Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

The Agony of Victory

February 11th, 2010 · 8 Comments


Despite our longtime enthusiasm for ski jumping, we just can’t seem to drum up much interest in this edition of the Winter Olympics. Perhaps that’s because we currently find ourselves smitten with an entirely different set of cold-weather games—those which comprise the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, held annually in Fairbanks, Alaska. Most are simple tests of sheer strength and agility, and rely on equipment no fancier than a greased pole or loop of string.

Our favorite, though, requires only a couple of pals and the heart of a lion: Drop the Bomb, an event described in great detail in a 1989 Anchorage Daily News dispatch:

The athletes, holding their bodies in the cross position and parallel to the floor, are carried by the wrists and ankles until they no longer are able to remain rigid and touch the floor, hence drop the bomb…

Going last was defending champion Homer Lord of Fairbanks, who currently lives in Colorado. But he never could get in the iron-cross position the way he wanted to and finished a disappointing fourth.

“I didn’t get set properly,” he said. “Technique is a big part of this thing. You’ve got to lock yourself up because once you slip, you can’t go back. I didn’t get locked in.”

The world record of 266 feet has apparently stood for 23 years now. Which we guess makes record-holder Jeff Maupin the Yuriy Sedykh of Drop the Bomb.

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Captured Shadow

    The Olympic coverage sort of turns me off. I remember getting ready to watch the Nagano ski jumping and having to sit through 2 hours of interviews, background on Japan, and talking heads in order to see three actual jumps. I hope the coverage shows the actual competition this year.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Captured Shadow: For me, covering the Olympics in Nagano is what dampened my enthusiasm. While I was floored by the dedication and athleticism of the competitors, I was turned off by the atmosphere–all business, no joy. And don’t get me started on how hard it was to interview the athletes one-on-one–to request such a thing was tantamount to asking for a personal audience with the Pope.

    That said, I’ll try and watch the hockey, ski jumping, and downhill. I can do without anything and everything in the figure skating world.

  • spago

    Not related to above article…no more 4th amendment now?

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10451518-38.html

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @spago: Interesting and disturbing piece. There’s a real lack of awareness out there regarding exactly how much location information our cellphone are capable of transmitting. I actually wrote a lengthy piece about this back in ’03; guess it’s proven just as prescient as I’d feared:

    http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/July-August-2003/feature_koerner_julaug03.msp

  • jackal

    I shall be in Vancouver for a few days during the olympics (having friends’ places to crash really helps) — I imagine it’s different for journalists, but through some not-too distant connections I’ll hopefully be hanging out with speedskaters :) If you’ve never seen Dutch speedskating fans get into it, you’re missing out!

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    Yes, Dutch speedskating fans are a super-enthusiastic lot. I recall being nearly deafened by their cowbells in Nagano.

    If you have the time, definitely try and make it out to the ski jumping.TV doesn’t do justice to how incredibly enormous those ramps are, or how far the jumpers fly. An awe-inspiring sport if there ever was one.

  • The Maya Moore of Fish Cutting | Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

    […] Previously from Microkhan’s WEIO coverage: the agonizing secrets of Drop the Bomb. […]

  • Coltin

    In the complicated world we live in, it’s good to find simple sluotonis.

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