Lindsey Vonn of Vail straddled a gate midway through her first run of the Olympic ladies slalom and skied off the course to end her quest for a third medal at the 2010 Winter Games on Whistler Mountain.
Vonn was about 0.33 of a second off the pace of leader Maria Riesch of Germany when the American took off in worsening conditions of snow and fog. Vonn suffered a broken right pinkie two days earlier in the giant slalom, and apparently had told coaches that if she didn't feel good during her run, she might not finish.
The top American after the first slalom run is Sara Schleper in ninth place.
Vonn still comes away from the Olympics with a gold and bronze, part of the U.S. Alpine team's record eight medals.
“I came out of the starting gate charging. But I haven't been skiing a lot of slalom and hit some mashed potato snow and it was over before I knew it,” Vonn said afterward. “Even though today and the GS wasn't a success, I'm happy with the way my Olympics has gone. I have a gold in the downhill and bronze in the super-G and I couldn't ask for any more.
“I know I could have had more medals like in the super-combined where I went out. But you have to attack and you have to take risks.”
Without sounding too whiny, or stating the obvious, I can't wait for the warmer weather. The main reason being that summer clothes are much more fun than winter garments. Short sleeves, short skirts, light fabrics; everything my heavy wool coat must protect when I can't stand another sweater and foolishly wear a T-shirt on a February day ... like today.
So if your winter scarf is choking you like mine is me, and you want to play around with some spring fashion and its accompaniments (sunshine, picnics, cool shade, green grass, lemonade ... bear with me, it's the fever) enjoy tomorrow's Spring Therapy, an afternoon of sales and snacks at some local boutiques: Eve's Revolution (1312 W. Colorado Ave.), Swish (1816 W. Colorado Ave.), Elly Blue (2607 W. Colorado Ave.), Recess (1721 W. Colorado Ave.) and Lucy and Louise Atelier (the Promenade Shops at Briargate).
Spring Therapy runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. And once that's out of your system, you can face the rest of the cold days — somber, utilitarian jackets and all — like a champ.
The Colorado Springs Business Journal reports that its new editor is Allen Greenberg.
According to the CSBJ, Greenberg is the former executive editor of the Philadelphia and Tampa Bay business journals and also served as managing editor of the business journal in San Francisco. He was the political editor at the Indianapolis Star and deputy managing editor of the Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.
Despite snow and fog up at Whistler Mountain, Canadian TV is reporting that the Olympic ladies slalom, the final Alpine skiing event for women, will go off as scheduled today.
The first run, with U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn competing despite a broken right pinkie finger in the giant slalom, will start at 11 a.m. Mountain time. After the field of 87 skiers finishes, there will be a break followed by the final run this afternoon.
The men's slalom is scheduled for Saturday, and the weather forecast is better for that.
Rachael Flatt skated off the Pacific Coliseum ice, hands to her head, exhilarated at having delivered yet another clean and strong program to end the ladies figure skating at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Or so she thought.
Then came Flatt's scores, and they were far lower than she and her coach Tom Zakrajsek were expecting. So instead of the Colorado Springs skater challenging for a medal, she wound up slipping from fifth to seventh after being inexplicably marked down for two of her seven triple jumps, all of which had appeared to be done perfectly.
So while South Korea's Kim Yu-Na, Japan's Mao Asada and Canada's Joannie Rochette took the medals, and American Mirai Nagasu moved up to fourth, Flatt was left disappointed and wondering.
"Honestly, I thought all the jumps were fine," Flatt said. "I thought I had given it all I had, and it was a great feeling at the end knowing I had done two incredibly solid performances at the Olympics. At that point I was excited.
"So, yeah, the marks were a little surprising. I've never been downgraded on those jumps before. I wish I could have had a better score."
Flatt said she felt she skated "better than at Nationals" last month in Spokane, Wash., when she won the U.S. ladies title.
Zakrajsek said he expected Flatt's score to be somewhere around 125 points or higher for the long program, not the 117.85 she received. But he said the technical panel of judges would not be providing any explanation beyond the marks. In the end, he felt Flatt had lost 10-12 points without really knowing why.
That would have moved her up to fourth, but not third. Rochette secured the bronze medal despite some errors, but the judges might have given her some credit for the mental strength to skate through the competition after her mother died here Sunday of a massive heart attack.
Fourth with higher marks would have been easier for Flatt to take, her coach admitted.
"Rachael's not mad, but she's upset obviously," Zakrajsek said. "She was shocked. One thing I can say is that her speed was a little slower, and that might have affected her rotation. But I didn't think anything was wrong. She got full credit for a triple jump in the short program that wasn't so sure, and I thought the two (in question) tonight were done much better."
Flatt says she'll go back, analyze the video and correct the issues before the world championships next month in Torino, Italy.
She also says she wants to continue skating while in college and push toward the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The latest came on Cypress Mountain, where Jeret Peterson landed his unique Hurricane jump and earned the night's highest marks, giving him a silver in the prime-time men's aerials finals. Because the medals are determined by adding the total marks on two jumps, Peterson narrowly lost to gold-medalist Alexei Grishin of Belarus, 248.41 to 247.21.
