Monday, February 06, 2006

Let the Games Begin!


Tomorrow night, in Turin, Italy, a flame will roar to life within the Olympic cauldron and for the next few weeks, the world's greatest athletes will enter the most unparalleled competitive maelstrom of which human beings have ever conceived.

I adore the Olympics. Always have. Especially the winter games. In my house the TV doesn't turn off while they're on. Normally, I am only nominally interested in sport, but with the Olympics, I am something else entirely. I am rabid.

I love the music, the pageantry, the rivalry, the sweat, the blood, the tears. They are a sort of liturgy of sport. These games are sacred events, a religious experience set in a cathedral of nature.

There's just something about them. Something magical. Something transcendent. They make me proud to be an American, yes, but more so, proud to be a member of the human race. For these few weeks we set aside our differences and gather to share in the world's glory first, our nation's glory second.

The Olympics are all that is good and honorable and best about our world. We come together in competition, but paradoxically, also in unity. We come together for a greater goal than ourselves. We unite for team. We unite for country. We unite for the world. And for the briefest of seconds on this, our eternal stage, we show what we are capable of. Peace. Unity. Camaraderie. Brotherhood.

In sport, others push us to excel and here, athletes are pushed further and longer than at any other time in their lives. Here, they must last that much longer, press that much harder, hold that much further.

I love watching as men and women test their endurance and the very limits of their bodies and their dreams. I love the spectacle that is competition as sinew and muscle buckle under the pressure, and desire and will strain against defeat and hopelessness. I love witnessing the passion that courses through their veins as victory comes into sight. I love watching bodies sculpted as if from marble, move and dance to a grace and elegance than can only be described as perfection.

We will fall in love with some, cry with others, catch our hearts in our throats with many, always remember a select few. As the human spirit spills onto the snowy slopes of the Italian alps, so will all the human drama, the unfettered optimism and pent-up ambition of so many. They come from all points of the globe. They bring with them a thousand different stories of what it took to get them here. Some will radiate the thrill of victory. Others will swallow the agony of defeat. Some arrive all but clutching a medal. For others, to compete is their crown. And we will cheer them on. All of them.

At the end, there can be only a few who take home the gold. We stand on the podium beside them, convinced that our voices raised in solidarity with their efforts gave them that extra something that allowed them to win. It is foolish, of course. Yet when they drape themselves in that flag, we that feel the warmth. When their medals are placed around their necks, ours feel the weight. For the briefest of moments we too are champions, vicariously basking in the sort of accomplishments than bring honor and glory and pride to us all.

And when the snow dissolves and the ice melts and the stadiums clear, perhaps we can hold onto a fleck of their dreams, achievements and examples and look for some way to become stainless champions in whatever crucible we find ourselves.

38 Comments:

Anonymous The pretty cute Gretchen Bleiler said...

The current Sports Illustrated has a scrum-diddly-icious spread on the whole gang, including Bodie, Anton, Hannah, and yours truly. We snowboarders in particular just look so endearing as Olympians, and I mean that maternally, dude. It’s all so snowy and swooshy! So much speed! It’s like Christmas come late. Peace.

P.S.
There’s a picture of Sasha Cohen in there that is dangerous to look at. Either the government or Magneto could deploy it as some mass mind control device. You will know it when you see it.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Yeah, I get pretty stupid about them too.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Bodie said...

...Wha...? Did somebody say something? What’s going on? Magneto? Olympics?

8:47 AM  
Anonymous DC said...

Thank you for such a wonderful description of the Olympics! I share you feelings. You have just the perfect way of putting these feelings into words, and I love that about you!

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

I loved what you said about the olympics!!!! I look forward to watching them every 4rys when they are on. My poor husband, I have even asked him to tape some of it due to the fact that I will be working during the opening ceremonies on Friday......

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Rossback said...

We could do without the skeleton, though. I too enjoy the olympics but haven't quite grasped the skill required to fly head first down a mountain. The luge was pushing it, but the skeleton is just silly. (but probably a rush)

11:48 PM  
Anonymous MD said...

Looks like we got our first gold today! Chad Hendrick. I hope that this guy sweeps all of the speed skating events.

I have to admit that I am a lover of the Winter Olympics; however, I really haven't watched them that comprehensively in recent years. But I do recall fondly watching Eric Heiden and the US hockey team back on ABC in Lake Placid when I was VERY young.

Watching the opening ceremonies last night. It was a great event and the torch lighting moment is a touching moment... just waiting to see who will pick up the last torch.

