One of the most exciting and anticipated cross country races in the Games just ended. The 30 km Men’s Pursuit race which involves 15 km in the classical technique followed by 15 km in the skating technique to see who is the most complete cross country skier racer. This is a mass start race with a running clock during the transition. With similar weather conditions to yesterday, the Swede Johan Olsson came out of the transition to skating with about a 10 second lead. He then kept the gas down in the hopes of staying away. He did stay away, but only up to 500 meters from the finish line. Only the winner Marcus Hellner and Tobias Angerer could still catch him. Some of the favorites could not go with the fast pace and fell off the lead. Similarly, the Norwegian Northug one of the strong favorites had bad luck and broke his pole 1 km from the finish. Unfortunately he could not close the gap and lost a lot of time.
The technical team had to work hard again as both the classic and skating skis needed to be optimally prepared. The problem is that one must always look hours ahead, because before the pursuit race begins, the skating skis needed to be prepared. This requires a lot of experience and cleverness. Due to the strong sunlight, the track changed a lot. What worked perfectly a half hour before, two hours later would not be very good, especially in classic. In our testing this morning, for example, very different products worked early on compared to during the race. Therefore, we as waxers always needed to be “ahead of time.”
The Alpine Super-G race of the ladies was again marked by numerous falls on the very hard and compact snow. Luckily there were no major injuries. The technically challenging track did not allow for mistakes. Favorites like Maria Riesch, Anja Paerson, or Julia Mancuso were far back because of mistakes in the middle section of the course. We were able to recommend the same products as what was used for the Men’s Super-G yesterday as the conditions were the same.
The days at the Olympics are very long, but they disappear in a flash. It is a privilege to be allowed to work here. We are very close to the action because of this and experience things that are truly rare. For example, we witnessed the victory of Simon Amman in ski jumping and immediately after, we went the 200 meters for the start of the Nordic Men’s 30km Pursuit race.
Until tomorrow then, in brilliant sunshine again ….