• Caitlin Kennedy

Hercules on Skis

Marty and Valentin of Radio Val d’Isere fame, always knew they were destined for greatness. But it took until this week for their destiny to be fulfilled. On Wednesday, the duo took to the start line of the weekly Cross Country Ski relay race at the Place des Dolomites. A blizzard raged, a crow cawed before being thrown from the sky by the tumultuous wind. But nothing was to deter these Herculean men, who had a task to complete; to crush the competition and prove themselves the heroes they were born to be. This they did, grim faced and resolute, completing a mammoth 11 laps of the course in 20 minutes, beaten only by every other team bar one. Here is the story of how they achieved such profound majesticness.

When did you realise it was your fate to be champions of cross country skiing?

Marty: Well I don’t remember it of course but straight after my birth, my father looked at me and said “You will be a formidable cross country skier”

Valentin: For me it was actually well before my birth. There’s a passage in the bible that reads “a child will be born by the name of Valentin and he will be a god amongst men in the arena of cross country skiing.” It was prophesied.

What is the first rule of cross country skiing?

In unison: The style.

Marty: Over and above the skiing. It’s simple physics- the brighter your clothes, the faster you go. This is why I was even more lightning fast than Valentin, as he wore black trousers as opposed to my luminesce yellow ones.

Valentin: If the clothes are bought from The Echo, it is a particular sign that you are a winner and has the added benefit of being useable for both Cross Country Skiing and Monoskiing.

Marty: The second rule of cross country skiing is that you must drink as close to your bodyweight in vin chaud as possible. At least one cup must be consumed after every lap. This is another reason Valentin was slower. He did not imbibe enough of the sweet hot go faster wine.

Valentin, your style of skiing was unlike anything ever seen at such an event. Their were audible gasps. How did this come about?

Marty: Ah yes, the running horse.

Valentin: Well it is a style from the ancient native tribes of North America. It was developed thousands of years ago but is coming back into fashion amongst a select few cross country ski aficionados. It may look like I am attempting to do dressage on skis, but in fact, it is 30% more energy efficient than the regular style.

Marty: And you forget that it is supposed to look ridiculous. This way, he distracts his competitors so that they fall over and then he can ski over them.

And the falling, is that part of the tactic to bamboozle?

Marty: Yes, but true honour comes not from winning the battle, it comes from winning the hearts of the onlookers. And that we did.

Val: We could barely pass through the crowds afterwards for the sea of people wanting our autograph.

Can we ever expect to see another such show of brilliance in the future?

Marty: No, we have gone into retirement in order to leave on a spectacular high

Valentin: Also, it is unfair for the common people if we continue. What chance do they stand?

What advice do you have for people that aspire to your level of expertise in the field of cross country skiing?

Marty: Don’t smoke. Training is cheating. Remember your health insurance card- it’s a dangerous business.

Valentin: Sometimes it’s quicker to go backwards.

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