Thursday, February 16, 2006

It's about as cold here in Torino as I'll bet it is up in the NBC Olympic production studios. They've spent months hanging the Olympics on superstars they hoped would become superheroes and look what happened. Michelle Kwan withdrawing more gracefully than any of her Olympic performances. Jeremy Bloom packing his bags for NFL scouting cap with nothing better than a sixth place. Apollo Ohno ready to shave that stupid goatee just to shave a few seconds off the time. Lindsey Kildow happy with an eighth place. And of course, Bode Miller, doing exactly what he has done all season, Disqualify only to upstaged by a 21-year-old who takes gold in a sport where only seasoned veterans are supposed to succeed?

If anyone at NBC had been to the movies in the last three years they would realize that the only superhero stories people want to hear are the underdogs. Spider-Man's just a nerdy kid. Batman's just a lost little rich boy. And Superman can't even get the girl he loves. The real stories, missed everyday, are the athletes falling through the cracks. Graham Watanabe will take the spot of Snowboardcross racer Jayson Hale after Hale blew out his ACL in training on Tuesday. Why is Watanabe in Torino? He came to help his teammates and friends wax his board for a race.
Vail's Toby Dawson was born on the streets of South Korea and traveled thousands of miles before he reached his adopted parents home in Vail. Yesterday he won a bronze. Ivica Kostelic, took silver in the combine ski event after he and his sister overcame amazing odds in Croatia to become two of the sports more fun and heartwarming athletes.

These are the stories you won't find back home. You won't hear about Tyler Jewell, who slept in tents, showered in YMCA lockerooms and ate at hospitals to eventually take the lone spot in snowboarding parallel Giant slalom away from a bronze medalist and the rest of the US team. These are the real heroes. The ones who know that it's worth it in the end. The ones who win after the planes, the trains, the cars, the bad food, the lack of sleep, the broken boots, the broken boards the broken bones and the broken hearts.


Blogger Mo said...

update: shani davis, first black man to win a winter olympic medal.

good stuff bro, keep it up

11:30 PM  
Blogger Sylkk said...

Happy to see Dawson did well... yes there were amazing life stories at the olympics but that's not what sells.... sad but true.

Keep writing!!!!!

12:04 PM  

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