(Editor’s Note: If you read this column yesterday evening, you may want to read through it again. Somehow in transforming it to the web, we lost some words!)
Hello Everyone –
The 2006 Winter Olympic games are now history and the last time I checked the United States came away with 25-total medals. That represents the second largest total of the games, behind Germany’s 29. In my opinion, not a bad showing what so ever by Uncle Sam’s team. But low and behold, you couldn’t tell that by reading, viewing or listening to the mainstream media. Of course, NBC has been playing up the success, but the mouse ear networks and Murdock U. have ripped the performances as disappointing. I say, shame on them for thinking that way.
For every Bode Miller, the red, white and blue had a Ted Ligety or even Lindsey Kildow. Ligety won one of the two alpine gold medals (Julia Mancuso the other) with an awesome come from behind performance, while Kildow showed more guts then the entire 7th Cavalry. Don’t tell me the right to compete didn’t mean anything to her at these games, as the 21-year-old Kildow made a dramatic run after wrecking at over 50 miles per hour in a practice run. I wasn’t hurting, just watching her walk out of the hospital. From here forward I will always make it a point to see how she is doing in her career, just out of respect to her courage and desire to strap the boards on and battle gravity in front of the world. Again I say that is what the Olympic spirit is all about.
The U.S. Ski Team did was expected to help Uncle Sam win the overall medal count, but as it turned out, it was the upstart Snowboarding Team that contributed greatly to the final medal tally. The shredders brought home 8-medals including three gold and made Shaun White “The Flying Tomato” household names. Here’s to him in his courtship quest of Sasha Cohen. Now wouldn’t that be a cross of the planets, a figureskater and a snowboarder. Okay, so Lindsey Jacobellis, lost it having some fun just before the finish line. The only person she has to answer to is herself, period end of that story. At the end of the day, the shred heads ruled, didn’t they?
Going into the Olympics, the major media hounds were saying that it would be a disappointing games if the U.S. didn’t harvest more then the 34 medals they captured four years ago in Salt Lake City. Before the 2002 games, the largest total of medals won by the U.S. at one winter games was 13. Just like everything else, one good year and everyone is spoiled on winning medals and forgetting about the experience. Well this time around, the apple pie athletes brought back 25 medals and if it wasn’t for Salt Lake City, this would’ve been hailed as a tremendous success. But the short sighted national media just doesn’t and never will see it that way.
The first winter games I can remember was in 1968 and the U.S. won one, count them one gold medal, thanks to Peggy Flemming. That is when I started to believe in the experience of the games and not just the medal count. One side note as it pertains to 1968 and 2006, there are a larger number of opportunities for athletes to win medals, but at the end of the day it is about competing at your very best against the very best and let the chips fall as they may. The Olympics are now history and I can’t wait to Vancouver and 2010, when starts all over again.
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!