America just missed out on a second aerials medal, as Ryan St. Onge of Winter Park finished fourth.
It was the day's third silver for the U.S., along with the gold in Nordic combined, raising the total to 32 medals (8 gold, 12 silver, 12 bronze) with Germany still at 26. Norway has 19 and Russia 16.
These less tolerant souls also tend to loathe mimes, morris dancers and guys who stand around on sidewalks pretending to be statues.
Still, only the coldest of hearts could harbor no warm feelings for Blinky the Clown.
The Denver TV personality (real name: Russell Scott) stayed on the air for 40 years until his show finally came to an end in 1998. In fact, he holds the record for the longest run of any American children’s television host.
Even at the age of 87, Scott is still alive and blinking. And now he's also being enshrined by a team of Nashville sculptors led by Shannon Schrum.
The group is just finishing work on a life-size wax Blinky that will eventually be exhibited at a yet-to-be-determined Denver museum.
In the meantime, here’s Blinky hosting a birthday party and getting down with some next-level dance moves:
If you had told U.S. hockey people the Olympic women's gold-medal game would be a battle of goaltenders, they would have felt good about America's chances with Jessie Vetter in the nets.
But Canada goaltender Shannon Szabados ruled Thursday afternoon, making 28 saves as the Canadians won their third straight women's hockey gold with a 2-0 victory over the United States.
Marie-Philip Poulin scored two goals late in the first period, and Szabados thwarted the Americans on two 5-on-3 advantages, to make the difference through two periods.
The U.S. simple never was able to get rebounds for second chances at Svabados, despite numerous blistering shots from Monique Lamoureux, Angela Ruggiero and others. Vetter was just as invincible in the last two periods, but not in the first.
Poulin scored after 13:55 of play, beating Vetter from the left circle inside the right post, to put the host nation on top, delighting most of the 19,000-plus inside Canada Hockey Place. Then, less than three minutes later, Poulin struck again at the 16:50 mark during a 4-on-4 situation to make it 2-0.
The goals came after a lengthy U.S. power play, including a 5-on-3 advantage for 40 seconds, as the Americans bombarded Szabados with a handful of tough shots from close range. But she saved them all, and the roaring crowd inspired the ensuing rush that led to Poulin's goal.
The second 5-on-3 lasted 1:38, but the Canadians packed their defense in front of Szabados and the U.S. couldn't crack through it, which turned out to be the story of the night.
Since those of us programmed for remembering First Fridays often forget about Cottonwood Center for the Arts' stealthy Last Friday openings, here's a reminder about tomorrow's event from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
In the main gallery, look for an opening of the Fifth annual Congressional High School Exhibit. In the individual artists studios, look for new works like this gorgeous work that artist Deb Komitor sent us as a preview:
While intriguing to look at, the piece doesn't immediately strike you as controversial. "Journey," artist Michael Brohman's sculpted depiction of a slave ship, seems like little more than a sad reminder of a dark chapter in American history.
So it may seem odd that the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People recently became rather upset about the boat. Actually, it wasn't so much the boat that ticked the group off, as its placement: Right smack in front of the El Paso County Combined Courts.
Hmmmm... a boat of imprisoned African-Americans in front of a place that sends people to ... prison.
You know what they say — Location, location, location.
NAACP Branch President Rosemary Harris Lytle says the placement of the statue was particuarly unnerving because blacks in America are sent to prison at a disproportionate rate when compared to white Americans.
“Someone called that sculpture from bondage to bondage,” she says. “Any oppressd communities I think can relate to our feelings about the placement of the sculpture.”
Thankfully, Lytle says she didn't have much trouble having the offense, at least partially, corrected. She simply spoke to the nonprofit Community Ventures, which brings sculptures to the streets of downtown for a one-year stay (as part of the Art on the Streets program). The group's directors were perceptive to her concerns.
“We could literally see light bulbs go off in the room," she laughs. "It was one of the best diversity discussions that I’ve attended for a long time in this city.”
The folks with Ventures explained that "Journey," which had already been in place for months, was scheduled to be removed in spring. They also offered to add a second plaque to the peice that would explain the sculpture, and hopefully ease any discomfort with its location.
Interestingly, Community Ventures has also been made aware that not everyone agrees with the placement of another statue, "A Girl's Best Friend" — the honking diamond ring out in front of the City Adminstration Building.
Perhaps not everyone thinks irony is in good taste.
Up to 125 green jobs could be coming here within one year if the idea of wind-powered streetlights and rooftop generators takes off.
Today, Rocky Wind Power announced it would open a manufacturing plant here, starting with 25 employees, according to a press release. The plant, the company's second, is 14,000 square feet of leased space located at 4120 N. Nevada Ave.
Pam Stultz, Rocky Wind Power CEO, spent several months scouting sites before choosing Colorado Springs. She praised the city as having "a highly motivated workforce.”