When was your favorite torch lighting event? My favorite as far as theatrics go has to go to the opening ceremony of the Barcelona games when an archer sent a flaming arrow into the cauldron. I remember being AMAZED at that moment.

Now I am watching the luge after watching Germany win a medal in X-country. I look forward to bobsleding, speed skating (probably my most anticipated event), the ski jump (probably my most favorite), hockey, and figure skating... looks like Michelle Kwan may have to drop out...

12:04 AM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

I'm with you MD. Definetly Barcelona. Classic.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

Great hearing from you Jason!

My wife and I were just talking about the skeleton vs. luge tonight. That much speed and power--I'm all for enjoying the ride--I'd want to watch the whole way down.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

Some of my favorite moments of this opening weekend:

The Opening Ceremonies are always weird but delightful at the same time.

"The Exception" taking gold in his first speed skating competition. Doubtless not his last.

The Flying Tomato blowing the crowd and me away with his extraordinary stunts on the half pipe to get the gold.

The U.S. Pairs team of Inoue and Baldwin making history with the first Throw Triple Axel in competition.

The indomitable spirit of Norway's Frode Estil who was taken out in a crash at the beginning of the Men's Pursuit and still finished 2nd, as well as the sportsmanship of the entire cross-country competition who made it possible.

Oh so many close calls and disappointments--Benshoof just missing a metal in Luge, Ohno tripping up in his semi-finals, Bode missing the Downhill podium by a hairsbreadth, and, of course, the figure-skating giant, Kwan, withdrawing from the games, never to achieve that elusive gold metal.

Damn, I love this stuff!

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Grandma Luge said...

Short track is still one of my favorites. Someone, at some point, is going into the wall like a turtle on its shell.

The long track skaters have the coolest uniforms ever. They look like human torpedoes with wrap around shades. They also have legs that look like they could squat a Volkswagen.

Shaun White's post win interview was inarticulate and incredibly endearing. I'll say it again: these snowboarders are one of the most bizarre presences at the Olympics, and they have done more for it than anyone else. It's just so American, and they show off the best of "Gen Y."
Later, he teared up on the podium with his hand on his heart during the last strains of the anthem, and the fact that it was obvious that he was trying so desperately not to cry made it that much more genuine.

Bodieeeeeeeee!!!

2:55 PM  
Anonymous N. said...

That Shaun White interview, while not exact, went something like this:

Reporter: You just won gold. What’s going through your mind right now?

White: Oh man. Man, just – Wow. I mean it’s great. just went out and had fun. My family – My family’s here – I don’t wanna – (tearing up) – In Italy – We’re all out here and we’re all out here having fun – and my family came all the way out to Italy – that’s awesome – I just rode my best – gold medal – Italy – I told myself I wasn’t gonna do this (rubs eyes) – but my family –


That was the gist of it, anyway. He got across the salient points.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous rossback said...

We blew a good lead on Latvia in men's Hockey today. I'm not gonna hold my breath for a US medal in that event.

Brandon -- We're living in Denver now (actually been here for 2 years now).

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

I think I could do nothing but watch snowboard cross for the rest of my life and be happy.

Hannah was on Letterman last night, discussing half pipe.

DL: "So, you guys had to do a qualifying run, right?"

HT (with legs up on armrest): "Yeah, oh yeah. It was me, Kelly, and Gretchen. We all went one after another, and it was like boom, boom, boom. One-two-three. And we all qualified -"

Here Hannah catches herself, rolls her eyes to the ceiling, and chuckles to herself,
"-obviously."

Oh did I laugh and laugh. That Hannah.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

I think that some of my favorite Olympic moments don't even take place on the field of competition, but inside NBC's warm studio! I absolutely love (and have ever since he began doing them years ago) Jimmy Robert's nightly Olympic Moments segments in which he profiles athletes in stories that are shockingly emotive for their brevity. A high point of my evening viewing.

So, some of my favorite, most shocking, most surprising moments of the week:

Chinese pairs coach Yao Bin's extraordinary personal story and his team's (Zhang/Zhang) phenomenal guts to take the silver medal despite a horrific fall and injury. That is what these games are all about.

Yevgeny Plushenko winning his gold for men's figure skating was utterly immaculate and faultless. It was also without heart or passion (a problem of his skating from day one and indicative of this new technical merit-heavy scoring system). The best skater of the games was not even on the podium, Evan Lysacek, who skated a disastrous short program and roared back with an ethereal long program. USA's Michael Weiss was also great, but inconstant—but he may very well be the most graceful, beautiful men's skater the US has ever produced.

