Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Marcel Hirscher: His Eye Surgery and More

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Austrian superstar Marcel Hirscher recently had eye surgery. The others have reported about his laser surgery and the improvement in his vision. But our intrepid research team uncovered something else about Marcel. During the 2011-12 season he was accused of not stopping whenever he straddled a gate during a slalom race. It turned out that he really didn't know that he had straddled because he could not see the poles. After the straddling affair, he found a new secret to his success. One of our intrepid reporters caught up with Marcel last weekend. Let's find out what Marcel has to say about his eye surgery, the Straddlegate Affair, and much more. 

BB: Marcel, belated congratulations on your second World Cup overall globe and also for your slalom globe. 
Hirscher:  Thank you.
BB: What are your goals for this coming season?
Hirscher: I would like to win another overall globe and both the slalom and giant slalom globes. It will be difficult because I have a lot of good competition. I would also like to win a medal in Sochi, preferably a gold one. 
BB: Tell our readers about your recent eye surgery.
Hirscher: I have been very nearsighted my whole life. I had laser surgery to improve my vision. 
BB: Ivica Kostelic recently had one of his eyes replaced with a bionic eye. (see this story). Did you have your eyes replaced with bionic ones too?
Hirscher: No. These are my real eyes but they seem bionic to me now. The surgery really improved my vision. It's amazing how much I can see now. I only had 30% vision in one eye and now I can see perfectly out of it. The other eye is just as good.
BB: I'm glad that your surgery was successful and I'm sure the Blickbild's readers feel the same way. Will it be a strange feeling to actually be able to see the slalom poles and giant slalom gates?
Hirscher: Yes, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. I will have the summer and early fall to train and see the gates and poles. The real test of my good vision will be in Soelden this October.
BB: Did you ever consider skiing as a Paralympics athlete because of your vision?
Hirscher: I did at one point. But I really wanted to compete with my normally-sighted counterparts because I knew I was just as good, or better, than they were.
BB: Did you try contact lenses or use goggles that fit over your glasses?
Hirscher: Yes to both. I could not wear contact lenses because they made my eyes water too much. My vision was worse with them than without them because of having to see through tears. I also could not find a pair of goggles that fit perfectly over my glasses. They would fog up, which left me even worse off.
BB: In fact, because of your vision problems, the International Skiing Federation (FIS) granted you permission to use your poles like a white cane to navigate the courses.
Hirscher: That's correct. But that didn't really work out so well because I need my poles for balance. It was very awkward to hold one out in front of me, then bring it back like a normal ski pole. I had a lot of problems with inconsistency at that time due to having to manipulate the poles. It worked okay for me at the junior and Europa Cup levels. But I really ran into problems doing this at the World Cup level.
BB: Now you are one of the most consistent racers in the technical disciplines. Did that consistency come with experience?
Hirscher: Yes and no. Of course some of my consistency came about because of more experience. But  my seeing eye dog gets a lot of the credit too.
BB: Your seeing eye dog?
Hirscher: I got special permission from the FIS to have a seeing eye dog lead me down the courses. Whitey is a special dog who is practically invisible to the spectators. She is very fast and is one of the few dogs who is able to keep up with me on a ski slope.
BB: Do the other men in the World Cup know about Whitey?
Hirscher: Of course they do. Everyone knows about my vision problems. A lot of the guys even bring Whitey treats when we're in the start area. Ted Ligety, Alexis Pinturault, Andre Myhrer, and Felix Neureuther really love to stuff Whitey full of doggie treats before races. I constantly have to tell them to wait until after a race to feed her.
BB: During the 2011-12 season Ivica Kostelic accused you of cheating. He said that you didn't stop when you straddled gates. 
Hirscher: That was the time when I was still using my poles as a white cane, before I got Whitey. I didn't realize that I was straddling because I couldn't tell where the gates were, even with using my poles to guide me. At first Ivica was mad and thought that I was cheating on purpose. He thought that I was being a poor sport because I wasn't stopping when I straddled a gate. But Ivica and I sat down together and I explained my vision problems to him. He was very understanding when he heard about the problems with my eyes and was the one who suggested getting a guide dog.
BB: And the FIS is obviously okay with you using a guide dog. 
Hirscher: Didier Cuche had bionic knee implants and the FIS approved them. When my father and the Austrian Ski Federation trainers made my case to the FIS, the FIS was sympathetic to my plight.
BB: There were ski fans who said that the FIS ruled in your favor over getting a seeing eye dog only because you are Austrian. 
Hirscher: Let's see those fans ski a slalom or giant slalom race at full speed with the vision of Mr Magoo! Whitey does not give me any extra advantage in speed. If she did, I would win every race. She simply leads me around the slalom poles and between the giant slalom gates.
BB: Last season the FIS ruled against Lindsey Vonn's request to race against men and stated that men and women should compete in their own separate races. How did you get around that ruling with Whitey?
Hirscher: That FIS ruling only applies to people. Whitey is a dog, though she likes to think that she is a person.
BB: Do you think that Ms. Vonn will appeal the FIS decision against her by citing Whitey racing against men? 
Hirscher:  Whitey isn't the actual racer. She is a seeing eye dog. There is a difference between Whitey guiding me on a race course and a skier racing by herself. Lindsey Vonn does have a good legal team who could file an appeal with the FIS using Whitey as a precedent. But, from what I heard, she could use a good seeing eye dog to help her find her way to Slovenia.
BB: Did Whitey guide you down the hill at the World Championships in Schladming when you won gold?
Hirscher: Yes. She was with me for the team event, the giant slalom, and the slalom.
BB: Tell our readers about the Adelboden giant slalom. You had a real streak of podium finishes  going but ended up 16th after a big error just before the finish. Was there a problem with Whitey during that race? 
Hirscher: Whitey was sick in Adelboden and I had to use a last minute substitute dog. I think that Ted Ligety gave her too many treats before the race when I wasn't looking. The substitute dog was not trained very well in guiding a skier down a giant slalom course. One of the course workers near the finish line had some Wurst that he was snacking on between racers, which he kept in his pocket. The dog smelled the meat and made a mad dash to the course worker, pulling me behind him. I lost my balance and big lead because of that dog. The Austrian trainers wanted to shoot the dog, but I convinced them not to. Fortunately, Whitey was back for my next race. I have never straddled or missed a gate with Whitey guiding me. I also keep a better eye on her before races to keep my opponents from feeding her.
BB: You are obviously very successful with Whitey. With her as your guide you won two big globes and two small ones. Why would you want to have eye surgery?
Hirscher: One reason is my crazy teammates. People who think that Austrians have no sense of humor have never met Benni Raich or Mario Matt. Benni and Mario would stick "Blind Skier" signs on the back of my speed suit, then use the team radio to say that a blind man wandered onto the course.  Whitey and I would have to dodge people trying to shoo us off the race course. Benni and Mario thought it was funny, but after the third time it was annoying. But the main reason is the upcoming Olympics. While the FIS has let me compete with Whitey in World Cup races, the International Olympic Committee has different regulations. Racers must compete unaided. I knew that I would never have a chance at an Olympic medal skiing alone with my eyes the way they were.
BB: I see. Do you think you will have adjusted to having perfect vision by the Olympics?
Hirscher: As I said earlier, I will train without Whitey this summer and fall. I will also race without her to get used to skiing slalom and GS races with perfect vision. By February I should be ready to win an Olympic medal. It will be a new experience for me to see the poles and gates clearly, but I am confident that I will rise to the challenge.
BB: What will happen to Whitey?
Hirscher: She will still accompany me to races. Whitey has been my faithful companion and will become the Austrian team mascot. Felix, Ted, Alexis and Andre will be able to feed her all of the doggie treats they wish to before races now.
BB: Marcel, I hope that you accomplish all of your goals next season. The whole ski world is looking forward to watching you ski with your new perfect vision.
Hirscher: Thank you. It will be a new experience to see the gates while racing and I am looking forward to it.
BB: And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview. 

