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Markus' Travel and International Living Blog

Markus is an enthusiastic traveler, who lives in Houston, TX (USA) most of the time, but also spends some time in Saalfelden, near Salzburg (Austria). He is fascinated by travel and also by his experiences gathered by living in two different countries and continents.

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Sunday, January 22, 2006
A Day of Sports...

OK, watching sports that is. Oh, and this actually was over 2 weeks ago (but I got sick right afterwards, and was extremely busy at the same time, so I didn't get a chance to blog much...).

Anyway: It was Friday the 6th of January and we went to see two major sporting events. The first one was the ski jumping competition in Bischofshofen, Austria. This is the last competition of the world famous four-hills-tournement, the biggest event in the world of ski jumping. And this is really relatively close to Saalfelden, the town I am from in Austria. I have never had a chance before to watch an event live, although for most Austrians (including myself), it's a must-see event on TV.

For those of you who are not familiar with ski-jumping, here's the short version: The name pretty much says it all: People jump on skis. And pretty far too. In Bishofshofen they jump up to 140 meters (420 feet). It is really very impressive. The jumpers are actually in the air for several seconds. 140 meters is a very long way to jump.

The competition this year was very interesting with Jakub Janda (Czech Republic) and Janne Ahonnen (Finland) actually finishing tied after the 4 events that make up the tournament. This was a first in tournament history. Normally, Austrians are pretty good at this too, but this year, they did very badly. I think the best Austrian (Thomas Morgenstern if memory serves me correctly) was 7th or so. They didn't do so well in the first 3 events either, so there weren't quite as many people there as in other years, but it was still pretty packed.

Here are some pictures. The first one shows the bottom part of the jump, which is really all you can see as a spectator. They athletes jump off just a bit out of sight and come flying down to where the red lines are:

The following photo shows Janne Ahonnen, the superstar of ski jumping. Unfortunately, it already got dark and I really need a better zoom, so it is hard to see him. Hence the arrow ;-)

Compare this picture with the first picture to get a sense for the size of the hill.

This is def. one of those sports where you can see things better on TV than on site. But not by much, actually. It def. is not nearly as bad as watching a car race. I really enjoyed it. If you ever have the chance to see a ski jumping competition live, go for it! It is quite spectacular.

The same evening, we also went to see an ice hockey game. We like watching hockey, especially because I used to play myself, and it is like going back to see my old team. And our team kicks butt! They won that evening, although it ended up as a relatively close game. It's a lot more fun when your team wins ;-)  (As we learned the hard way at another game)

This was a fun day. Unfortunately, it also was rather cold. In fact, normally, we are cold at the ice hockey stadium, but this time, it was actually rather warm there compared to the ski jumping. Nevertheless, I ended up getting sick afterwards, and even today, more than two weeks later, I am still not over it...



Posted @ 4:58 PM by Egger, Markus (markus@code-magazine.com) -
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