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Sunday, November 29, 2009
Updated: January 21, 1:39 PM ET
On the Rink

Per local custom, Aspen Mountain (and Snowmass) opened for the season on Thanksgiving Day and this brought out all the crusties, gapers and youngstahs in one singular, smiling gondola-riding force to edge in before Turkey time. Plus, there was top-to-bottom skiing to be had.

From the east side of the mountain you could almost make out the horrible sounds of edges fighting across blue ice—the top World Cup women racers training over on the west side. Apart from horrible, this noise is usually actually a harbinger of good: Snow. Usually it dumps all over Thanksgiving weekend World Cups. Instead, two races (Saturday GS, Sunday S) and nary a flake. Harder than a Stratton tabletop? Bah. This is how Lindsey Vonn put it to reporters today: "It's essentially like pond ice. It's like ice skating." (Note to snow gods: Please do note that Ms. Vonn is from Vail. (Antijinx).)
No Apolo Anton Ohno-style points were awarded to Italy's Federica Brignone for this nifty hand dab, but she did have the fastest second run (and first career podium) in Aspen's World Cup GS.