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: All the news that the others really wish they could print.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lindsey Vonn's Red Bull Doping Doctor Connection

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

 The story about Lindsey Vonn's connection with Dr. Bernd Pansold, who was extensively involved in East Germany's mass doping program, has already been reported by the others. Dr. Pansold runs Red Bull's special training center in Thalgau, Austria, where Vonn trains twice a year. We are not implying that Vonn is doping, because she has never tested positive for banned substances. But there is something suspicious about one of the top racers in the World Cup training at a center run by a doctor from the East German sports program. While the New York Daily News beat us to Dr. Pansold himself, one of our intrepid reporters was able to find a trainer who recently resigned from the Red Bull center. Because of fear of reprisal from Red Bull, we are calling the trainer "Jan." Let's find out what Jan has to say.

BB: How long did you work at the Red Bull training center?
Jan: I would rather not say. Red Bull hires some very deadly hit men and I don't want to be one of their victims. Suffice it to say I was there long enough to know what was happening.
BB: Fair enough. Did you ever work directly with Lindsey?
Jan: No, I was not assigned to the skiers. Lindsey had a special private trainer that Red Bull provided.
BB: Can you say why you left the Thalgau center?
Jan: I was hired as a strength and conditioning coach for a national curling team. I don't wish to say which one. 
BB: Tell our readers why the Red Bull training center is in a shabby-looking building. You would think that Red Bull could afford a gleaming new facility.
Jan: The athletes who train here are very famous and don't want paparazzi stalking them while they are working out. A nice-looking building would stick out and fans and the media would prevent the athletes from concentrating on their workouts. A sinister-looking building keeps people away. The particular building where the center is located actually reminds Dr. Pansold of his old home in the former East Germany.
BB: Other famous skiers have consulted Dr. Pansold, most notably Hermann Maier and Maria Hoefl-Riesch.
Jan: That's true. Hermann consulted with Dr. Pansold because he was so small. In fact, he got thrown off the Austrian junior team for being too small. But after seeing Dr. Pansold, he suddenly got bigger and was able to make the team. The official story is that he built his body working as a bricklayer's apprentice. After Hermann's experience with Dr. Pansold and his associates, the Austrian skiers were told to avoid him.
BB: And what about Maria Hoefl-Riesch?
Jan: When she saw Dr. Pansold, she was very tiny--about the same size as Tina Weirather or Lara Gut. Afterward, she was almost as tall as she is now. But it turned out that her visits to Dr. Pansold coincided with her adolescent growth spurt and her height is due solely to genetics. But she did tell her parents that Dr. Pansold was creepy and didn't want to see him again.
BB: I see. Why would Red Bull hire a doctor who was an integral part of the East German doping program and who also spent time in jail for his role in it?
Jan: He needed a job and was willing to work for less than a Western German or Austrian doctor. He was a real bargain.
BB: Did the US Ski Team know about Dr. Pansold's past when they found out that Lindsey was training in Thalgau?
Jan: Evidently not. Even if the US Ski Team knew about Dr. Pansold, there is no way it could have overriden Red Bull. Lindsey is one of Red Bull's top athletes. Whatever she wants, she gets from Red Bull.
BB: Did you ever see any evidence of doping when you worked at the training center?
Jan: I did not see any direct doping like the trainers handing pills to the athletes or doctors giving them injections. But I noticed almost right away that the athletes were required to drink Red Bull from cans that were kept in a special refrigerator. They were not allowed to drink anything except for that Red Bull. I thought that was rather odd. Most athletes have their preferred mixes of sports drinks, but those were forbidden at the Thalgau center.
BB: Even Lindsey had to drink that special Red Bull?
Jan: That's right. Even though she was drinking lots of Red Bull, she still never tested positive on a doping test.
BB: Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones also never tested positive on their drug tests. They were also involved with doctors associated with doping, especially Armstrong. Their doctors used a special balance of various performance enhancers which were undetectable in standard drug tests. Dr. Pansold was also involved in ensuring that his athletes passed their doping tests when he worked with the East German sports program.
Jan: You are correct. Even though Lindsey has never had a positive drug test, her association with Dr. Pansold and his clinic is disturbing and should be investigated. Dr. Pansold not only helped to give steroids to young athletes, he also helped devise formulas to mask them. Even though Lindsey says that she is clean, it seems strange that she is training at a clinic run by someone who was heavily involved with doping whole sports teams. There are a lot of parallels between Lindsey and Lance Armstrong.
BB: What is the official purpose of the Thalgau training center?
Jan: Athletes sponsored by Red Bull go there to find ways to maximize their performance. Our trainers do a lot of physiological testing of the athletes. The doctors and trainers then devise individual training programs based on the test results to help reduce buildup of lactic acid, increase muscular strength and aerobic endurance, and learn to drink large quantities of Red Bull without vomiting. For many athletes, the last thing was the hardest. Have you ever had Red Bull? It tastes vile!
BB: I had Red Bull once and I can tell you that I would rather drink water from the toilet. Anyway, as a trainer, were you also required to drink from the special stock of Red Bull?
Jan: No, but I was supposed to drink the regular Red Bull. But I would go into the bathroom, pour the Red Bull down the sink, then fill the can with water. A lot of the other trainers did the same thing.
BB: Have any of the trainers tried the special Red Bull?
Jan: One of the female trainers did because we ran out of Red Bull in the employee refrigerator. After finishing the can, she was able to lift twice her body weight with one hand. I can only imagine how strong she would have been if she only drank the athletes' Red Bull.
BB: Let's get back to Lindsey's association with Dr. Pansold. One of her spokesmen said that she never sees him when she comes to the training center. But the doctor described her as a nice girl. What is the real story?
Jan: Lindsey and the doctor definitely know each other. He treats her to lunch at a local guesthouse whenever she comes to Thalgau. I don't know what they talk about because their lunches are private. Even her personal trainer from the center is not invited.
BB: You said before that the US Ski Team apparently did not know about Dr. Pansold's past. Did Lindsey know about his role with the East German swimmers and track and field team? 
Jan: Lindsey is very sheltered from the real world. She only knows training, racing, and red carpet events. I would be very surprised if she knew anything about Dr. Pansold's past.
BB: Wasn't she the least bit curious about the pictures of teenaged female East German swimmers and track stars on the training center walls? Some of the 15-year-old girls in those photos have more facial hair than Santa Claus and more chest hair than a chimpanzee. 
Jan: Evidently not. In fact, she worked out extra hard to try and get as many muscles as the women in the photos. She also drank more Red Bull than any of the other athletes at the center.
BB: Didn't some of the other trainers and doctors at the Red Bull training center work with Tour de France cyclists and Chinese runners of the 1990s?
Jan: Yes. They joined after the cyclists they worked with were serving bans for doping. The trainers who worked with the Chinese women's track team also joined the Thalgau center after the Chinese women were stripped of their records and medals because of the "special fungus" they were eating.
BB: And that didn't raise any red flags among Lindsey's other trainers from the US Ski Team?
Jan: No. Her coaches on the US Ski Team were happy that Red Bull was taking over some of her training so they could concentrate on the other women on the team.
BB: In the interest of fairness, we wanted to talk to Lindsey to get her side of the story. But she has refused to provide any statements or comments. Do you think that her refusal to comment on this story is an admission of guilt?
Jan: With other athletes, refusal to comment implies guilt. But Lindsey is different. She is spending a lot of time going to red carpet events. In addition, she had to find her way back to Tiger's house without using a navigation system after dropping his kids off at school. She and her father are also preparing her case in her upcoming lawsuit against Slovenia. As you can see, her mind is occupied with other things.
BB: Do you think that Red Bull would give Lindsey performance enhancing drugs because it wants her to win at all costs? After all, Red Bull is spending a lot of money on her and wants a return on its investment. 
Jan: Red Bull has spent a lot of money on Lindsey and expects her to win big. Her fans in the States also expect her to win gold medals in Sochi next year. A silver or bronze medal in Sochi won't be good enough; she must win gold. If it takes an East German who was involved with doping teenage girls to help Lindsey get a gold medal or two, then so be it. Red Bull will do anything it takes to ensure that Lindsey wins at least one gold medal in Sochi.
BB: Jan, thank you for your time. I wish you success in your new job. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters test positive for intrepidness.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Every day we receive lots of letters, e-mails, and tweets from our readers. Since we can't reply to every inquiry individually, we thought we would print the most popular questions that we received and answer them. Our intrepid research staff was put to work to bring our readers the information that the others don't dare to print. Let's find out what our readers have been asking and what the answers to their questions are.

