Every Night Olympics Makes Us Prouder

**Randy Gardner photo**By Randy Gardner

This could be about a 10-page column on how impressed I am with the way that the American Athletes are handling themselves in Sochi. Every time that I think that I had gotten the perfect story for this week’s column I found a new one, so I am going to put them all together and see what I get.

It all comes down to class. By that I mean acting like you have been there before and that is what athletes like Snowboarder Shaun White did after his defeat in the half pipe. For a guy that was expected to win gold easily and to not even medal, after his defeat the way that he handled himself both at the moment of loss and in interviews after wards is one of the classiest things I have ever seen.

Most people would be really upset and I am sure that he was but he knew that he had been beaten.

He was so gracious to the other contenders including the Gold Medalist as he hugged him and gave him congratulations. In the interviews he praised the other contenders also and did not blame at all the terrible conditions that were present at the time of his ride.

When you train for years on a certain kind of snow pack and then you all the sudden get different terrains for the same ride, it has to throw you off. On top of all of that, he donated all of his snowboarding stuff to Make A Wish kids foundation. This is Classy.

Oshi Plays it Down, Says he’s No Hero

On top of that how about T.J. Oshi down playing his role as a National hero. He said that heroes are on the battlefield. I agree with him but I also feel that one man or a team carrying their nations colors on their back can make a huge difference in a nation’s pride. You could not go anywhere on Saturday without someone saying, “Did you see the game”. It was so cool. Will they win gold or not, I don’t know but the memories of that game and the way it ended will be talked about for years to come just like the 1980s Gold Medal team. If the US team wins the gold will it be as huge of an accomplishment as the 80’s team or are they expected to win this year. No matter what happens our country  will be proud but I don’t think it compares to the ‘80s Miracle on Ice victory.

Becoming Big Fan of Ice Dancing

During the Olympic season, I become one of the biggest Ice Dancing fans on the planet, the athleticism of these athletes is unbelievable and to do it on skates is incredible. People say that hitting a baseball at 95 miles an hour is one of the toughest things to do in sports. I would say skating on blades flipping someone on my shoulders an holding them up with one hand and letting them down on the ice without cracking a skull ranks right up there.

It is such a beautiful thing to watch. I am not sure though that I could ever try this sport because first of all I could never skate like that, second I am not strong enough to pick someone up like that and third, I would look absolutely terrible in one of those outfits. As I wrap up, I talked at length this week to someone who surprised me with their unique hobby. So, hi to Blazer. Life is interesting when you really stop and talk to someone.



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