The Colorado Springs facility will manufacture components of its vertical rooftop generators for “in-town” residences and commercial properties, as well as its wind-powered street lights, the press release said. Local offices should open in March; those interested in jobs with Rocky Wind Power should direct inquiries to the Pikes Peak Workforce Center (667-3700, ppwfc.org).
The press release also cited the "forward thinking attitude" of the city and city-owned Colorado Springs Utilities.
“While this remains a tough economy, Colorado’s New Energy Economy remains a bright light, allowing us to create jobs, reduce energy costs and spur new innovations as we build a new energy future for our children and grandchildren,” Gov. Bill Ritter said in the release. Mayor Lionel Rivera also hailed the announcement.
No word yet on whether Rocky Wind Power was given incentives to come here.
Pam Stultz’s husband Steve, who serves as chief financial officer of Rocky Wind Power, got his start in
the renewable wind energy business in 1985, when he started building wind generators in his basement.
Since then he and Pam have built a successful wind generator business now known as Prevailing Power
in their hometown of Shenandoah, Iowa. In 2009 they decided to create the new company, Rocky Wind
I've been to a lot of hockey games over the years, including the Colorado Avalanche playing for the Stanley Cup, but I can't remember a scene as electric as it is right now inside Canada Hockey Place for the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics women's hockey gold medal game between Canada and the United States.
I look around and see literally hundreds of flags for both nations, waving wildly as the teams come out onto the ice, with more than 19,000 fans screaming in anticipation. It's probably two-thirds Canadians and one-third Americans, which is what makes it so special compared to settings such as the Stanley Cup where there's always a home and visiting team.
I'll update this blog as the game goes along. Based on the pregame warmup, I'd have to say Canada looks more relaxed and comfortable, but we'll see once the puck drops...
Less than two weeks after we first enjoyed seeing city Parking Enforcement flout its own laws ... we get treated to it again, right outside our offices.
So ... is there some kind of legal loophole we're not aware of? One officer who's, ahem, gone rogue? Or is this just meant to be some government-led, lighthearted celebration of irony? We called city police (who oversee Parking Enforcement) to find out hours ago, but haven't yet gotten a response.
This time, nobody could catch the Americans in Nordic combined at the 2010 Winter Olympics. After settling for second place in the previous two Nordic combined events, U.S. teammates Bill Demong and Johnny Spillane of Steamboat Springs jumped and skied their way to the long-hill individual gold and silver medals Thursday afternoon at Whistler.
The medals bring the U.S. total up to 30, with another guaranteed in the women's hockey gold-medal game later this afternoon. Germany now has 26, and both nations have eight gold medals.
Spillane and Demong, both 29, finished second and sixth, respectively, in the morning ski-jump portion of the event on the long hill. That put them starting 34 and 46 seconds behind the Austrian leader, Bernhard Gruber, in the 10-kilometer cross-country ski finale, with the leaders finishing together.
Demong raced up from his 46-second deficit to win the gold by four seconds ahead of Spillane, with Gruber another 6.8 seconds back. Another Steamboat athlete, Todd Lodwick, wound up 13th.
Spillane now has three silver medals at these Olympics. He was caught near the end of both earlier Nordic combined events, the individual normal-hill competition and the team event.
(FYI: The last two performances, which are screened Saturday mornings at local Hollywood and Cinemark theaters, are Thomas’ Hamlet on March 27 and Rossini’s Armida on May 1. Plan to go early, as they usually sell out early.)
This week, the Met unveiled the lineup for its 2010-2011 Live in HD Season. And thanks to the miracle of cut and paste, we present it to you now:
Wagner’s Das Rheingold
James Levine; Wendy Bryn Harmer, Stephanie Blythe, Patricia Bardon, Richard Croft, Gerhard Siegel, Bryn Terfel, Eric Owens, Franz-Josef Selig, Hans-Peter Kšnig
Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov
Valery Gergiev; Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Oleg Balashov, Evgeny Nikitin, René Pape, Mikhail Petrenko, Vladimir Ognovenko
Donizetti’s Don Pasquale
James Levine; Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwiecien, John Del Carlo
Verdi’s Don Carlo
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Marina Poplavskaya, Anna Smirnova, Roberto Alagna, Simon Keenlyside, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Eric Halfvarson
Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West
Nicola Luisotti; Deborah Voigt, Marcello Giordani, Juha Uusitalo
Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride
Patrick Summers; Susan Graham, Plácido Domingo, Paul Groves, Gordon Hawkins
Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor
Patrick Summers; Natalie Dessay, Joseph Calleja, Ludovic Tézier, Kwangchul Youn
Rossini’s Le Comte Ory
Maurizio Benini; Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Susanne Resmark, Juan Diego Flórez, Stéphane Degout, Michele Pertusi
Andrew Davis; Renée Fleming, Sarah Connolly, Joseph Kaiser, Russell Braun, Morten Frank Larsen, Peter Rose
Verdi’s Il Trovatore
James Levine; Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick, Marcelo Álvarez, Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Wagner’s Die Walküre
James Levine; Deborah Voigt, Eva Maria Westbroek, Stephanie Blythe, Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, Hans-Peter König