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February 07, 2010

Truth in Motion

Sat down and watched Truth in Motion last night. Had it Tivo'd and got to watch it on the LCD in HD off of the local NBC station.

It really puts a face on the people that compete in the Olympics. So much of what we see is Shawn White this and Bode Miller that, but these are not the Shawn Whites with multimillion dollar endorsements. These are some of the most dedicated people you can find barely earning a living off sponsor money and ski team money to compete at the highest level.

What they do is not fun. It is not enjoyable. It is brutal. Most of the athletes describe some multiyear rehab from an injury that happened doing 60 miles per hour on icy snow. Bouncing from town to town and continent to continent to prepare.

And it is four years of preparation. Come the 1st of March, after the flame goes out in Vancouver, these athletes start gearing up for another four years of World Cups and qualifying and training to get ready for another go at the Olympics.

And if not, they prepare for the fact that their careers are over.

From the US Ski Team's site:

"Truth in Motion" stars 2010 U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team athletes Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), Jake Zamansky (Aspen, CO) and Tommy Ford (Bend, OR). There are also cameo appearances by Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) and Scott Macartney (Crystal Mountain, WA) along with numerous coaches and ski technicians who support this Team.

"You see exactly what we're going through every day," said Ligety, the 2006 Olympic combined gold medalist. "I don't think anybody has ever gotten a truly in-depth look at ski racing. It's cool in that respect. This portrays what we do.

Directed by Academy Award nominee Brett Morgen, the film takes you inside the locker room in every aspect of the being an elite ski racer, only their locker room is Portillo, Chile; Saas Fee, Switzerland; Soelden, Austria, on airplanes, long car rides and hotel rooms across the globe.

"This film spends more time on the characters and people, the personalities and the perseverance," said Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer for Audi of America, which has supported the U.S. Ski Team since 2007.

There is a noted lack of glamour as the film takes you through pre dawn wakeup calls to check lactate levels and stretch before riding a frozen chairlift to work. The athletes are candid, raw and provide an insight to their sport that cannot be seen in a two-minute race.

"There were numerous moments where people said things to us that shocked and surprised us at how open they were," said Morgen, who followed the Team from Chile to Park City and then to Switzerland and Austria. "It was very important for us to let the skiing tell the story."

Schleper provides a unique aspect to the film as she delves into the difficulties of juggling motherhood with working to achieve her Olympic dream. Following two missed seasons after the 2006 Olympics – one to a torn ACL and the other for the birth of her son Lasse, who turns two Saturday – Schleper battled back into the World Cup elite and successfully made her fourth Olympic Team.

I strongly recommend that you watch it when it repeats on NBC this week.

My comments to Jake after we finished watching it:

Jake, I have watched you ski since you were 5 and seen how much better you get every time we go out. If you really put your mind to it, dedicate yourself, and train hard for the next few years, one day, you might be good enough to make the US Ski Team and get a job waxing and tuning their skis.

I am a supportive dad. It is what I do.

Posted by Justin at February 7, 2010 02:22 PM