Sochi is a little over a week away and it is already damn evident that 'athletes' are taking a variety of routes on their "Road to Russia". Watching Shaun White's documentary "Russia Calling" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT6JKjuA-gM), it prompted me to explore the vastly different way's of preparing for the Olympics, and how this affects our psyche as fans.
Now I am aware the very mention of on Newschoolers can subject the author to an unprecedented barrage of hate, but bear with me. In his "Road to Russia", Shaun traverses the globe from California to Australia in the search of an elusive triple cork in the stunt ditch. The logistical support Shaun receives is not to be understated; a private pipe in Northstar for Shaun for 7 weeks, Brainfarm carting Cineflex and Phantom camera's up the mountain to allow White to instantly review his trick, not to mention GoPro building him a private park setup halfway across to globe all in the hope of allowing him to land his triple cork.
I realise this it the Olympics, the pinnacle of winter sports. But does this 'no-holds-barred' not undermine the spirit of the sport in the first place?
You only have to look at Henrik Harlaut to realise how a true passion for the freeskiing can reap the same rewards, without the exorbitant bill at the end. While Shaun was shredding his perfectly manicured pipe in California, Harlaut was living out of a van travelling to 'core' resorts all over North America without a jump exceeding 60ft. Incredibly, just weeks later Henrik waltzed into X-Games and stomped a nose butter triple cork 1620; without having to be pampered with the luxurious facilities of Mr White.
Some come showtime in Sochi I hope we will be rooting for the skiing personalities who represent freeskiing for what it represents to the vast majority of us; an outlet to shred with your pals and have fun; not the dude born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
/// Keen to hear your opinion in the comments section below!