This was the case with a 32-year-old Slovakian named Mitja Valencic – he set a breakneck pace, and was beautiful, but you could tell, watching him, in his ski suit, and really, these things are too damn tight, he knew it would not hold up.

There were many crack-ups, especially in the first heat: Bode Miller, who stumbled then ditched, like a pilot with a punk engine (”Shut up and die like an aviator!”); Ted Ligety, the other American, who caught a gate, came to a stop, then floated sadly down to his parents, who looked even more bummed than the kid; and, most spectacularly, Austrian Manfred Pranger, who seemed goofy in his head shot, like he had just been arrested, but was not unhappy with that fact, cause think of the story–he caught air coming around a gate, was launched; you could see his face, and it had that terrible expression of “Oh no, it’s over!” He landed on his spine, slid, then lay still, as if thinking, “Back to the applications.” – Rich Cohen, “And they all fell down,”