Anorak News | On The Piste

On The Piste

by | 10th, March 2004

‘FOR every talented professional, there are many amateurs keen to emulate the antics of their heroes.

‘Last one to the pub’s French!’

For many Britons, that means behaving like George Best and getting absolutely rat-arsed. And if you do a Besty while skiing, so much the more dangerous.

This is a serious matter, and the Times says that many Europeans are attributing the sharp rise in accidents on the piste on Brits on the, er, piss.

So breathalysers and speed cameras, which serve to keep order on the mountainside in the land of the free that is the United States, are on their way to Italy, Austria and France.

Taking a leaf out of Tony Blair’s book, our continental partners are also considering introducing on-the-spot fines for loutish behaviour on the slopes.

Alvaro de Palma, who trains Italy’s Olympic ski team, says that skiing while under the influence is ‘a no good’.

‘One shot of grappa or whisky after lunch is one thing,’ he says, ‘but if you have a lot of grappa you lose control.’

We would say that anyone who drinks a lot of grappa is already out of control, but we take Signor de Palma’s point.

And it’s one supported by Serve Gau, a suitably-named restaurant manager at the French resort of Courchevel.

‘Foreigners drink much more than the French,’ he says wistfully. ‘Especially the English.

‘I would say that they put away twice the amount of the French or the Spaniards…and the women drink as much as the men.’

So the remedy is for a system of fines and some kind of on-piste police force, with flashing helmets and sirens.

Or course, the solution is much simpler: just serve only the dreaded grappa in the local bars. The Brits will be the most sober bunch out there…’

Posted: 10th, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink