Four Days And Counting—Olympic Pipe Practice Continues

The show is almost upon us. Security is tightening, and there are more people at the venue everyday. The U.S. Team is in good shape, riding together most of the time and working out some details. Torah Bright also spent a good part of the afternoon dialing in some tricks on the lower part of the pipe.

1260s are the talk of rider meetings and drunken dinners. A couple of riders have pulled some around, but not with any sort of style or height. When Sunday’s contest comes, it will be clean, back-to-back 1080s and other technical combos that set a rider apart from the field. Then again, there are a number of riders who can put tens together, so it won’t be that alone that wins it.

It’s only the middle of the week, but Kelly Clark is clearly in a set above the other women. If today were the women’s event (which takes place on Monday), Kelly would be the only two-time Olympic snowboarding gold medalist.

On another note, Andy Finch got his violin back. It was accidentally left on a bus that went back to Torino. Word is that the case caused a bomb scare that closed off a city block. We’re still hoping to hear Finch and Shaun White (who brought a guitar) jam together.

Tom Green (the Canadian guy) showed up at the end of the day. He borrowed Danny Kass’ board for a quick tumble down the pipe and then hit the town with his production crew of seven.

We’ve officially discovered the best pizza, too. So that’s really helping us to get shots. Oh, and I pick up my laundry tomorrow. Everyone is stoked.

While I’ve got the world’s ear, I should make sure you know about our Snowboardcross team. Because there aren’t really any World Cup Snowboardcross (you know it as “boardercross, but “boardercross is a trademarked name that can’t be used by the FIS) events in the U.S., it’s easy for these riders to get overshadowed by the pipe team. But, the U.S. happens to have five gnarly riders in the SBX. Seth Wescott, who can win anything, and did win the World Championships last season, heads the men’s team up. Lindsey Jacobellis is the one female rider we’ve got in Snowboardcross—she’s also one of the top contenders for the gold medal. Canada’s Maelle Ricker is another girl to watch. Maelle has a long list of titles including a win at last week’s X—Games in Aspen, Colorado. More on the SBX riders a couple days from now.

Check the attached photo link for the Olympic Village tour that we promised yesterday. Kelly took me around for a while this afternoon. It’s super hard for anyone but an athlete or coach to get in, but I wanted to give you a glimpse of life inside the Village—it’s a pretty cool setup.