I was looking forward to the 11 a.m. Universal Sports broadcast of the women’s World Championship super G on TV. I had success- fully dodged any mention of results on my computer, cleared the deck of any pressing obligations, and had my coffee in hand as I settled down for an hour of excitement. I couldn’t possibly have anticipated that the race would devolve into a house of horrors that would leave me brimming with questions.

Within minutes of the start of the event, I was staring at the screen in disbelief. It was 2:30 in the afternoon in Schladming, Austria, and they hadn’t started the race? Simple math indicated there wasn’t a prayer that all 59 racers could complete the race without headlamps. I could see fog rolling in and off the mountain. The lens of the TV camera was splattered with raindrops.

To make matters worse, I soon learned that the race had been postponed 13 times since the original projected start time; the women had inspected the tactically challenging course six hours earlier; and they were being held hostage-like in the start hut with little or no food.

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