Monday, February 20, 2006

The Olympic Spirit Still Lives

Has anyone been watching the Olympics? I have, I've always loved the Olympics and it makes me so proud of our country to have all of these talented athletes. Although I'm trying to figure out if some are too "big for their britches" or is it just the media portraying them that way?

For example, you have Linsay Jacobellis who was set for the Gold Medal in Snowboard Cross racing and then had to show off by "styling" (grabbing her board), causing her to fall and finish second. And then there is all this hype about Bode Miller who has his own private RV away from all of his teammates and other athletes. He sure hasn't lived up to all the press he's gotten - not one medal - and he has the nerve to say, "At least now I don't have to go all the way to Turin" (for the medals ceremony). And let's not forget Shani Miller's win as the first African American to win a Gold medal at the games (Speedskating) which was totally overshadowed by his refusal to join his teammates in a relay race because he wanted to "save himself" for his individual event. Some media have begin calling the games the "Me Olympics" which, sadly enough, seems to fit.

Despite all the negative stories about the "stuck up" Americans I still like to watch the ice dancing and ice skating with their totally ridiculous, over the top, campy outfits. And I loved the snowboard half pipe event although I couldn't understand every other word the announcer said, e.g., "stoked, backside air, goofy feet, amplitude, front side 980 with a grab, etc.!"

I did read an absolutely wonderful story this morning that made me believe there are still people out there who believe showing kindness is still important.

Cross Country skiier Sara Renner was well on her way to helping her team (Canada) win a medal in the team sprint event. She was in second place when all of the sudden her ski pole broke. Since it was a sprint, they were on flat land - no hills to help - so she was pretty much stuck just watching other skiiers pass her as she couldn't keep up with only one pole. Then, out of nowhere, a man runs up and hands her a pole. She's able to make up a lot of time and hand off to her teammate and Canada ended up winning the silver medal.

The amazing thing about this story is that the man who handed Sara the ski pole was the coach for the Norwegian team! And by giving Sara the pole her team was able to finish second - instead of much farther back - which knocked Norway out of the medals altogether because they finished fourth.

Now, you would think this might result in some hard feelings from Norwegians to Canadians, especially since cross country skiing is the national sport of Norway. The Norwegian coach, Bjoernar Hakensmoen, says no one has said anything bad to him for helping Sara out and the Canadians have sent him "thank you" emails and flowers, Sara gave him a bottle of wine and the head of the Canadian Olympic Committee sent a letter of appreciation.

Hakensmoen said, "The equipment shouldn't determine the winner. The heart and talent should determine the winner. If you win, but don't help somebody when you should have, what kind of win is that?" Indeed!


Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

That's so great! We definately need more people like the Norweigen coach!

2/20/2006 12:22 PM  
Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

It is nice to know that there are still good people out there. I think the media makes more hype and bad feelings than what is really happening...

I firmly believe that if the media would leave the athletes alone and not try to make darlings out of them, we'd have much better/nicer coverage...

Thanks for dropping by my blog today!

2/20/2006 8:05 PM  
Blogger kdubs said...

Ok. I usually do but I have NOT this year. Shame on me!

2/20/2006 8:13 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

I have been watching. I saw when Linsay Jacobellis did that stunt that caused her the gold. I couldnt believe.

What a great story about the pole, didnt know about that one until you posted it here.

Hugs Suz

2/20/2006 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Norwegian i just have to comment, its what we expect from our own. Many years ago we had a person from our team refusing a Finnish skier a pole and that led to public outrage in Norway despite the fact the finnish team was our competitors. I think its deeply embedded in us that we should show good sportsmanship.
In Norway Bjornar Haakensmoen became a hero as well, because we are proud of his sportsmanship and not thinking about the medal we possibly lost. And finally, the pole is just a tool, Sara did herself do the job to stay focused.

Just wish sportsmanship was more evident in all sports everywhere, but winning is the big thing as some coaches say

2/26/2006 11:03 AM  

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