Thursday, February 23, 2006

Why the Olympics Aren’t Cutting It This Time

There are lots of reasons not to get excited about these Winter Games. The U.S. team hasn't done that well - you don't get gold medals for excuses. The skier Bode Miller symbolizes the big disappointment. Hyped by our corporate machine going in, he not only lost but he whined about it.
The U.S. hockey team lost and whined about it, too. Besides the happening dudes of the snowboarding team, and a smattering of other gold medal winners, this year will be remembered more for bad attitudes and not delivering. And you know what? It makes perfect sense. It really does. Our leaders have been making a lot of excuses themselves lately. Their excuses about Iraq alone could fill an Olympic Stadium. Frankly, this time around the United States doesn’t deserve a Miracle on Ice.
Remember that great feeling, setting the alarm to watch the USA take on the Soviet Union and Finland? The famous call by Al Michaels?
The Soviet Union players were pros but they had no joy. They were playing not to lose, and they blew it. Meanwhile our team represented the best of America: Youthful, daring, brash, charismatic, and fun. Lots and lots of fun. That was an Olympics to remember. That was an America to remember.
What are we known for now? Torture, preemptive strikes? Talk about a bad attitude. A vice president who can’t shoot a bird without hitting his friend? Talk about a poor performance.
We are currently not in a position to deserve national success at the Olympics.
I believe that is why the TV ratings are down – because we’re down. Our national pride is now accompanied by shame at what we’ve done recently as a country. Was that a gold medal performance in New Orleans? Did we dazzle the world?
When I think of the America I love in Olympic terms, I think of the charismatic smile of Picabo Street. And, of course, that incredible hockey team. That’s the America we used to be. Those were true American Idols. This time around I believe more people are feeling bad about where we are as a nation. Maybe that’s why they’re watching a reality show called American Idol, instead of the Winter Games.


At 12:56 AM, Blogger Jenni Simonis said...

While all the complaining and stuff may have gotten old (and our team has been pretty injury prone), we're not doing that bad.

We had a lot of medals 4 years ago, but that's typical of when the Olympics is held at home. There's usually a large increase in medals for the host country (mostly attributed to the fact that you're on "home court").

At the Olympics before that, we only had 13 medals and were ranked 5th in total medals. We're already at 20 medals and are ranked 2nd. Not too shabby.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Thanks for your comment, Jenni.
I liked it when Sasha Cohen went humble last night saying she didn't deserve a medal for her performance. That was class.
The medal count may be good, especially in these newer sports like snowboarding, but why aren't the ratings better then? Is national spirit down?


Post a Comment

<< Home