If you are getting the impression that I am “one of those guys” who like figure skating, you're right. I grew up watching and following and loving it. Though I confess, I could almost care less about ice dancing. Shew, my sexuality is secure.

Oh those snowboarders! Adding a bit of zest and zing to the Games, Halfpipe was a wonder to behold and Snowboard Cross an absolute, heart-pounding joy. The Flying Tomato (Shawn White) was superb as were his female comrades. Lindsay Jacobellis, whose showboating cost her the gold, should have known better but then again, she is a product of her X-sport and besides, who could or would have blamed her for her trick had she still taken the gold? No one.

I don't know what is more impressive in men's Speed skating—all the medals or the infighting. Joey Cheek is magnanimous and an example for us all giving away and raising $300,000 of his winnings to charity. Was Shani Davis right to skip the pursuit to focus on his own race, a race that got him the gold? I don't know. I know how Chad Hendricks feels. And Shani seemed like he wanted to drink hot blood after winning the gold and getting interviewed—what was up there?

In short track, Apolo Anton Ohno was great, but simply beaten by betters. There is some cosmic justice not lost on Korea that two of their own shut him out of the top two spots.

Italy sure was amazing in cross-country 4x10! Who would have thought they would be that dominant or Norway that far behind.

Bode, Bode, Bode—what can we say? When he scores, he scores huge. But his “life on the edge” approach to everything he does means he sucks far more than he succeeds. In fact, in many ways, it seems that USA's winter dream team is imploding, not because of outside pressures, but internals ones. It is a bit sad when almost the only medals we've won are in the new, extreme (read: snowboarding) sports. It will be interesting to see how the next week plays out.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

If there's only ONE piece of information that I will take away from the entire Winter Olympics, it's that the average frickin' age of a federal frickin' prosecutor is twenty frickin' eight.

You know what I mean?

10:05 AM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

And yet, I predict I will give that show a try. It always amazes me how our society constantly puts lawyers down, yet, we have more TV shows about them then any single subject.

I'll be glad when I don't have to watch any more of the Olympic commercials, though I have to admit there are a few I really enjoy, even after seeing them a dozen times a night--the Exxon-Mobil one with kids dreaming about becoming athletes, and the Fly United one with the boy who dreams of his dad fighting dragons. Love that one.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Oh man. Chee-heeee-zeeee.

There have been far better "montage" pieces done than that one by Exxon-Mobil. They're amateurs. Don't get me started on "montage" advertising, an area that I specialize in (a niche interest if EVER there was one).

Nike - or rather their ad agency, Wieden & Kennedy - is the reigning king. They make great ones - a subset of all their great campaigns - and even have a sub-subset of ones set within the winter Olympics. They are not all hyped up; they are often low key and evoke a kind of spirituality that sometimes comes with physical discipline. I still remember the one from four years ago, during Salt Lake, that they have NEVER replayed, though I looked for it this time, that was scored to some sort of deep Yo Yo Ma-like cello music.
I'm pretty confident that Wieden & Kennedy have consistently come closer than anyone to approaching something one could call art in 60 second pieces designed to sell a product.

And no, I'm not an advertising major. I just think they rock like eastern bloc.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Oh my gosh. After a little Googling and a little work, I found this from a blog way back in 2002...

"Nike does it right. By this point, anyone with ears and a semifunctional brain knows that Nike isn't exactly the most politically correct company. They use slave labor and do a horde of other things that good books will explain to you. Nonetheless, they are probably the success story in corporate branding. When you think shoes you just think Nike.

They have accomplished this through years of quality advertising and the work as of late has been astounding. We may be sick of the basketball dribbling commercial, but you'll never forget it. Nike continued this storied tradition with a new ad called Move. It is a 90 second piece that creates a montage of Olympic sports. Sounds generic, but the style is beautiful. Sports are woven together and it screams elegance. If I were a network I would demand this quality in commercials because I didn't even think about channel surfing.

Nike as business: not so good. Nike as art: perfect 10."

That's the first time I've ever been able to find anything on it.
And he's right, of course. Of COURSE.
But the link to the ad is dead now. But at least I know the name of it.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Ha!

http://www.boardsmag.com/screeningroom/commercials/250/

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Different link, just in case:

http://www.youtube.com/watch.php?v=r5O62nutccg

See what I mean about Exxon-Mobil being amateurs? Dealing with pretty much the same theme too.

