Donald and Ivana Trump
Donald and Ivana Trump

The US presidential nomination process is a source of anxiety and entertainment for people outside the United States. This year is no exception, particularly with the rise of Donald Trump. While Trump has built an amazingly robust brand that represents, to his fans and supporters, success, straight talk and no-nonsense bias for action, he is also seen by others as arrogant, uninformed and dishonest.

Ah, but this blog is about the Olympics. So what’s the angle?

In April, 1977, Trump married a Czech model named Ivana Zelníčková in New York City. They met in Montreal at the 1976 Olympic Games, where Ivana was a successful model. Trump was immediately enamored of Ivana, and as was his wont, would boast. “By the age of six, (Ivana) was winning medals, and in 1972 she was an alternate on the Czechoslovakian ski team at the Sapporo Winter Olympics,” wrote Trump in his book Trump: The Art of the Deal. Apparently, he talked about his super model, super athlete wife in this manner countless times.

Ivana Trump_ Spy Magazine

But as written in this profile piece on Ivana in the May, 1989 edition of Spy Magazine, Ivana’s story was a tad embellished by The Don, as she admitted to calling him in the article.

Just to be clear, it doesn’t appear that Ivana was saying that she was an alternate on the Czech Olympic squad. Trump was the one waxing poetic about his beautiful bride.

Is Trump exuding success or dishonesty? I’ll leave that to you.

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Kjetil Jansrud
Winner Kjetil Jansrud of Norway waves as he is introduced at an award ceremony following a men’s World Cup downhill race, also a test event for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre in Jeongseon, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

As Murphy’s Law continues its relentless attack on the Rio Summer Games half a year away, preparations for the PyeongChang Winter Games in 2018 are on time, and officials are optimistic. Last week, Korea held its first international downhill ski competition at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre, built for the upcoming winter games. Designed by two-time Olympian skiier, Bernhard Russi, the newly built course is getting rave reviews.

Kjetil Jansrud, a young Norwegian skiing sensation, won this International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup Event, and said of the course: “I guess you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And PyeongChang just aced it. This will be a fantastic venue.”

We’re still two years away, but here’s what it’s like to ski like a pro. To hear what it’s like to have the wind race by and the skis slice through the icy snow, here is a wonderful video from the production team of The New York Times.

The Sounds of Skiing_NYT