Monday, February 15, 2010

The Wait of a Country...

Forgive me if I sound like a shill for the Winter Olympics and NBC, but I couldn't help but be mesmerized to the television Sunday night when Canada's Alexandre Bilodeau rallied to win the gold medal in Men's Moguls.

You see, Canada, this year's host country for the Winter Games, had never had an athlete win gold on home soil. A stretch that covered the 1976 Summer Olympics and the 1988 Winter Games. Before you say "big deal," remember that sports like hockey, curling, skiing and ice skating are some of Canada's most popular. Now think about this, in our current era of media hype, how big a deal would the U.S. press have made about a streak in which it had been America that had never won gold on its homeland?

What made Bilodeau's victory more compelling is he beat the defending gold medalist Dale Begg-Smith, a native Canadian who moved to Australia when he was 15 and skis for the Aussies. Just before Bilodeau's final run, Begg-Smith had blitzed the course and taken over first place.

Now that Bilodeau has finally broken through with gold and allowed a nation to exhale, perhaps it will open the door for Canada to follow through with it's vow to "own the podium" at these Vancouver Games. If not, well at least they got a huge monkey of its collective back.


A quick thought on Apolo Anton Ohno. If and when he does become the most decorated speed skater in U.S. history, remember that it doesn't necessarily make him the greatest. So far Ohno has six medals, tied with American Bonnie Blair. However Blair has five golds to Ohno's two, one of which is steeped in controversy after Ohno was given the gold after finishing second in the 1500 meter final at the Salt Lake Games because South Korean Kim Dong-Sung was disqualifed for blocking Ohno. Then Saturday at this year's 1500 meter final, fate smiled on Ohno again. He was fourth on the final lap; out of medal contention when two Koreans--who were second and third at the time--took each other out. It opened the door for Ohno to capture silver and his record tying sixth medal. I'm not saying Ohno isn't a great skater, or a terrific dancer for that matter, but he has not dominated this sport the way Blair did.

Jason Brown

1 comment:

poker affiliate said...

Ohno re-dedicated himself after some time away from the track. and he is on the verge of becoming the most accomplished U.S Winter Games athlete ever. I hope he continues to dominate the short-track competitions.