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Fleischer happy in TV land

Staff Reports

Chad Fleischer is taking ski coverage to new levels as a color commentator for the Outdoor Life network every Saturday and Sunday at four p.m.Fleischer is covering world cup, alpine and downhill ski races throughout the course of the winter with a program that encompasses both men’s and women’s speed and technical events.”It’s cool,” Fleischer said. “It’s given me a new perspective that finally does the sport of skiing some justice. It’s been butchered on television for so many years.”Along with the weekend viewing, Fleischer and the Outdoor Life Network are incorporating a recap and preview of World Cup action in a new studio show airing on Thursday nights at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., MST.”He has been a pleasant surprise – he is sort of touch and go,” OLN producer Mark Bellotti said. “I would say when you are just starting someone out who obviously has a great knowledge of the sport but has never had any television experience you don’t know what to expect, but he has been a great learner.”He has really brought a lot of enthusiasm to the program.”Each show spans one hour and features same day coverage. Fleischer sees this extensive and immediate coverage as a great advantage over other programs such as ESPN, which may cover only four events in a year, as opposed to the 38 events Fleisher’s show features.”It is much more of that real life feel you are actually watching a ski race,” Fleischer said. “Skiing is on TV for one reason – and that is to watch ski racing,” he continues. “We show more races and more runs. When you sit down and watch a ski race you don’t want to listen to one story of one ski racer you want to watch the ski race. With this show we dedicate as much time as we possibly can to creating a show that makes sense.”Fleischer said he concentrates on providing viewers with the maximum amount of skiing possible, showing the top 34 runs. Coverage on networks like ESPN, he points out, provide technical analysis on eight or 10 runs. Broader coverage allows Fleischer to encompass more events and provide an analysis of top skiers like Bode Miller.”The great part is that (our coverage) showcases American ski racers and showcases World Cup skiing – because right now the cool thing is that it is one and the same,” Fleischer said. “The Americans right now are making history on the slopes, and that’s a great thing to be a part of.”But don’t expect to see Fleischer on the television for too long – he plans on getting back on skis (after his fifth knee surgery in less than a year) sometime this February. “I am an announcer who is inside the sport still – I’m not a has-been in the sport – I am a current. I’m up to date on the sport, where as a lot of announcers now have been retired for ten years or more, making it really difficult for them to grasp the mindset. The sport has changed so much, it is much more physical, much more technical, and much more advanced. I think I allow for that perception.”Fleischer’s injury came on Jan. 10, 2002 during a training run in Wengen, Switzerland only weeks before the 2002 Olympics in Park City, Utah, when he crashed and suffered multiple ligament tears to his right knee.By Brittney Lazar


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