Now that the sun has finally arrived after months of rain and even some snow on the peaks of La Clusaz last week, Annecy is getting excited about the Winter Olympics. Annecy is one of the three final candidates for the 2018 Winter Olympics, so to celebrate officially, Annecy laid out some winter sports for people to try — sans snow.
Pictured is the massive ramp for skiers to slide down and try flips, twists and backward landings. No worries if you can’t ski: there were some giant inflatable rings for zooming down the ramp on instead. Kids and adults were all keen to try the ramp, with ski boots and skis available for use. There was one guy who, according to his mates, was going to try a double back-flip, except he leant back too far at the moment of take-off and bumped the back of his helmet-clad head onto the ramp before falling in a heap on the inflatable cushion. I think the impact knocked his helmet off completely, as it was nowhere to be seen. Paramedics put him in a neck brace and carted him off. Regardless, the queue of people to try the ramp grew while they waited for the paramedics to clear the area. I think it would have put me off, but I’m not very Savoyarde I guess.
Other highlights of the day included various French celebrities dotted around being interviewed by news reporters, a hot air balloon with the Annecy 2018 logo on it wafting past, a stage with lots of entertainment, a whole swag of local food to try, and of course, some other winter sports.
Apart from the ski ramp, there was a cross-country ski track — made of plastic so that the hot summer day didn’t melt any snow. I can think of nothing more boring than forcing my feet into ski boots on a warm day, then attaching skis, then putting those skis into blue plastic tracks like reverse railway tracks, and moving my feet along. However, the kids seemed to love it, so again, it’s probably because I’m not very Savoyarde.
The luge looked like fun. Yes, there was a luge! It too functioned without actual real snow. It used wheels on rails set in concrete to keep the luge on the short flat track. The kids loved it too. To top it all off, BMX courses were set up for different levels of ability, which, of course, the kids also loved. I have no idea what BMX biking has to do with the Olympics but nobody there was complaining.