JUST SHUT UP AND REPORT – says Joe Stevens

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Hello Everyone –

Every four years I try to catch as much coverage as possible of the winter Olympics. It really doesn’t matter either, as it can be downhill skiing, snowboarding or curling, just let me know the results and whether or not the good old red, white and blue was on the podium.

The 2010 Olympics from Vancouver will again get a lot of my daily news gathering attention. Unfortunately the first story that caught my attention this year was the fatal crash of the luge competitor. I cannot imagine being a teammate and having to concentrate on performing against the world’s finest. The luger who died, did so, doing something he really loved, but none the less, a mother and father are now without a son. You just never know do you?

Now onto my point of this week’s column. How many times during the Olympics have we heard “a disappointing so and so finish”? Nine times out of ten that reporter probably has never even tried the sport they are reporting on and the difference between the gold medal and that disappointing finish could’ve have been hundredths of a second. In other words, the difference between being a national sports hero and a so-called disappointing finish is a blink of an eye. That same reporter many times is overweight and is probably restricted by his or her doctor from strenuous athletic activities. In other words, shut up and just report, don’t make unnecessary commentary.

Okay, I know what you are saying, if the athlete is the favorite to win the event and doesn’t, then it is disappointing. That could very well be the case, but that same athlete has been training for years upon years for the opportunity just to compete with the best in the world and if a blink of the eye keeps them off the podium, don’t you think they are already disappointed and don’t have to be reminded by the media. I remember watching Picabo Street on the Today Show a couple of years ago after winning a silver medal in skiing and the reporter asked if she was disappointed not winning the gold. She looked at the reporter like he had a third eye (deservingly so) and asked how can someone be disappointed being the second best in the world. Just a one word thought for that – exactly!

Finally this week, if there is anyway you can get to the resort of your liking this week do so. I hit the slopes on Saturday and I am having a hard time trying to remember when there was this much snow everywhere. I was asked on a radio talk show that other day just how much snow was out there and I said “a lot”. Need I say more, get out there and enjoy.

That’s it for this week, just 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.

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Joe Stevens, a member of the southeast ski industry since 1990 is a regular columnist for skisoutheast.com and serves as the Communications Director for the West Virginia Ski Areas

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