It's possibly my favorite advertisement of all time (as if I ever considered such a ranking before I saw it). It made me seriously consider, for a year or so, going into advertising.

I love how it transcends itself into something beyond selling shoes. I know it really doesn't, that the makers just want it to feel that way so I get a warm fuzzy feeling and think of the Nike swoosh whenever I consider the beauty and connectedness of all of Life, but damn if they didn't come close to succeeding.

Sorry. That's the first time I've seen that in four years.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Hey, it won an Emmy in 2002 for Best Commercial. How about that?

The guy who directed it also did the music videos for Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" and R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts", two of my favorite videos. Can't say I don't have consistent taste.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

To say something is better (in this case, I certainly agree with you) does not automatically make the comparison item bad.

Besides, I like it. It's my blog. If you don't like it you can go get yourself another advertising agency.

So there.

Guess I showed him.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

No. Mine was High Art.

Yours is just cheezy.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

I like cheese.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

And wine.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

Now that they are over, I'm already a bit nostalgic for Torino. Not that I am not happy that I can return to having a life and seeing friends again! Closing ceremonies last night were fun—loved that wind machine! I want one.

So, some impressions from the last week of competition:

Like the previous week, I was impacted as strongly about someone in the booth as on the slope. That Bob Costas—is there a more professional newscaster in sports or news anywhere. Love that guy.

Am I the only person who thinks we should just have the opening ceremonies in Vancouver, turn right around and just give the Austrians every downhill medal we have and THEN get started with the Games. Those guys are incredible.

The one sport above all others that I would not want to participate in because it looks agonizing is cross-country skiing, but boy did I love watching it this year. Speaking of cross-country, I have a confession to make. I have a secret love for biathlon. Have since I was a kid. A boy did it not disappoint here!

Figure skating was great. It looked like the Russians had a sweep all sown up and then who should come along and knock both they and the Americans from contention, but tiny Japan winning its first skating gold. Good for them! Both Slutskaya and Kwan will never realize their dreams of winning a gold medal. That Sasha—she is a wonder to behold but the can't-put-two-programs-together curse seems to be holding through yet another competition. It was also great seeing the smaller skaters like Turkey's very first foray into the event and Italy's lesser skaters who didn't have a chance to medal yet reacted at the ends of their skates as if they had. Beautiful. It was certainly an amazing year for an admittedly better-then-ever ice dancing competition—especially with the US winning their first medal in 3 decades. They final exhibition was wondrous, especially Pleshinko.
He skated with such heart and passion that night, unlike his gold medal winning skates in competition.

The men's speed skating was certainly the best event for the US other than snowboarding. To bad everyone squabbled like children off the ice. Ohno (not involved in aforementioned squabbling) was superb—the tin for tat, ying for yang thing he's got going with the Koreans is fascinating. Canada's Hughes in the 5000 was amazing.

Han of China winning the Arials gold the first time China puts a man in the event—awesome!

Great seeing Mancuso win the Giant Slalom—without her tiara.

Without cable, there was so much I missed. I have a friend obsessed with curling and I wasn't able to see a minute. Then again, his wife says (agonizingly) that he taped every minute so maybe I can go back and see what all the fuss is about!

Bode, Bode Bode...

I don't get those people, some of whom I've spoken to, who watch only those events that Americans are prominently featured in or expected to win. You miss so much richness and depth that way. So many inspiring stories. So much heart.

Oh well, I guess this is the end. I feel like I should have something profound to say but alas, work calls. Maybe later.

Until Beijing!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

Apolo Ohno works out at the same gym I work out in here in Colorado Springs, just a few blocks from the Olympic Training Center. I can't wait to give him a big, slobbery, wet kiss of appreciation and congratulations! Or maybe I'll just shake his hand.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

You should pat his rock hard butt, Ennis.

Ha! Brokeback Short Track!

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

No, seriously. I didn't get as much in as you did, but that doesn't mean I'm short on opinions of course:

People should lighten up on Bode. It's like they were waiting to pounce. (1) He said medals weren't important to him. (2) The U.S. Alpine team still thought it in their best interest to have him. (3) Surprise, he didn't medal.
Same with Lindsey Jacobellis. I get the feeling that she really wouldn't have cared if the media hadn't been so relentless, and making wild-ass comparisons to the biggest goofs of all time, in all sports (Fred Merkle?). By the time she was in the studio 8 hours later, they had her in tears.