Question: Which teams currently have witch doctors and which ones will have them before the first race in Soelden?
Answer: Germany, Italy, and France have witch doctors. Switzerland is in the process of acquiring one for its men's speed team and Sweden is also getting its own after its failed attempt to steal Germany's witch doctor. Canada and Norway are still trying to figure out if they need one or not. The USA does not have one and is not thinking about getting one.
Question: Will the International Skiing Federation (FIS) require ski teams to have witch doctors?
Answer: Having a witch doctor is optional so far. The FIS has not ruled on whether every team must have one. In fact, the FIS is more concerned with implementing the new scoring system that will go into effect starting in Soelden (see this story) than whether or not teams have a witch doctor.
Question: Will the FIS require female racers who get married to either keep their maiden names or have a hyphenated name?
Answer: Female skiers getting married and changing their names is not on the agenda for the FIS's summer meeting. In order to avoid confusion, female skiers are encouraged to find men who have the same last name as them. If Michaela Kirchgasser was able to do it (her boyfriend is Sebastian Kirchgasser), so should the others.
Question: Silvan Zurbriggen just switched to HEAD skis. Will he still have to ski with the women next season?
Answer: Yes. All of the Swiss men on the speed team, except for Beat Feuz, will ski in women's races next season. If Beat does not have good results, he could also be relegated to skiing in women's races. (See this story).
Question: Does HEAD really have a plan to require every skier in the World Cup to use its skis?
Answer: While it does seem that HEAD has plans for World Cup domination, keep in mind that last season's overall World Cup winners, Marcel Hirscher and Tina Maze, did not use HEAD skis. At least they thought they weren't using HEAD. It turns out that HEAD has been switching out skis from other ski firms with their own and painting them to look like Atomic, Rossignol, Stoeckli, etc.
Question: Did the police ever figure out who made the death threats against Tina Maze in Garmisch?
Answer: Yes. It was a HEAD employee who was upset that Tina broke the all-time season points record using Stoeckli skis instead of HEAD. This employee discovered that Tina switched her HEAD skis that were painted to look like like Stoecklis for her real Stoecklis. He told her that if she refused to use HEAD skis, he would kill her. At first it was thought that a skier involved in the Austrian theft ring was the one who made the threats. (see this story). But HEAD used the Austrian smuggling ring as a cover for the death threats. The Blickbild will soon publish an in-depth exclusive report on HEAD's methods for taking over the World Cup.
Question: Can Dr. Mabongo (Germany's witch doctor) get out of putting a curse on the Swedish team? I really like the Swedes and feel like a curse on them that will prevent them from winning any races is unfair.
Answer: Unfortunately, Dr. Mabongo was ordered by the court to put that curse on Sweden as punishment for abducting him. Sweden had to be taught that kidnapping another team's witch doctor was wrong. The Swedish ski team had two options: ski under a curse next season or the death penalty. They opted for the curse.
Question: Would it be possible for the judge who ordered the curse on Sweden to put one on Canada instead? After cutting the women's downhill program, and Larisa Yurkiw from the team, they don't deserve to win any races.
Answer: Unfortunately, the only way to influence a Mongolian judge is to send him large quantities of fermented yak milk pellets. Norwegians may think that ojlmsfjaegger are delicious, but they have nothing on Mongolians and their fermented yak milk pellets. But our intrepid researchers are 99.99% certain that if you send the judge enough pellets, he will order Dr. Mabongo to put a curse on the Canadian team.
Question: Canada has two men who were out for a long time due to injury, Manuel Osborne-Paradis and John Kucera, and they made the national ski team. Larisa Yurkiw was also out for an extended period because of an injury and she was cut. Is Canada really such a sexist society? Why else would they keep the men but not the women?
Answer: We are sorry that we cannot answer that question. Go to Alpine Canada's website (http://www.alpinecanada.org/alpine) or to Alpine Canada's Facebook page and submit a comment. I'm sure you will get an answer related to money and the possibility of winning Olympic medals.
Question: Will Lindsey Vonn's lawsuit against Slovenia really be heard, or did a judge laugh and reject it?
Answer: Yes, it has been approved and a trial date is being set. It will be a while though, because the courts in Vail are backlogged. The people of Slovenia can breathe a sigh of relief that they won't have to pay $1 million per person to Vonn yet. They will have some time to save up their money.
Question: Is there anyone in Lindsey Vonn's family who can find Slovenia on a map?
Answer: No. Her family members will be followed by the country/place he or she thought was Slovenia. Lindsey--Sri Lanka, sister Laura--Estonia,  sister Karen--thought it did not exist,  brother Reed--South Dakota, mother--Sierra Leone, and father--Slovakia. Dad wins the prize for the closest guess, while Laura gets second place for her guess being on the same continent as Slovenia.
Question: If the US decides to invade Slovenia, how can its soldiers guarantee that they are targeting the right country?
Answer: Let's hope that US soldiers in any invasion force are better in geography than the Kildow family and that they can read maps.
Question: Is Lindsey Vonn still cheating on Tiger Woods with her physical therapist to get back at him cheating on her with his ex-wife?
Answer: According to her therapist, it wasn't really cheating because he was doing what he could to make her feel better. It was technically therapy and not infidelity.
Question: Is it true that Lindsey Vonn is pregnant with Tiger's baby?
Answer: We are sure that if she were pregnant, she would announce it. With all of the second-by-second updates that she gives about rehabilitating her knee injury, she would certainly let her fans know that she was pregnant with a little Tiger Cub.
Question: Has Lindsey Vonn found a cure for her boredom?
Answer: Judging from all of the time she has been spending at red carpet events in the States, it appears that she is no longer bored.
Question: Is driving in Europe really as difficult as Laura Kildow makes it out to be?
Answer: No. If you drive something smaller than a king-sized recreational vehicle, driving in Europe can be quite simple. You don't even need a navigation system or detailed maps. After all, the ancient Roman legions found their way from Rome to Great Britain or Romania and back without a GPS system or Google Maps.
Question: Who do you think will win the Crystal Globes and Olympic gold medals this season?
Answer: Men will win all of the men's Globes and Olympic medals. However, some of the Swiss men could sneak in there for a share of the women's Globes and medals. Carlo Janka could become the first skier to win both a men's and women's overall Globe and also Olympic gold medals in men's and women's races.
And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive story.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: They say that people who ask questions are intelligent. Therefore, we have very intelligent readers.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Red Bull Bodyguard Released from Psychiatric Hospital

