Today, I slept in (went to what might be the one and only Olympic party in the mountains last night) and then headed to the mountain media center for a press conference with the snowboardross athletes. I swear I don’t attend this many press conferences in a typical year, and I’m generally not a fan. I don’t like interviewing people en masse, I don’t like asking questions in a group format and I don’t have patience for most of the questions that are asked.
That said, I’ve always found them an interesting window into the sport in which I cover, the athletes who participate in them and the way in which they are viewed by the media. I spend a lot more time watching press conferences than actively participating in them, because I’m interested to see which athletes shine, which shy away from questions, which men and women take advantage of the media opportunities in front of them and which athletes simply take advantage of the media.
Boardercross (the more common term most of us use to refer to snowboard racing) was interesting. Lindsey Jacobellis, at first, looked visibly untrusting of a room of media that has skewered her for the past eight years but, of course, will make her their darling were she to win this weekend. Nate Holland was his typical stern, straightforward, chip-heavy self. And rookie Taylor Jacob was likely participating in his first press conference ever. He told the international media he had sustained 25 concussions in his 20 years and doesn’t remember much. He then tried to explain to them what the Nitro Circus is, and why they should care.
It was an entertaining hour. Afterward, I wrote a piece about the Olympics (finally!) changing from four-man to six-man racing like the Boarder X races you see at X Games. That story is HERE.
Then I went back up to the halfpipe to watch snowboard practice, which was moved from this morning while they worked on the pipe. Hopefully they will get it into contest shape, or something passable, for men’s finals tomorrow night.