My feelings towards figure skating are mixed at best, but of course I managed to catch both of Sasha Cohen's programs, for their artistic merit of course *cough*cough*.
The look on her face after each was priceless, the first for its little chin-thrusty cockiness, and the second for its pained, fake smile while her eyes said that she knew she just blew her last chance (maybe).

I, too, feel like curling would be just my thing, but I didn't get to see any of it. ESPN will show bowling all day, why not curling? It looks like a far more entertaining game. I love shuffleboard - the bar version not the retirement home/cruise ship version (I love bar games in general) - and it basically looks like arena-sized shuffleboard with even more strategy.
And the U.S. women's team had twins!

8:59 AM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

Here's my take on Bode.

I find his gruffness toward the media refreshing. I find his attitude that winning is not the most important thing and that we have created a culture of “winners alone are worthy” as extremely admirable. Personally, I find his take on our cult of success worship right on.

That said, this was the Olympics and he was representing a country--something far larger than himself. If he wants to have those attitudes, I both encourage and celebrate them. But not here. Not at the Olympics. Do that on your own time at the races where you represent Bode, not the US of A. This is a sport and you are a competitor. If you are not of the mind that you race to win, get the hell out and let someone else in your spot that is.

Besides, as Bob Costas said at the close of the evening Saturday, if Bode continues to rail against winning and rail against fans and proclaim how utterly uninterested he is in both he just may find they, in turn, become very uninterested in him.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Well, then, right. That would be market forces at work: Bode rails against superficial competition, fans lose interest, Bode loses endorsement deals. Bode continues to lose, Bode does not make team in 2010. But he DID make the team for '06, and he didn't force his way onto it with a gun. He competed, he won enough to be noticed, he did the tours, and he was selected by the people that do the selecting. End of story! And then he lost! Or rather, he was not .03 seconds faster than the other guy, or he missed a gate, which happens all the time. Do people honestly forget that there are far, far more athletes in the Olympics that do NOT medal than ones that do? So Bode fell into the 95% portion that went home empty handed rather than the 5% who got something shiny. It was the media perception that only built it up for the inevitable disappointment. And you can't blame him for that. If Nike comes to you to do a series of commercials with a fat wad of cash, you do it. At least Bode did it his way, even if it comes across to you as pretentious. Xbox wants to make a ski game and slap your name on it. Hey, why the hell not? He's talented and good looking, with an interesting back story. He can set himself for life with the money, guaranteeing that he can spend his days skiing, living the dream.

In the end, his net worth is well into six figs. That may change. Again, market forces at work. But right now I bet he doesn't give a shit what you, I, or Costas thinks, and who can blame him?

Anyway, he lost, and there were others who won. Doesn't it always happen this way? There's enough glory to go around for us to enjoy in the U S of A (gee, jingoistic much?). There's an attitude out there that I have no other term for other than "medal whoring."

Lindsey Jacobellis grabbing her board and succinctly falling on her ass was somehow simultaneously the funniest, most interesting, most endearing, most poignant, most conducive to water cooler talk, most beneficial to the new sport of snowboard cross in terms of getting people talking, most beneficial to the Winter Olympics in terms of getting people watching, most true to the spirit of her sport THING that any athlete did at these games, and all people could talk about was how SHE LOST THE GOLD. Oh my God. We were going to have gold in FOUR of the snowboard events, and now we only HAVE THREE. Instead of 24 total we COULD have had TWENTY FIVE. When you decide to play at the BIG BOY table you must COME TO WIN!

See what I mean? Medal whores.
And I don't think it jives with your humanistic view of the Olympics. You can still play to win, and still hope your team wins, but shrug it off when they don't.

These things always turn out much longer than I intend, dammit.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

Yes, Bode's a spectacular talent and yes, far more athletes go home empty handed than with any color medal. I think what really disturbed people was not that Bode was legitimately beaten by others but that here, Bode beat himself.

I don't think he's pretentious. Again, his attitude is refreshing and necessary--in it's place.

Yes, the media so hyped him and we all talked about him so glowingly around our proverbial water coolers that there was no way he could possibly have lived up to our expectations. That was our doing and our fault. But Bode didn't protest. Or, more accurately, he protested too much.

Don't keep telling us you hate the media and the attention and then gladly say yes to having your face plastered on every magazine and TV commercial. Some consistency would be nice. A certain amount of hypocritical is showing through here. Hate the media and want nothing to do with them—great. Love the media and use them to get deals and six figures and the life of luxury—great. But you can't have your cake and eat it too.