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive
Vinnie "The Shark" Razzovell, the Mafia hit man hired by Red Bull to be Lindsey Vonn's bodyguard in Schladming during the World Championships, was released from the New Jersey Asylum for the Criminally Insane yesterday. Mr. Razzovelli was admitted to that psychiatric facility after he suffered a mental breakdown because he was unable to prevent Ms. Vonn from getting injured during the Super-G race in Schladming (see this story). Even though Mr. Razzovelli turned down interviews from the others, he consented to talk with one of our intrepid reporters. Let's find out what he has to say.

BB: Mr. Razzovelli, do you feel that you are cured now?
Razzovelli: Please call me Vinnie. Yes, I feel like I have recovered 100% and am ready to get back to work.
BB: Are you still taking any antipsychotic medication?
Razzovelli: No. My doctors determined that I don't need anymore medication. I am completely normal again. My head is clear and I feel great.
BB: Will you work solely with the Mafia or will you also take jobs from HEAD and Red Bull?
Razzovelli: For now I will carry on working in my family's waste disposal business. When ski season starts, I'm sure that I will be working for HEAD or Red Bull like in previous seasons.
BB: Do you still blame yourself for what happened to Lindsey Vonn in Schladming?
Razzovelli: Not anymore. My doctors helped me to realize that what happened to Lindsey was not my fault.
BB: When Red Bull hired you to guard Lindsey in Schladming, was being able to ski one of the requirements for the job?
Razzovelli: No. I was hired strictly for my ability to keep undesireables away from Lindsey. Red Bull hired me for Schladming based on how I got the Austrian women to give their World Championship medals to Lindsey (see this story). Skiing ability was never mentioned in my interview for becoming Lindsey's bodyguard.
BB: Did Lindsey know that you could not ski?
Razzovelli: Yes, and she was fine with that. I was hired to protect her from people off the slopes who had the potential to harm her. There was one particular fan who touched her skis in Cortina who made her feel threatened. She was afraid that he would follow her to Schladming and put his hands on her skis there. That was why Red Bull hired me to serve as her personal bodyguard and to prevent him and other fans from touching her skis.
BB: If it isn't too traumatic for you, please tell our readers what happened in Schladming before and during the Super-G race.
Razzovelli: I rode up on the lift with Lindsey to the start area. A lot of the other women in the World Cup don't like her, so I wanted to protect her from them. You think that we Mafia enforcers are tough? Women can be even meaner. Anyway, it was important to keep the other women away from Lindsey so that she could concentrate on the race.
BB: Even Maria Hoefl-Riesch? Maria is Lindsey's best friend in the World Cup.
Razzovelli: Especially Maria. I may not be the smartest guy around, but I get the impression that Maria likes Lindsey a lot more that Lindsey likes her. I don't think that Lindsey ever forgave Maria for what happened at the 2011 World Cup finals.
BB: Getting back to Schladming, you were up at the start area with Lindsey. Did you go into the start house as it got close to her turn?
Razzovelli: Yes. Before Lindsey took off for her run, I apologized to her for not being able to ski down with her. I felt like I was shirking my duty to her. But she told me that she was perfectly capable of making it to the bottom and winning the race without a bodyguard accompanying her on the course.
BB: Skiers race all the time without a bodyguard by their sides. Did you get special permission from the International Skiing Federation (FIS) to accompany Lindsey?
Razzovelli: FIS rules say that skiers must race on their own. But when Red Bull explained Lindsey's situation to the FIS, and how she felt like she was in imminent danger in Schladming, I was permitted to accompany her to the start area. If I knew how to ski, I would have been able to stay by her side during her run too.
BB: Were you still up in the start area when Lindsey fell?
Razzovelli: Yes. I heard officials say that Lindsey fell and needed medical attention. My first thought was, "If I only knew how to ski!"  If I were able to ski, I either could have gone down before her to ensure that the course was safe, or I could have skied by her side while she raced. When I heard that she was seriously injured, I was so overcome with guilt, I started sobbing in the start house. I don't recall what happened next, just that I woke up in a padded room wearing a straitjacket. I must have been in an Austrian hospital because I could not understand a thing anyone was saying.
BB: How long did you stay in the Austrian hospital?
Razzovelli: Long enough to realize that I wanted to go home. I needed peace and quiet. Various members of Lindsey's entourage kept coming into my room and telling me that I was a sad excuse for a bodyguard. Even the people from Red Bull who hired me were taunting me about how a real bodyguard would not have let Lindsey get injured. I was watching TV in the hospital and every show had a story on Lindsey's injury. Even CNN was interviewing fans and skiing experts. Everyone was asking, "Where was Lindsey's bodyguard when she fell?"
BB: But how did you end up in an asylum for the criminally insane?
Razzovelli: My family is very famous and no other hospital would accept me. I guess the doctors at other hospitals were afraid that my relatives would harm them if something happened to me. The New Jersey Asylum for the Criminally Insane was also close to my house.
BB: But, as your doctors said, what happened to Lindsey was not your fault.
Razzovelli: That's right. The real person who belongs in a hospital for the criminally insane is the course worker who failed to clear the patch of soft snow from the course. Anyone who fails to clear soft snow off a Super-G course is a criminal and insane.
BB: Wasn't the weather a factor? Other skiers said that the snow had softened.
Razzovelli: You can use the weather as an excuse, but there is no excuse for failing to thoroughly clear soft snow off a course. You never know where someone will land a jump and the course workers in Schladming learned a hard lesson in being safe than sorry.
BB:  Don't you think what happened to Lindsey was an accident that could have happened to anyone?
Razzovelli: No. There was obvious neglect in how the course was prepared. Some of my relatives, who still live in Italy, are working on finding out who was responsible for that section of the course. They are as intrepid as your reporters.
BB: I would say that nobody is as intrepid as the Blickbild's reporters, but in this case I will make an exception. I don't want to disappear without a trace. (pause) If that course worker is found, what will you do?
Razzovelli: I hope that Red Bull will hire me to take care of him in any way I see fit. Once that person is found, let me put it this way. He will never be able to set foot on a race course again.
BB: Oh dear! Do you think that Red Bull will hire you to be Lindsey's bodyguard for the full World Cup season, or during the Olympics?
Razzovelli: I am pretty sure they will. When I was in the hospital, I got a nice letter from the Red Bull president forgiving me for what happened to Lindsey. He said that he would be willing to hire me to protect Lindsey during the Olympics in Sochi and possibly for the full World Cup season. But Red Bull would also hire a second bodyguard who knows how to ski to accompany her when she is racing. Red Bull does not want to take any chances on Lindsey injuring herself again. She is Red Bull's prize commodity.
BB: Well Vinnie, it looks like our time is running out. I want to thank you for this interview and I'm sure we will see you back guarding Lindsey either in Sochi or at all of the World Cup venues. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters may seem like they are criminally insane, but they're not.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ivica Kostelic Becomes Bionic Man

