SURPRISE, SURPRISE by Joe Stevens

Hello Everyone!

The games of the Winter Olympics got underway this past weekend in Italy and may I just say the United States is showing why the best snowboarders hail from this country’s mountains.  Going big in the men’s halfpipe competition were Shaun White (Gold) and Danny Kass (Silver) and on the women’s side of the podium were Hannah Teter (Gold) and Gretchen Bleiler (Silver).  Four out of the top six medals in the event, not bad for the Red, White and Blue.  On the skiing side of the race course, a Gold Medal in the combined went to Ted Ligety while Bode Miller DQ’d, but let’s still give it to the athletes being out there giving it their all.  I know, Miller took a media slam for being seen at dinner the night before the competition having a couple of cold ones, but how many of those writers have a cold one next to their laptops when scribing their jabs at Miller.  Enough said.

Just a couple of columns ago, I mentioned that the media buzzards would not hesitate to play up a “disappointing finish” by favored competitors.  What I think they fail to realize is that all of the athletes are competing against the world’s best.  They don’t realize that on any given day any athlete can reach deep down inside and pull out a performance that just blows everyone else away.  I don’t think it should be looked upon as a failure by those who were expected to do better, but an accomplishment for those who weren’t supposed to be on the podium at the end of the event.  You know, the glass being half full instead of being half empty.

I was watching an interview on CNBC this (Wednesday) morning featuring two members of the United States Hockey Team.  Scott Gomez of the New Jersey Devils was asked what he was looking forward to the most about representing his country.  The part of his answer that really struck with me the most was the fact that he was looking forward to the overall Olympic experience.  This from a guy who was NHL Rookie of the Year in 2000, the same year his team won the Stanley Cup.  Yea, he would like to win the gold medal, but he isn’t for sure if he will ever have this type of experience again.  May I say good for him.  Do you hear that reporters, it’s not always all of about winning but about the experience.  Please take note.

I would be negligent of my duties if I didn’t mention my product evaluation from this past weekend in West Virginia .  After plowing my driveway twice on Saturday and (once on Sunday), I decided to make sure that the snow was on the mountain tops along with being on my driveway. The eight to ten inches of fresh snow I found on the trails Sunday morning was awesome.  I just wish the groomers hadn’t been on the slopes as much.  None the less, I found plenty of pow to have fun in.  When a resort has to dig out a trail because there is too much snow on it, you know you are in pretty good shape.  I found a trail that the groomers had to dig three to four feet out, so that the skiers and riders didn’t hit the feet of the folks riding the lift.  That just blew me away. The conditions are awesome right now, don’t miss out.    

Remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be.  Think about it!  See you on the slopes!