24 January 2010

Uggh. Enough With The Red, White & Blue Wash Already

I can see where this is going.

The article, about gold medal hopeful Lindsay Vonn, is just a little bit blown out of proportion. The Vonncouver Olympics? Please.

We've heard it before - four years ago, in fact. In Torino. Some larrikin out of New Hampshire, Bode Miller, who "downplayed" claims that he might go five-for-five. It's eerily familiar. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've read these words - "her recent results suggest it's more than possible that she would fare well in every Alpine skiing event on the mountain at Whistler, B.C." - before, just replace "her" and "she" with "his" and "he", oh and "Whistler, B.C." with whichever mountain it was that Miller performed spectacularly badly on in Torino, Italy. Of course, his "downplaying" of these expectations involved stories just like the one about Lindsay Vonn, some bad behaviour on his part (drinking the night before races, living an RV outside the Olympic Village are two examples of this) and well, just generally being a jackass. Then he failed, and shut up.

Sure, next month I may be eating my words. Maybe Lindsay Vonn will win five events, and become the frost-bitten equivalent of Michael Phelps. But you only need to be realistic here: America just aren't that good when it comes to the Winter Olympics. The men's and women's alpine skiing events are usually dominated by good-looking Italians, Swiss, and Germans. The cross-country and Nordic combined? Well, Nordic countries. Even in figure skating, it's been a while since Michelle Kwan's heyday. Yup, they've got their "Flying Tomato" Shaun White, who I love love love, and Hannah Teter and Gretchen Bleiler aren't bad on boards either. And there's nothing wrong with dominating the one event! It doesn't mean you have to shove your mediocre "talents" in our faces, claiming they're going to not only sweep the Olympics, but that people may even start nicknaming the Games after them.

I am just going to crack up if a New Zealander wins a medal in Vancouver. That will be a fantastic day. One you're sure to hear about. Maybe not in the USA Today, though.

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