Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Ugliest American

If there were such a thing as an Olympic medal for being a dick, Bode Miller would win gold. His (totally unwarranted) arrogance is just mind-boggling. I admit that I was predisposed to dismiss him simply because of his name—Bode. Unfair of me, maybe, but he obligingly provided reason after reason for me to dislike him. First of all, the Olympic Village is apparently too squalidly international for the likes of him, so he isolates himself in a giant-ass RV out in the parking lot. He's special. He’s such a great skier he doesn’t even need to inspect a run beforehand, in fact, why not show up to the Olympics undertrained, overweight, and hung-over? Oh, there are some new super-duper high-tech skis available? Why not try them out during competition? Perhaps technology can stand in for technique.

Well, guess what Mr. Bode Freakin’ Miller? Technology is no substitute for technique and arrogance is no substitute for skill and sportsmanship. After his last disastrous run, I was actually prepared to feel sorry for him until he opened his mouth and claimed that he was having a great Olympics since it was providing him with lots of party time. What? What was that you said? Do you not know that there are hundreds of young athletes out there who would sacrifice practically anything for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team? They didn’t get a chance and your undeserving flabby ass did. That is just so wrong.

And here’s something else. The guy was lying. Of course, he wanted to go out there and win gold—preferably in every event. I saw undiluted anguish on his face after he slipped and missed a gate on his last run. But he can’t admit that he simply isn’t good enough. He actually said that he would have won gold in the downhill (I think) if there hadn't been four guys who had had better runs than he did! What a ludicrous and idiotic excuse! Ooooooh. It makes me so angry that a guy like this was representing the U.S. We just don’t need to have the stereotype of the ugly, arrogant, entitled American reinforced (even more) all over the world. We’re loathed enough. Thanks, Bode. Thanks ever so much. I hope your horseshit attitude gets you booted off the Olympics team and abandoned by all your sponsors.

The silver medal for being a dick would go to Chad Hedrick. I should double check my facts on this, but apparently Shani Davis signed a letter of intent three weeks before the Olympics stating that he would not be in the team pursuit. Deal with it, Chad! Don’t keep badmouthing Shani Davis every chance you get. So unsportsmanlike. And Shani was out there cheering for Chad during his last event. That is pretty forgiving of Shani, I think. Chad claimed not to have seen Shani there, even though he was right by the rails. Drop it for crissakes, Chad!

The only reason Chad doesn’t share the golden dickhead medal with Bode is that Chad does genuinely care about his sport. He turned in an unbelievable performance in the grueling 10,000 m. He was flagging badly during the final laps, his mouth agape, gasping for air, but he somehow from somewhere marshalled the energy to keep himself from slipping down to a bronze finish. He redeemed himself in my eyes a bit with that demonstration of his commitment. So he’s not quite a 24-karat prick—only a sterling silver one.

Oh dear, I’ve spent a lot of time ranting when I should have been raving. There were so many really outstanding events and athletes that I truly enjoyed watching.

I was so happy that cutie-pie Apolo Anton Ohno won gold in the 500 m. I didn’t think he could possibly beat the superhuman Koreans. And, unlike Bode Freakin’ Miller, he candidly admitted he didn’t know if he could beat them either. He fully acknowledges how amazing the Koreans are--and that the Chinese and the Canadians are no slouches either. So it was really thrilling to see Apolo cross the finish line first in the 500 m. He’s got so much power and precision. And he just loves the sport--he sure looked like he was having fun in the relay. He didn’t mind a bit that the Americans got bronze, and he went out of his way to congratulate the Koreans and the Canadians. Bode--did you see that? That is what it means to do something on an "Olympic level."

Other favorite moments:
Canadians Clara Hughes and Cindy Klassen singing “Oh Canada” up on the podium after winning gold and bronze in the 5000 m speed skate. They looked so radiantly joyful! Hughes is a Summer Olympian, too. Totally incredible! And Klassen is the most decorated Olympian in Canada!

Czech Republic's Katerina Neumannova sprinting out ahead at the last moment of the arduous 30 km cross-country freestyle event to win gold. Her little daughter dashed out onto the snow to congratulate her. How on earth can she raise a kid and have the energy to ski like that? I am in awe of her.

Tomasz Sikora of Poland coming out of nowhere to win silver in the 15 km biathlon. Justyna Kowalczy also coming out of nowhere to win bronze in the 30-km freestyle event. Go Poland!

Janica Kostelic of Croatia winning gold in the combined alpine event even though she was sick as a dog. It was great to see how happy she was for her brother, too, and for, basically, anyone who turned in a good performance, especially since her ailments forced her to drop out of later events. What a remarkable example of sportsmanship.

Wow. An entire blog entry about sports! That’ll never happen again on this blog.

Update: For more on how much Bode sucks, check out Bode Miller Sucks and the 113 vitriolic comments. Also check out this article in the Washington Post.


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