Friday, 29 March 2019


A survey was taken a few years ago that asked 300 professionals one question: 

"What's the worst thing that can happen in sports?" 

Some people answered losing a Game 7. 

‘ He scores! Bruins win in seven games! ’

And other people said getting swept in four.

Some people said it was missing the World Cup. 

‘Guatemala is eliminated!’ 

And some Brazilians said it was losing to Argentina. 

Not just in the World Cup-- anytime, ever, in any contest. 

But one person answered that the worst thing that can happen in sports was fourth place at the Olympics. 

This is a True Story, 

but except for my own, I've changed all the names and I've done my best to obscure identities for reasons that'll become clear. 

I'm Molly Bloom and right now, I'm ranked third in North America in Women's Moguls. 

I grew up in Loveland, Colorado about two hours north of Denver. 

I have a BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 3.9 GPA. 

The median L-SAT score at Harvard Law School is 169. 

My score: 173. 

Number 87 up. 

56 on deck. 

I've spent 16 years chasing winter and being coached by the best in The World. 

Sundays were for working out with my father. 

‘Something's really wrong.’ 

When I was 12 years old, for no particular reason, my back exploded. 

‘Tough it out.’

Good advice. 

‘And lose the attitude.’

 Less than ten minutes later, I was in the back of an ambulance. 

I had what's called rapid onset scoliosis. 

My spine was curved at 63 degrees and I'd need a 7-hour surgical procedure that involved straightening my spine, extracting bone from my hip, fusing 11 vertebrae together and fastening steel rods to the fused segments. 

She's gonna be fine. 

I wouldn't let her ski anymore. 

“Definitely not moguls. 

And obviously, skiing competitively is out of The Question.” 

Oh, I know. 

I was on skis again in a year, running moguls in 18 months and by my 20th birthday, I'd made the U.S. Ski Team. 

It's the last round of qualifying for the Salt Lake City Olympics. 

This is the Champion Run at Deer Valley. 

The altitude's 8,100 feet and the pitch is 52 degrees which is the same as the sides of the Great Pyramid. 

The wind's 20-25 miles an hour blowing left to right. 

It's three-below zero at the top of the slope and with 17 skiers in front of me, it's gonna be like trying to stick a landing on a frozen infinity pool.

Kiki blew out of her line. Shannon was off-balance on her second landing. 

He's talking about Kiki Bandy and Shannon Keebler, my two toughest competitors who had significant point deductions on their final runs. 

I can make the Olympic team right now. 

Go get it. 

And if I had three perfect runs in Salt Lake... 

The best runs of my life... 

I can beat the Austrians and the Swiss and have a realistic shot at the podium. 

Then law school and then a start-up. 

A foundation that seeds entrepreneurial women. 

My father's at the bottom of the slope telepathically telling me to check my line. 

“Check your line.”

I check my line.”

“Competitor ready.” 

Good snow contact, calm upper-body, legs together, good shape, no line deviation, set up for the D-Spin, and... stick the landing. 

Now two things you need to know before the second trick which'll be a 720. 

The first is that when visibility is bad the way it is now, race officials toss pine boughs on the course so the skiers have some foreground depth reference. 

The second is that the tightness of your bindings is determined by what's called a DIN setting. 

If you're a beginner, your DIN setting is probably a two or three. 

If you're an experienced weekend skier, it's probably seven or eight.

 Mine's 15. My boots are basically welded to my skis. how does this happen? 

It happened because I hit a pine bough that had become frozen in the snow. 

And I hit it so precisely that it simply snapped the release of my bindings. 

Right in that moment, I didn't have time to calculate the odds of that happening because I was about to land pretty hard on my digitally remastered spinal cord which is being held together by spare parts from an Erector Set. 

“Back up! Back up! Move!

Watch out! 

Give her room! 

That way, move! 

None of this has anything to do with poker. 

I'm only mentioning it because I wanted to say to whoever answered that the worst thing that could happen in sports was fourth place at the Olympics... 

Seriously, Fuck You.

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