Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Winter Olympics

So Bode was a bust. Jeremy was a joke, and Sasha won only Silver. But let's talk about some of the amazing things that did happen for the Americans during this Olympics.

After the overhyped Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves did nothing in the alpine combined, the unknown Ted Ligety came out of nowhere to win gold.

After getting called out by skiing great Picabo Street for being immature, Julia Mancuso skied a perfect GS and won an unexpected gold, minus her trademark tiara.

Despite Jeremy Bloom, who was probably already focused on the NFL combine, finished 6th, an unknown Tobey Dawson won bronze and hoped that his birth parents in South Korea had seen him on TV and would try to find him.

And then there is the feud between Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis, two long track speed skaters. Their arguments about who betrayed who and who wasnt professional probably cost each of them at least one medal. Overlooked was their teammate Joey Cheek who was voted by his fellow athletes to carry the American flag at the closing ceremony. More important though Cheek donated his $40,000 medal bonus to Ready to Play which focuses on health and creating opportunities through sports for disadvantaged kids all over the world. Cheek will also will travel to Zambia to educate children about HIV. I gotta tell you, I dont care about Hedrick dissrepsecting Davis and vice versa. Cheek embodies the Olympic ideal more than those two idiots combined.

And though she was never close to a medal, how can you not love the story of Lindsey Kildow? She suffered a horrific crash on a training run and severely bruised her hip. She was in a hospital the next day, but two days after her crash she got up and using her poles as crutches finished 8th in the downhill. Who the hell needs Bode? Lindsey Kildow embodied the Olympic spirit for the Americans.

Yes some of the favorites like Bode, Jeremy, and Michelle could not accomplish their goals during these Olympics. Instead we were introduced to Tobey, Lindsey, and Ted. We know in Vancouver in four years, Sasha Cohen, Kimmie Meissner, and Emily Hughes could form the most feared figure skating team ever. We know that Belbin and Agosto will be back and aiming for gold, after breaking a 30 year drought for the U.S. in Ice Dancing. We know that the women's Ice Hockey team will be back and better than ever.

That's what is great about the Olympics. The networks and advertisers try and decide who the stars will be. But everytime the Olympics come around we are introduced to new heroes: men and women who sacrifice it all to reach the top of the world. Here's to the Tobeys, Teds, and Joeys, who showed us with their courageous medal winning performances what the Olympics is really all about.


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