From the Yaroslav Military Air Base we loaded into buses for the ride into Rybinsk. Compared to last year’s eight-hour marathon from Moscow to race venue, this 2.5 hour ride was a welcome respite. A lead police car escorted us through Russia’s rutted country roadways. At every city intersection military roadblocks kept us out of traffic delays. Some serious planning went into getting all the athletes from Central Europe to Rybinsk. Nice.
With nightfall came the workday rush. Electric trolleys jam packed to standing room only crowds shuttled people to the city’s residential outskirts in an otherwise quiet city center.
I saw few cars in Russia. The ones I did only rarely were American, German or Japanese.
Media row, Russian style. Skiing lives off television exposure. Forty thousand paying spectators lined the course and filled the stands for the weekend races. While that might sound all right, EuroSport broadcasts English-commentated World Cup ski races to fifty-four countries. Media exposure drives our sport, just as it does the English Premier League or the N.F.L.
Torin Koos is a member of the National A Team for the United States. A World Cup, World Championship and Olympic competitor, Koos brings this experience to the FasterSkier sportscasting arena for the 2007/2008 season.
Equipment: Rossignol Skis, Boots and Bindings, Toko gloves and wax, Marwe, Exel poles, Rudy Project Eyewear, Powerbar
Home Ski Club: Leavenworth Winter Sports Club (www.skileavenworth.com)
Headgear Sponsor: USA Pears (www.usapears.com)
Best Western Icicle Inn (www.icicleinn.com)
BioSports NorthWest Physical Therapy (www.biosports.net)