Ukrainian Ski Championships Ruined By Mother Nature and By Man

Dear Readers:

As an avid downhill skiller myself, this piece caught my eye.  I can testify that this has been a really tough season for Alpine skiing.  What with global warming, and uncongenial annual weather patterns, and lack of snow, and all that.  Fortunately for me, where I live there are resorts that have state of the art snowmaking equipment.  This season, thanks to “First World” technology, some of these places were able to literally “pull a winter out of their ass”, as the local ski bums so colorfully say.

Because God loved Skiiers, He created snow guns.

And therefore we Alpinists were able to rack up at least a few good runs.  Not enough to achieve true Nirvana, but certainly better than nothing.  But even then, snow-making only goes so far.  Once the temps get up to a certain level, the snow guns fall quiet, and one has to face the reality that this joyous season is truly over.

But enough about me and my problems.  This piece is about people who are really struggling now.  Both nature, man, and life itself has dealt them a bum hand.  I am talking about Ukrainians, of course.

Sports Officials:  Let Them Eat Dirt

So, a Sports Scandal is brewing in the Ukraine.  Every year around this time are held the Annual Ski Championships, in the mountains of Transcarpathia.  This map shows the major ski resorts in this part of the Ukraine:

And I am betting that things are pretty good here in early March, most years.  With gorgeous panoramas like this:

But not this season.  According to the local Transcarpathian site called Prozak.Info, this year the  skiing situation looked more like this, on the Krasia Mountain, Velokoberezyanskaya Region of the Ukraine, site of the 2016 National Skiing Championship.



Okay, so maybe these resorts don’t have snow guns, maybe they never needed them before, and for sure Mother Nature did not cooperate this year.  So, the only real choice was to cancel the competition and send the young people home – right?


Quoting the Navigator piece:

“Eye witnesses and participants of the championship asserted, that all of this came about because one of the officials of the Ski Federation OWNS the Krasia Ski Resort and had an interest in money-laundering.  In addition to that, high officials in the Sports Ministries also got a chance to stay at Krasia and lived in luxury conditions, they were not in any hurry to go home.  Later, some shocking photos appeared in the Internet, confirming that the conditions for a proper ski competition simply did not exist.  As a result of skiing on grass and dirt, the athletes ended up damaging the (mountain), not to mention the fact that there were many injuries.”

And the “prozak” piece quoted one of the athletes, who posted this comment on Social Media:

“Мені от цікава позиція тренерів. Тримати язик в задниці? Навіть фотки бояться виставити! Де та професура яка шастає по Європі? Або спеціалісти по збору і розповсюдженню інформації? Чого мовчите? Що,. подобається як над вами знущаються? Та хрен з вами – над дітьми знущаються! Чи ви там так замазані що боїтеся? За що? Вид спорта “за свої”, ви тратите свої гроші і ще скидаєтесь на дядю! Всі мовчать! От так і живем…”.

[yalensis:  My Ukrainian not so good.  But I think he say:]

Our coaches had an interesting position:  Keep your tongue in your ass.  Don’t post photos.  These are the guys who cavort all over Europe.  These are the experts on the collection and dissemination of information.  Why should we be silent?  Why should we let them bully us?  Fuck you – you’re bullying children.  What are you afraid of?  [not sure what the rest is saying…  but ends with]:  So, this is how we live…”

Moral of the Story

If there is no snow, and you don’t have snow-guns, or it is too warm to use them, then please don’t risk injuring your athletes, please just cancel the games.  Otherwise, you will be asked the same question posed by the Nationals Coach to David Chappellet (portrayed by actor Robert Redford) in the classic movie Downhill Racer:

“Why are you here?”

“I ski fast. That’s why I’m here.”

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8 Responses to Ukrainian Ski Championships Ruined By Mother Nature and By Man

  1. marknesop says:

    Embarrassing. When they’re not blathering about Russian aggression even though they would have frozen to death last winter without Russian aggression, I feel sorry for the Ukrainians. Mount Washington has a 328 cm base and they’re having a good season. I’m going to recommend to them that they send all their used snow to Ukraine after they’re finished with it.


  2. Jen says:

    It’s all the EU’s fault. If they had allowed the Yukies to join the Paradise that is the visa-free Schengen zone where free-dumb, Madonna-style reinvention and EU railway gauge and road sign standards reign, the Yukies could have asked for and received snow guns in the spirit of Yurrupeen values and co-operation straight away, or at least six months after the competition had been and gone.

    And then twelve months later, they would have received the bill from Germany …


    • yalensis says:

      Yeah, those snow guns don’t come cheap. I hope EU can help the Ukraine out by donating them some good snow guns for next season.

      Here is an interesting discussion of the snow-making technology:

      Machine made snow is made up of exactly the same stuff as natural snow – frozen water. When the weather provides cold temperatures, but no moisture, our snowmaking team simply adds just the right amount of moisture to the atmosphere to produce excellent snow. It may sound easy, but making great snow requires millions of dollars in specialized equipment and an experienced team of snowmakers.

      You may have heard people say that machine made snow is more durable than natural snow. Believe it or not, it’s true! here’s why:

      The classic six sided natural snowflake is soft and fluffy when it falls from the sky. That’s why natural snow can be so fluffy at first – it is mostly air. However, over time the little branches break off and because of the greater surface area the crystal melts faster too. The properties of the snow change dramatically.

      Machine made snow looks more like little round balls. As time goes by, the machine made crystal may shrink, but the basic shape stays the same longer. Since it is a ball, it has a smaller surface area so it melts slower too. Therefore, you can groom and ski on machine made snow and it will retain it’s original properties longer.

      I have noticed that myself: Skiing on “machine-made snow” can actually be a better downhill experience, the surface seems smoother and slicker, especially when groomed. You can really get a good glide and go fast!

      “Natural” snow can sometimes be “squeaky” and more resistant when you try to glide over it, especially if your skis are in need of a good waxing. On the other hand, there is nothing so great as schussing “in the rough” on natural snow, poling through its natural contours and bumps! Woo hoo!


  3. Cortes says:

    Truly disappointed by the way you’re ignoring the story of the day…


  4. Cortes says:

    Thanks once more. Story passed to Ukrainian friend.


    • yalensis says:

      No, it’s okay, Cortes. You are right to chide me. It is my job to report on these heart-warming and/or sleazy Russian animal stories. And I have fallen down on the job.

      In my own defense: I became emotionally too close to this story. I was rooting for those two crazy kids (Amur and Timur) to work out their differences.
      Then something within me snapped on the day when Amur picked up Timur with his (=Amur’s) big giant fangs by his (=Timur’s) scruff ot the neck; shook him; and hurled him off his favorite rock. “This is just not right,” says I to meself.

      And from that day onward, I have studiously ignored the further developments, and the new reality show, with Timur as the “Bachelor” goat picking from among the various contestants. I also cast a jaundiced eye on the Safari Park management who egg these creatures on, just in order to put their zoo on the map. Just how much publicity do these people need??

      On the other hand, I do admit this latest development is fairly juicy, with one of the “brides” turning out to be preggies. She just couldn’t keep her hairy legs together until the finale? What a slut!

      It would be like Ivan the Awesome picking his new bride at the “showing”, and turned out that Marfa Sobakina already had a bun in the oven – what a scandal that would be!


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