“in the weak afternoon light my eyes are drawn to the dully gleaming ice”
Winter Olympics. At the time there were arched Gallic eyebrows and mutterings about lack of slope, but one thing there wasn’t ever any argument about was the Arctic cold. This is a town where salting the roads in winter is a waste of time— there are cheaper ways to make frozen brine; Each December pedestrians dig out their trekking poles and crampons to negotiate the streets, and shoppers tote sledges rather than shopping trolleys. Even the grannies are issued with all- terrain Zimmer-frames.
But cold as it is, the Olympic bobsleigh facilities aren’t to be found in Lillehammer itself. They’re around 15 km away, on the shadowed slopes of the sombre glacial trench that runs through the bleak moors to the north of town. And even here, where the course laces its way through sparse birch forest, much of the track is also shielded from any residual sun by heavy-duty canvas awnings.
Meeting the beast
Turns 3 & 4, Lillehammer Olympic bob track
JUNE 08 EDITION
Lillehammer Olympic Bob Track
Length: 1370 m Drop: 114 m