In the end, yes, I totally believe that Bode doesn't give a shit what you, I, or Costas think. And no, I don't blame him at all. Good for him.

Is the U.S. composed of a bunch of metal whores? Without a doubt. But I disagree that wanting an athlete to excel, to perform at the top of their game and to actually care (gasp) that they do well and represent their country with distinction is at odds with my humanistic view of the Games. I've shrugged off his loses and rejoiced with those who won. That was never, ever the issue. What I find difficult to shrug off is Bode's utter indifference and ambivalence to it in the first place.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

No, no. You misunderstand me.

I just wanted an excuse to talk about Lindsey Jacobellis.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Nate, in all seriousness said...

But there you go. Why do you feel that Bode didn’t represent his country with distinction? Do you have some evidence that he didn’t race hard? Was he balancing a Maxim magazine in one hand on the downhill?

Everyone keeps saying things like this, but I see no evidence of anything except that there were skiers on the hill that were better than him those days, yet every day the media headline was “BODE MILLER STILL NOT WON MEDAL.”
Every. Damn. Day.
I swear that was even after days he didn’t have an event. Seriously.

This is the same network that put Costas in the bizarre position of defending the “perceived flat performance” of the U.S. team (after winning the highest medal count ever on foreign soil) when it was his very network, with the endless “Best U.S. Team Ever” hype, that created the perception!
And so it went with Bode.

If he held to that line that medals weren’t important, just that he should feel that he did his best, and then he had gone on and won a bunch of medals, no one would say anything about it. But, instead, he lost. But before he lost, he espoused his medals-are-silly belief, and after he lost he was still saying the same thing! That’s pretty consistent. But the endorsers still sought him out, the Barbara Walters of the world still wanted him on their shows, the magazines still wanted him on their covers, and, most importantly, we still wanted him on our team.
But because he didn’t come in the top 3, we now feel we are entitled to a better skier. Fine. But this is about what he said, you say. Sure he told Costas those things, but Costas asked. Whether someone asks you in a bar or invites you into a room with cameras and asks you in front of an audience, you are still asked. Bode didn’t kick in my door, run into the middle of my living room, wave his arms and yell, “MEDALS ARE FOR SUCKERS! POOPY!” and then run out, leaving me confused, on the couch, my Hot Pocket frozen mid-bite, (thinking: did a world class Alpine skier just break through my door and yell “poopy”?).

And another thing, Bode Miller has always s—…oh who am I kidding. I’ve got a huge crush on Lindsey Jacobellis!

12:20 PM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

As soon as I find some of those scrum-diddly-icious, mass mind control spreads on Lindsey, you'll be the first to know!

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

With her it's more about who she is, and how cool she is, and the fact that I'd like to race her down a 1,000 yard boardercross course, rather than any Sasha Coen-doing-the-splits-looks. But the ski caps, frosted pink cheeks, and curly hair don't hurt.

In the latest Sports Illustrated (I know, again with the Sports Illustrated) there is a picture of her looking down and shrugging for Frieden and Maltais, after the notorious race (quite literally "shrugging it off"). Look at it and tell me your heart doesn't melt a lil' bit.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

Looked all over for the pic. Couldn't find it. But I did find this:

"Eight skiers went down. It's not fair to compare diggers. Kildow's looked worse, but Montillet-Carles' was plenty nasty. Like Kildow, she landed on her back (suffering painfully bruised ribs), but then her body jackknifed and slammed her face into the snow, mashing her goggles into her face.

It was the goggle-smashing that left the image before us in the mixed zone. Montillet-Carles' face was an unimaginable mess. There were cuts running the breadth of her forehead and across the bridge of her nose onto her always-pudgy cheekbones. The entire lower half of her face was grotesquely swollen in various shades of purple. If Montillet-Carles weren't so bubbly and sweet, it would have been impossible to look at her.

On the day of this race, I blogged about the bravery of downhill skiers. Kildow. Montillet-Carles. All of them. I won't do that again.

But I still can't shake the image of Montillet-Carles's face from my mind, and I still can't believe that she stuffed her swollen head and tender face into a helmet and goggles and skied an Olympic downhill. She finished only 26th in the race, but it was impossible not to be struck by her passion. She simply refused to let an Olympic race take place without her.

Dramatic pause here.

Keep pausing.

Almost there, now.

Unlike Bode Miller."



Now, where's that picture again?

12:58 PM  

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