Things are heating up in the pre-Sochi world of elite athletes. There’s some good and some downright ugly.
The way Ashley Wagner is being treated on Twitter (badly) has me truly annoyed (and by “annoyed” I mean beyond fed up). In case you were doing something crazy like studying, the bottom line is that Ashley made the US Olympic Figure Skating team. The dust-up is that she did not do well at the national championships (and by “did not do well” I mean she fell twice) so many people think she should not have been chosen (and—more to the point—someone else should have).
The point—my point—is that it is Not Her Fault she was chosen and Twitterville (and I love Twitterville dearly) has got to stop being utterly evil to her. Her job right now is to do brilliantly in Sochi and we should be supporting that. Go ahead and write nastygrams to the Olympic committee. No prob. (Seriously, though. Are you only just now figuring out that ice skating and gymnastics decisions are often based on things other than that day’s performance? Grow up.) Leave Ashley out of the ick. Btw—she is officially off social media until after the games. Probably a wise decision, but I wish it weren’t necessary.
Here’s some of the good.
Have you heard about the US Men’s Curling Team? They are exactly what the Olympics should be about imho. They are amateurs in the true sense. They have real day jobs: a restaurant manager, a middle-school science teacher, an engineer, and a college student. (Yeah, I get that “college student” isn’t a job exactly, but it’s close enough for what I’m talking about.) They don’t get to spend 100 hours a day practicing. They don’t earn enough money through gifts or sponsors or promotions to be worry free about financial realities. Their big sponsor is Dairy Queen—not exactly the training mecca of athletes everywhere. I think they may be my heroes of the week.
The US Women’s biathlon team has a story worthy of a Christmas TV special on Lifetime. Lanny and Tracy Barnes are twin sisters who both competed for the US in the 2006 Olympic games. During this year’s trials, Tracy earned a spot on the team, but Lanny was ill and missed three of the four tryout races (which does not do good things for one’s qualifying opportunities). Then (and this is the after school special part) Tracy gave up her spot and Lanny was tapped to take her place. Wild, huh?
In Olympic fashion news: watch for the Canadian men’s skeleton crew. Their helmets rock. Big time.
Glad to hear school is going well so far.