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

We all know that cats have nine lives. It turns out that cats are no match for Croatian superstar Ivica Kostelic. Ivica has at least eleven lives. Last week he had his eleventh knee operation. While the others have reported about Ivica's latest surgery and his plan to be on skis in two months, the Blickbild's intrepid research team found out that Ivica had more than just knee surgery. This latest operation has transformed him into the World Cup's version of the Bionic Man. One of our intrepid reporters had the chance to interview Ivica. Let's find out what he has to say.

BB: Ivica, this is your eleventh knee operation. Will this be your last one?
Kostelic: I thought that all of my previous operations would be the last. I hope that it will be my last one, but you never know.
BB: Are you addicted to knee surgery? It seems like you have an operation after every season.
Kostelic: Contrary to popular belief, I am not a surgery addict. 
BB: Do you feel that your surgeons are the very best?
Kostelic: Yes. 
BB: If they are so good, why do they need to keep operating on your knees? You'd think if they were so great, they would have fixed everything during the first operation or two. 
Kostelic: New techniques keep being developed and my surgeons use them on me. I feel like I'm at the forefront of receiving the best new technology.
BB: Don't you really have all of these surgeries in the same hospital because you are having an affair with one of the nurses?
Kostelic: Where did you hear that? The nurses are great, but no, I'm not having an affair with any of them. 
BB: It has been reported that you will be back training in two months. 
Kostelic: That's correct. I hope to be back on skis by July and competing in Soelden in October. 
BB: What are your goals for this coming season?
Kostelic: I would like to win the overall World Cup, or at least the slalom globe. I would also like to win a medal, preferably a gold one, in Sochi. 
BB: Don't you want to break records for the number of points in a season?
Kostelic: I want to go out and do my best in every race. If I set a points record, that would be great. If not, that is also okay. I have been around long enough to realize that records aren't everything in life.
BB: Will you be posting minute-by-minute updates about your post-surgical recovery and rehab like Lindsey Vonn does?
Kostelic: Lindsey just had her first knee operation and it's still a novel experience for her. After the fifth surgery the novelty wears off and the fans don't really want so many updates. One mention of my surgery is enough.
BB: But you are a national hero in Croatia, especially after winning the World Cup overall globe in 2011. Don't your countrymen want to know how your are doing?
Kostelic: I'm sure they do. But I get plenty of attention in Croatia and am well-known by just about everyone there. I don't need to go to red carpet events, date famous athletes, or tweet about what I am doing every minute to promote myself or my sport. 
BB: Let's say that your rehab takes longer than you planned. How long will it take you to prepare for the Olympics? Lindsey Vonn said that she would only need one week and Bode Miller said he only needs one day. 
Kostelic: They are delusional! Competing every week in World Cup races should prepare me for the Olympics. I will start my Olympic preparations as soon as I am back on skis. Remember, the same people that I compete against in the World Cup will also by my competition at the Olympics.
BB: Our intrepid research staff found out that you had more than just knee surgery. Please tell our readers what other procedures you had done. 
Kostelic: I had my tibias (shin bones) removed and replaced with special titanium rods and high-tech electronics. My right eye was removed and replaced with a special bionic eye that gives me enhanced vision. Special electrodes were implanted in my hands to give them extra strength.
BB: Why would you have all of those extra procedures done?
Kostelic: When I was a child, The Six Million Dollar Man was my favorite TV program. Janica and I watched it religiously. My father said that he wanted us to ski and race the same way that Steve Austin moved with his bionic legs and arm. My fans already think that I am bionic because I still win races at my age, so I thought that I should become a real bionic man.
BB: I see. But why remove your leg bones?
Kostelic: Have you ever hit a slalom pole with your leg? There's a reason ski racers wear shin guards for slalom. If I don't have to wear shin guards, it would make me a little bit lighter and could make it easier to go around the slalom poles. If I hit a pole, it won't hurt.
BB: Sounds logical. But why did you have electrodes implanted in your hands and replace one of your eyes with a bionic one?
Kostelic: The hand electrodes will enable me to better grip my poles because they will tighten my hand muscles. During a race losing a pole can be disastrous. I would never lose a race due to losing a pole with my bionic hands. I got a bionic eye because it would help me to clearly see the slalom poles. I would never have to worry about straddling a gate or missing one because I didn't see it properly. The bionic eye will also help me to see better during night races or when it is foggy.
BB: Do you feel that your bionic body parts will give you a competitive advantage?
Kostelic: Not really. After eleven operations, my knees are pretty well kaputt. The bionic parts make up for my knees being gone after so much wear and tear on them.
BB: I assume that you checked with the International Skiing Federation (FIS) to make sure that your bionic parts were legal.
Kostelic: Of course I did.  Didier Cuche set a precedent with having bionic knees a few years ago. Therefore, all of my bionic parts are perfectly legal according to the FIS.
BB: So if any other skier decides to have bionic parts, would it also be okay with the FIS?
Kostelic: Yes.
BB: If other racers started getting bionic body parts, won't that put skiers who want to keep their own body parts at a disadvantage? Do you think you are setting a precedent by getting so many bionic body parts?
Kostelic: I am not ready to retire yet and the bionic parts were the best solution to keep me racing. If I start winning every race by huge margins, then everyone else would probably want to get bionic arms and legs. But I don't see that happening. The only reason I got the bionic parts was because of the situation with my knees. I think that only older guys like Benni Raich will get bionic parts to stay competitive. The younger guys don't need them. Ted Ligety won giant slalom races by big margins last season and he does not have any bionic body parts, though many suspect that he has bionic legs. Aksel Lund Svindal also won some downhill races last season by big margins and he does not have bionic legs. So the answer to both of those questions is no.
BB: You are often called the Energizer Bunny of the World Cup because you keep on going and going. Even though you are one of the older guys on the circuit, you still win races. How much longer do you want to keep on racing?
Kostelic: I'll retire when I decide that I have had enough knee operations. But my new bionic parts should help me to race longer and still be competitive.
BB: Ivica, it has been a real pleasure talking to you. I hope that you have a full recovery and much success next season. 
Kostelic: Thank you. It has been a unique experience talking to the Blickbild.
BB: And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview. 

