I saw no agony of defeat-caliber wipe-outs, nor anyone so much as fall, but I did see a sign in the gallery that inquired WHERE'S EDDIE? I then heard that ski jumping novelty item Eddie (the Eagle) Edwards has filed for bankruptcy in his native England, having squandered the estimated $630,000 windfall reaped from his '88 Olympic appearance. Say ya ain't broke, bloke.
I felt old enough (speaking of England) to be the Queen Mother's father: H�llwarth is 17 and Nieminen is only 16. How would Austrian army corporal Vettori feel when flanked by these whiskerless teens on the medals stand? "Old," he assured us.
The Alps were in the background, the sky was clear, and the sun was setting behind the ski jump at the close of the competition, casting a kind of orange glow across the four-tiered gingerbread village of Courchevel. I remember how the glow looked like the Austrian jumpers' traffic-cone-colored uniforms, and I remember thinking. That's exactly the way it should be.