The Olympics are underway and I am LOVING them! The opening ceremony was beautiful, some of Bob Costas’ outfits have been terrible, I love Mary Carillo’s Canada pieces, and, oh yeah, the events have been so much fun to watch (and thankfully Canada has won gold, so we can stop hearing about their inability to perform at home!)
Of course, the games started off on a really sad note, with the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during a training run. As sad as it was, I agree with his coach who said that Kumaritashvili’s death may well have saved others from serious injury or worse. That track was not safe and, while I was dis-heartened to hear some officials claim otherwise (coming out of a turn late should not cost you your life), I am glad they made adjustments to starting position to keep speeds down a bit. Kumaritashvili died doing what he loved – may he rest in peace.
The story from Tuesday, was the failure of Lindsey Jacobellis to make it to the finals in snowboard cross. This was supposed to be her redemption from her showboating fall 4 years ago that cost her the gold medal. Her inability to perform this year led Bob Ryan, from the Boston Globe, to skewer her in a column which, I think, goes too far. She fell because she was having fun – something we are always saying we wish our athletes would do more of. We want them to play with passion, but we also want to see them enjoying themselves out there. Was it a foolish thing to do? Yes. But to take pleasure in her failure this year misses what sports should be about and I encourage Ryan to remember what it is we always tell our little league teams; it’s how you play the game. Jacobellis, like all the athletes, has worked so hard to get where she is today and I admire her for that. Ryan is correct that her falling this year reminds us how fleeting success can be and it is important to remember to take advantage of your opportunities because you don’t know when they might come along again. Here’s hoping in four years, she comes back and wins the gold in London – and continues to have fun as she does it!
In happier news, yesterday was probably the best day for a US team in Winter Olympics history. To win 6 medals on one day is extraordinary. When you factor in that the winners were the stars of the team – the ones with the most pressure on them – it makes it even more special. Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White and Shani Davis were so clearly the best ones in their respective sports – it was incredible to watch them dominate despite having very talented competitors.
Such a fun time of year!