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters don't have bionic brains. They are naturally intelligent.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

An Interview With Bode and Morgan Miller

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

US skiing star Bode Miller has been interviewed by the others about his horses, kids, and future racing plans. Normally we wouldn't go near this story because the others covered it already. But our intrepid research team has uncovered some things about Bode Miller and his wife Morgan that the others didn't know. Let's find out what Bode and Morgan Miller have to say. 

BB: Morgan, I'll start with you. I see that you changed your name to Miller and didn't keep your former name or hyphenate your name. Aren't you concerned that beach volleyball fans won't recognize who you really are?
Morgan: No. 
BB: Austrian skier Regina Sterz caused quite a stir last year when she took her husband's name instead of using the double-barreled Sterz-Mader. Are you sure that changing your name to Miller won't cause problems with the commentators or fans?
Morgan: Yes I'm sure. It has been well-publicized in beach volleyball magazines and on the Internet that I changed my name. I'm sure the fans are used to it now. 
BB: Is the international governing body of beach volleyball considering any rules to require female players to hyphenate their names when they get married?
Morgan: I haven't heard anything about it. If it does happen, I'll deal with it.
BB: Bode, you are planning to come back in a big way. Tell us about your goals for the coming ski season.
Bode: First of all, I plan to compete in every race this season. 
BB: Even in the slalom? That has been your weakest event and you didn't compete in many slalom races over the past few seasons.
Bode: Yes, even in slalom races.
BB: What about in the City Events?
Bode: If there is a race on the schedule, I will be in it. The City Events are races, therefore I will compete in them.
BB: Do you have any other goals?
Bode: Yes. I plan to win the overall World Cup, all five Crystal Globes, all five Olympic gold medals, and break the record for most points in a season.
BB: Would that be Hermann Maier's men's record or the total record of 2414 set by Tina Maze last season?
Bode: I will smash Tina Maze's record because I also plan to win every race. 
BB: There are 36 races on the calendar for next season. Are you saying that you plan to get 3600 points?
Bode: That's right. 
BB: I see. How much have trained last season and in the off-season?
Bode: I don't need to train. Training is for wimps. I have always been very successful without any serious training. Why should I start now?
BB: You are getting older and there are a lot of younger skiers who could foil your plans for winning every race this season.
Bode: Yes, but I have experience. That should count for something.
BB: Lindsey Vonn said that she would only need one week to be ready for the Sochi Olympics. How much time would you need to prepare for them?
Bode: One week is quite a long preparation period. I will only need one day.
BB: Do you ever hear voices in your head?
Bode: I often tell myself to go faster when I'm skiing. I also sometimes hear Morgan's voice telling me that I forgot to take out the trash.
BB: Do you believe that you are God, Jesus, or Napoleon?
Bode: I am Bode Miller, ski god. Everyone in the World Cup bows down to me. I can party on an Olympic scale and then win races. By the way, I don't need to train to party well. I'm a natural party guy and have raced while wasted many times. None of the other guys in the World Cup can make that claim.
BB: Morgan, have you been concerned that Bode is suffering from psychotic delusions of grandeur?
Morgan: No. He seems perfectly fine to me. Bode is my soul mate.
BB: You never felt the need to call the men with the white coats and butterfly nets?
Morgan: Uh...no. Bode is a unique individual. I accept him just how he is, even if he does forget to take out the trash.
BB: Onto another subject. You own race horses now. How do you enjoy the horse racing circuit?
Bode: It's a different atmosphere than the World Cup, that's for sure. Be sure to watch for my horses. They are the ones who look wild compared to the others.
BB: What are your goals for your horses this racing season?
Bode: They will win all of their races and every big horse racing prize.
BB: How much training do your horses do every day to prepare for their races?
Bode: My horses are so good and naturally talented, they don't need to train.
BB: Have you ever considered becoming a jockey?
Bode: (smiling) No, I'm a little too big to be a jockey. But you know which ski racer would be a great jockey?
BB: Who?
Bode: Marcel Hirscher of course! With Marcel riding horses instead of ski racing, I would get him out of the way and have a better chance of winning all of the slalom races this coming season.
BB: Having your competition do other sports is certainly one way to win races. We're all looking forward to finding out what you have in mind for the other men in the World Cup. (short pause) Tell our readers about your two children.
Bode: I have a five-year-old daughter and newborn son.
BB: Others in the media reported that you want custody of both of them.
Bode: That's right. I believe that they are better off with Morgan and me than with a single mother.
BB: What about when you are off in Europe racing and Morgan is training?
Bode: That's why I have good servicemen. It would be part of their job to watch my kids while I'm racing. I'll have lots of time to spend with them because I won't be wasting my time training like the other skiers.
BB: Do you know of any other kids that you might have?
Bode: I just have my daughter and son.
BB: You didn't tell anyone that you had a daughter until after the Olympics, when she was almost two years old.
Bode: My personal life wasn't the media's business.
BB: Fair enough. But never underestimate the Blickbild's team of intrepid reporters and researchers.
Morgan: Bode, am I going to have anymore surprises? How many kids are we going to end up having in the house anyway?
BB: Oh boy, it's time to switch subjects. Morgan, it looks like you recovered completely from when Bode accidentally hit you in the eye with a golf ball.
Morgan: Yes, I have completely recovered. Thank goodness there was no damage to my eye. I can see perfectly again. Now I'm starting to regret that I didn't take a page from Tiger Woods' ex-wife's playbook and hit Bode with a golf club. And I would go for below the belt, if you know what I mean.
BB: Ouch!
Morgan: It looks like we need to talk when we get home about more than just whose turn it is to take out the trash.
BB: Before this gets totally out of hand...Bode, I want to wish you success this coming season. Your fans are looking forward to your return to the slopes and racing. Morgan, I hope all goes well for you in your efforts to make the 2016 Olympic beach volleyball team. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters and researchers don't have delusions of grandeur. They are naturally intrepid.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Germany Versus Sweden Defense Witnesses Part 1

