasters and new/infrequent viewers. Would certainly be a design challenge at times (Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle?) but I think it would be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

i think they would rather have the sponsorship money. But yeah it would be cool.