Call me unpatriotic, but I don’t follow the Olympics. Never really have, except when there’s controversy. Like in 1994, when Nancy Kerrigan got her knee whacked by Tonya Harding’s bodyguard. That sound bite, “Why me?” resonated for months to come, and who couldn’t forget when Harding pointed at the laces on her skates, crying and pleading with the judges. Well, we couldn’t forget it because both instances were parodied to death on late night TV.
Fast forward to Sochi. So much has been made of the security (or perceived lack of), the poor accommodations (have you seen the photos of all the half-built hotels and bathrooms with toilets lined up in a row with no privacy?), database hackers, and streets with no manhole covers to name a few things. Wait, how did the Olympics end up in Russia in the first place? Oh yeah, corrupt decision makers.
Anyway, forget all that. One thing/person I have been following—only because it’s been on the news every night for the past two weeks—is snowboarder Shaun White. He’s been widely criticized by his snowboarding peers for pulling out of the slope style event. They say he doesn’t love the sport as much as they do, he’s not a team player … blah, blah, blah. Really? He basically put the event on the map. They’re just jealous of his success.
Unfortunately, for White, he came up short today and didn’t win a medal in the halfpipe. Maybe the conditions weren’t ideal (which has been widely reported), or maybe he had a bad day, but it still doesn’t erase the legacy he’s already earned. I don’t blame him for pulling out of the other event and risking injury. He earned his ticket to compete, just like the rest of them.