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

The prosecution in the Germany versus Sweden witch doctor kidnapping trial has wrapped up its case and now it's the defense's turn. As usual, a team of our intrepid reporters is on the scene in Ulan Bator, Mongolia bringing our readers all of the drama. Today's defense witness is Swedish skier Matthias Hargin. Instead of our usual interview format, we are publishing the court transcript. Let's see what Matthias has to say.

Sweden: Please state your name and occupation for the record.
Hargin: Matthias Hargin, Alpine ski racer on the Swedish national team.
Sweden: Dr. Mabongo was found in your speed suit. Did you put him there?
Hargin: Yes. The poor little fellow looked so cold. He was barefoot and wearing only a loincloth in the dead of winter.
Sweden: Why was he walking outside in a loincloth in the winter?
Hargin: I don't know. Maybe he ran away from the Germans because they wouldn't give him warm clothing.
Germany: Objection! Witness is speculating.
Judge: Sustained. Mr. Hargin, please answer the questions directly and don't give your opinion.
Sweden: Did you ask him if you could put him under your speed suit?
Hargin: No. I just said, "You look cold, little guy. Let me help you warm up." Then I unzipped my speed suit and put him in the front by my stomach.
Sweden: Dr. Mabongo testified that he was put into a burlap sack four days before the team event. Did you put him in the sack?
Hargin:  No.
Sweden: Do you know who put him in the sack?
Hargin: No.
Sweden: When was the first time you saw Dr. Mabongo?
Hargin: It was during the team competition. I thought he was a fan because he was hanging around with Andre Myhrer and me.
Sweden: Did Dr. Mabongo look like a kidnapping victim to you?
Germany: Objection! Defense is assuming that the witness knows law enforcement profiles.
Judge: Sustained.
Sweden: When you saw Dr. Mabongo hanging around you and Andre Myhrer, what did you do?
Hargin: I asked him if he wanted an autograph or photo, but he didn't seem to understand me. I asked him in both Swedish and English.
Sweden: Then what did you do?
Hargin: That was when I put him in my speed suit.
Sweden: Did Dr. Mabongo scream, kick, or try to resist you in any way?
Hargin: No.
Sweden: That is all I have for this witness.
Judge: We will take a 90-minute recess and reconvene. Mr. Hargin, you will still be under oath.
(90 minutes later)
Germany: Did you think it was unusual for a Congolese witch doctor to be barefoot and clad only in a loincloth in the winter?
Hargin: Yes. Most people wear warm clothing in the winter.
Germany: Are you aware that Dr. Mabongo drinks a special potion that keeps him warm even in the coldest winter weather?
Hargin: No.
Germany: Isn't it true that you really put Dr. Mabongo in your speed suit because your trainer asked you to put him there to prevent him from going back to the German team?
Hargin: No. I was simply trying to help a fellow human being.
Germany: Isn't it true that the first time you saw Dr. Mabongo was on Saturday morning, three days before the team competition?
Hargin: No. The first time I saw him was during the team competition.
Germany: Are you sure? Wasn't there a team meeting that Saturday to discuss the lineup for the team competition? And wasn't Dr. Mabongo present at that meeting?
Hargin: Uh...
Suddenly there is commotion in the courtroom as a blonde woman stands up. She is none other than Swedish national team member Frida Hansdotter
Hansdotter: Stop! Matthias, you don't need to lie anymore! I confess! I was the one who kidnapped Dr. Mabongo!
Judge: (banging his gavel) Order in the court! Mr. Hargin, you may step down. I am going to question this woman myself. (to Frida) Please step up to the witness box and tell the court your name and occupation.
Hansdotter: Frida Hansdotter, Swedish national Alpine ski racer.
Judge: You are confessing in a court of law that you willfully abducted Dr. Mabongo?
Hansdotter: Yes.
Judge: Did anyone else on the Swedish ski team know about your plan to kidnap Dr. Mabongo?
Hansdotter: No. It was purely my idea. None of my teammates knew about it until I brought him to the team's hotel.
Judge: You didn't confide in any teammates about your plan?
Hansdotter: No. I thought it best to tell everyone after the deed was done.
Judge: What was the reaction of your trainers and teammates when they found out that you had taken Dr. Mabongo?
Hansdotter: At first they wanted me to bring him back. But when I explained who he was, and how he helped Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Lena Duerr, they said that we should keep him. We were debating in the team meeting on Saturday whether we should return Dr. Mabongo to Germany after the World Championships or wait until the end of the season.
Judge: Why did you wait until now to confess your crime?
Hansdotter: I was feeling more and more guilty about it and couldn't take it anymore. When I listened to how Matthias was lying today to protect me, I realized that it was time to come clean. I got a burlap sack and sprinkled chloroform in it. I had been keeping a watch on the Germans' hotel and knew when Dr. Mabongo went out for his evening walk. I snuck up behind him, put the sack over his head, and carried him back to my hotel room. He really was very light and easy to carry because he's so small. 
Judge:  You look like such a nice girl. Why would you kidnap Germany's witch doctor?
Hansdotter: I just wanted to win a race. I have six World Cup podiums in slalom, all second places. I saw what Dr. Mabongo did for Maria and Lena and wanted him to help me too. Kidnapping the witch doctor was the best chance for me and my team to win a gold medal in the team event. If only he was found after the final round of the team competition! We would have beaten Austria and won the gold medal. Now I have yet another second place finish. 
Judge: Did you realize at the time that kidnapping is a crime?
Hansdotter: I knew it was wrong. But I was desperate to get on the top step of a podium any way I could. I saw Dr. Mabongo as the answer to my prayers. Do you know how frustrating it is to be the perennial second place finisher? Is it a crime to want to win a race? I train so hard and I still can't win!(starts sobbing)
Judge:  Before I render my judgement, we will have a moment of silence so that I can pray to the Great Yak for wisdom and guidance. (after a minute of silence) Even though only one person on the Swedish team carried out the actual abduction, all of its members are guilty of not returning Dr. Mabongo to the German team immediately after he was taken and not reporting his abduction to the proper authorities. Mr. Hargin, I realize that you were trying to protect your federation and teammates, but lying in court is a serious offense. You will pay the court a fine of 50,000 toegroeg. You will not be allowed to leave Mongolia until the fine is paid. Miss Hansdotter, there are a lot of ski racers who never win a race, or even finish on the podium. You should be happy for your six second place finishes. Kidnapping is a very serious crime, punishable by death. But I will not sentence you to death or even prison.  Instead, I will have Dr. Mabongo put a curse on the entire Swedish Ski Team. His curse will ensure that no skier on the Swedish team wins a World Cup race next season or an Olympic medal in Sochi.  Court is adjourned! (bangs gavel)

