Australia has won a gold medal in Turin,
with headline writers everywhere looking forward to following Crikey’s lead in
making gratuitous “mogul mogul” jokes.

The 21-year-old multi-millionaire, Dale
Begg-Smith, who runs an internet business that everybody wants to know about
but he prefers not to discuss (there’s evidence that it’s involved in the nasty side of internet advertising), picked up the freestyle mogul gold overnight. It
didn’t surprise anybody given he had won three of the past four World Cup
events and qualified in first place for the final – meaning he got to race last
and therefore knew exactly what he had to do to win.

It is Australia’s
third ever gold in the Winter Games, joining Alisa Camplin’s aerial win and
Steven Bradbury’s legendary last tenpin-standing speed-skating gold. Of course, once we all stop celebrating his
gold medal, we can anticipate the “skeleton”, which is on today and tomorrow in
Turin.

After Crikey confessed to having no idea
what “the skeleton” was, Michael Zerman wrote in to explain elegantly that: “skeleton
is to ice what bodysurfing is to water”. Or as he wrote on a Yahoo bodysurfing site:

(This is the chance to see) the closest
approximation to our sport of bodysurfing, the Skeleton – a one-person,
forward-facing, downhill race conducted on the bobsled and luge track.

The small metal sled is 80-120 cm long,
has two rails below a belly plate for the competitors to lie on at 7cm above
ground level, no steering mechanism and all trimming is done via subtle body
movements.

Just like us on a wave – making the event
the closest in either winter or summer Olympics to both bodysurfing and
bodyboarding.

The fact that bodysurfers everywhere are
tuning in to the snowy peaks of Italy
shouldn’t surprise. In fact, it seems that many Winter Olympic sports have ties
to warmer climate pursuits. Alisa Camplin is a former gymnast, and American
5000m speed skater gold medallist Chad Hedrick is a former inline skater. The
list goes on.

Peter Fray

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