Strategy schemes start long before actual race

Updated: February 11, 2006, 6:15 PM ET
By Carrie Sheinberg | Special to ESPN.com

SESTRIERE, Italy -- Friday night's Opening Ceremony officially opened the Olympics, but there have been games going on at the men's downhill course for days already. Head games. And Saturday's training run, as it is traditionally, was the height of psychological warfare.

Depending on the snow conditions and weather, a skier's start number, especially in downhill where a passing cloud or a gust of wind can mean the difference between first and also-ran, is all important.

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