And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive story.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: How much is 50,000 toegroeg worth anyway?

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Germany vs Sweden Prosecution Witnesses Part 3

A Boston Blickbild Exlusive
After a long recess in the Germany versus Sweden witch doctor kidnapping trial, court is back in session. Now it is time for the last prosecution witness to testify, who is none other than Dr. Mabongo. He will give his version of events. Was he kidnapped by Sweden, or did he run away from the German Ski Team on his own? The prosecuting attorney is "Germany" and the defense lawyer is "Sweden." 
Germany: Please state your name and occupation for the record.
Mabongo: Robert David Louis Mabongo. I am a witch doctor.
Germany: Tell the court about your qualifications as a witch doctor.
Mabongo:  I am the oldest son in my family. All of the oldest sons in my family have been witch doctors since the world was created by a swarm of giant mosquitoes many moons ago. I learned my craft from my father, who learned from his father, all the way back to when the world was created.
Germany: Please explain how you were hired by the German Ski Federation.
Mabongo: Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Lena Duerr were having poor performances last season. The German federation tried everything to help them, but nothing worked. I was their last hope. The German trainers turned to the Boston Blickbild, who sent three pairs of intrepid reporters and interpreters to find me in the Congo. Unfortunately, my tribesmen killed the first two sets of reporters and interpreters. But the important thing was that they found me and hired me to work with Maria and Lena.
Germany: How have Maria and Lena done since the German Federation hired you?
Mabongo: Maria finished second in the overall World Cup standings last season, and she won three medals at the World Championships in February, one of which was gold. Lena is still having some problems with consistency, but she won the City Event in Moscow. She is also starting to do some speed races.
Germany: When other teams saw the success that you had with Maria and Lena, did you help them find witch doctors?
Mabongo: Yes. France and Italy now have their own witch doctors and their skiers are having good results. Tina Maze worked with me last summer. Norway and Finland have also asked about obtaining witch doctors for their teams.
Germany: We have established your credentials as a witch doctor. Now please tell the court about what happened to you on the evening of Friday the 8th of February of this year.
Mabongo: I left my hotel after dinner to go for a walk and think about a good charm for Maria in her upcoming downhill race. Suddenly somebody grabbed me from behind and stuffed me into a burlap sack. It smelled strange in the sack. I must have been drugged because I woke up and was surrounded by Swedish skiers and trainers. I asked to go back to my hotel, but then I was tied to a chair. The only time I could leave was to go to the toilet. Even then, one of the men went with me.
Germany: So you were not able to leave on your own free will?
Mabongo: No. I was told to make voodoo dolls of the Swedish skiers and have them winning races against voodoo dolls of other skiers. I was also told to teach the Swedish team the Witch Doctor Song and make juju beads for the team.
Germany: Did you do those things?
Mabongo: Yes. They told me that I would not want to know what would happen to me if I refused to comply.
Germany: How did you end up in Matthias Hargin's speed suit during the team competition?
Mabongo: Because both the Swedish men and women were competing in the team event, there was nobody to stay with me to prevent my escape. The Swedes had to do something with me and decided that the best solution was to be hidden in Matthias' speed suit.
Germany: Previous witnesses said that when you were discovered in Matthias' speed suit, you asked to be taken back to the German team. Is that correct?
Mabongo: Yes.
Germany: One more question. Were you ever abused by the Germans?
Mabongo: No. I was always treated with respect by the Germans.
Germany: That is all Your Honor. The prosecution rests.
Judge: There will be a one-hour recess and then the defense will question this witness.
(one hour later)
Sweden: Dr. Mabongo, you said earlier that the world was created by a swarm of giant mosquitoes.
Germany: Objection! Irrelevant!
Judge: Overruled. I'll allow the witness to explain how he thinks the world was created. In Mongolia we believe that the world was created by the Great Yak.
Mabongo: Long ago there were giant mosquitos who flew all over the sky. But they got tired and needed a place to rest. Since there was no other life around, the mosquitos took dust from the sky and made everything on the earth. That is how the world was created.
Sweden: I learned something new today, so my day is not wasted. Do you have any credentials or diplomas stating that you are a witch doctor?
Mabongo: No. Learning to be a witch doctor is something that is handed down from father to eldest son.
Sweden: Did you actually see who grabbed you and put you in the sack?
Mabongo: No. I was grabbed from behind.
Sweden: Then how do you know that it really was someone from the Swedish team who abducted you?
Mabongo: Using my powers of deduction, I figured it out. I woke up in a hotel room with Swedish team members. I didn't see anyone from other countries from Friday night until the following Tuesday.
Sweden: Didn't you really leave your hotel because the Germans were abusing you?
Mabongo: No. The German team gave me everything that I needed.
Sweden: Isn't it difficult to get the foods that you're used to eating in the Congo in German supermarkets?
Mabongo: The German team has my favorite foods flown in daily.
Sweden: Didn't you really end up in Matthias Hargin's speed suit because you were cold and needed a warm place to stay during the team competition? You were only wearing a loincloth and were barefoot in freezing weather.
Mabongo: No. He put me there so that I would not go back to the German team.
Sweden: Do you think it's possible that someone from a different country abducted you and then delivered you to the Swedish team?
Mabongo: Anything is possible, even the world being created by a big yak instead of mosquitoes.
Sweden: That is all I have for this witness, Your Honor.

And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive story.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: We don't believe that the world was created by either the Great Yak or a swarm of giant mosquitoes.

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