Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Solden Visit

Quite by chance i find myself taken to Solden today . Over the years this has been a favourite Ski destination for me . Those that follow World Tour Ski Racing will have seen " Solden " on Bode Miller's helmet and that is because the US Ski Team is based in this area whilst in Europe . Currently all the " Stars " are in competition elsewhere but some are due back tomorrow for training .

Those that have read my blogs last year will have seen reference to my meeting Bode on numerous occasions . The first time was at Hintertux Glacier in 1998 when i remarked to Darren Ralves and Bode that they were dtrange names ! Bode replied at the time that " i had better get used to seeing their names in the Media "! So recently Bode scored a second place but last week he was 45th out of the starthouse in choppy conditions and finished off the Podium . Recently i have not seen Darren's name since he races in another discipline !

Back in 1998 i was a guest of Soeldon through the good offices of Peter Voerst the then Marketing Manager of the Bergbahn in Solden . Peter is now retired living in Innsbruck . That period in October was the lead up to the Annual World Tour Giant Slalom Races . One of the days i even trained with the Austria Ski Team using their training track . One run i did was at the same time as Hermann but he disappeared and i dropped into a hole , tubled and bent both of my Race Skis . Going back up on the T bar i met Benny for the first time ! Not knowing his face i introduced myself and he said his colleagues had already remarked that they had met me many times on the Kitzsteinhorn when i was Ski teaching and race training there .

During my visit in 1998 as a way of repaying the Hospitality , i did a 24hr ride on the rollers in the foyer of the then Tourist Office whilst it was located on the main street until 7am and then transferred onto the mountain restaurant where i continued in their foyer to add to the total. During the Friday afternoon Michael Hipp and Gerd Schoenfelder of the German Behinderten Team also rode their bikes and Andy Schistl of the Austria Team joined in his wheelchair . This effort raised a considerable amount of " Schillings (austrian currency then , for " Behinderten Sport " ).

Many new buildings have sprung up in recent years so there are new facades on the main street . During the years after 1998 when visiting i would stay with haus Raphaela and so i took time to visit and Daniela and the Daughter , Raphaela and her Daughter Sarah invited me to join them for lunch .

After lunch i headed up the hill and bumped Matt , the Cook for the US team House and laughably forgot to give him my telephone no. since i forget the no. of the phone with me and ringing his no. did not go through as it is a US number .

Sitting here in the old house , " the Hunter's Inn " , that was the " Internet Cafe " then , thanks to the boss here , Chris , who has been around for ever and a day . Some things never change !

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