2.24.2006

News and Thoughts About the Olympic Games

One of the benefits of not being stuck behind my desk all day right now is that I've been able to take in quite a bit of the Olympics this time around.

And while the US stars aren't doing especially well in the games, the games themselves have been quite compelling and entertaining to watch. Last night's Women's Curling Final was excellent and went down to the hammer to steal the End and the win for the Swedes. It was good sport.

Alot of the news in the US seems to have been focused on this "rivalry" between Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick over the Men's Pursuit race that Shani Davis opted to not participate in. Why? Because the race was the day before the biggest race of his entire life, the one thing he'd been training for his whole life. And he didn't want to be distracted from that goal, nor would he want to chance an injury or even overexertion before his race.

And Chad Hedrick was less than enthused with Davis' decision and called him on it publicly. Which is very, very lame. I understand the team mentality that Hedrick's argument is based on but the basic reality is that Davis got himself to the Olympic Games for his own reasons, regardless of the team, he got there for himself first and foremost. The Pursuit race shouldn't have been run early in the speedskating schedule, that was a mistake on the planner's part. But faulting Shani Davis for keeping himself focused on the goal he had been focused on for his entire life is unfair.

And I just read the report on the US Men's Curling team taking the bronze for the first ever Curling medal for the US! Canada looks to be a lock with a seven point lead right now.

Other events that were great fun to watch: the final of the Men's Biathlon Individual 12.5 k Pursuit and witnessing Vincent Defrasne charge through the pack and sprint for the win was sweet. I don't if people realize how hard it is to shoot accurately when your heart is thumping. Biathlon is far more difficult than many people think.

And the snowboarders are just fun to watch anytime. And it helps that they are generally really great, funny and cool individuals when they are interviewed. Fun loving folks with the right attitude about the games, I think.

I can honestly say that I've really enjoyed watching the good sports, the good sportsmanship and the sometimes surprising finishes.

It sure beats thinking about the nightmare that is the American political system. And baseball is just around the corner too!
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