Quote of the Day:
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right. –Henry Ford
TB tuned in to NBC Saturday night just in time to catch the last ten skiers in women’s Moguls and I’m glad I did. Hannah Kearney brought home the first Gold Medal of these Olympics to the USA and her teammate Shannon Bahrke won Bronze. (Before I go any further let me say here that I hope the notoriety of her medal will help Bahrke be able to afford a new vowel or two.) Mogul skiing is a cool event. The competitors speed headlong down a hill full of smaller hills, hitting a pair of mid-size hills along the way that launch them into the sky where they are expected to look cool and do tricks until they hit the ground when they are again faced with speeding over small hills to the bottom of the big hill. Though the color commentator said nothing so descriptive as the foregoing, he did explain in vibrant terms that the goal of speed in this event is best attained by getting as close to completely out of control as possible without turning over. Speaking for terrible skiers everywhere, I can totally relate to that exact moment. These athletes can hold that moment all the way down the hill, whereas the likes of TB only recognize it in the millisecond we realize a face full of snow is imminent. Not only must racers reach the bottom fastest. They are also scored subjectively on the cool airborne tricks. Kearney did a complete backflip on her first jump and a “helicopter” 360 degree spin on her second. Amazing. The best part of her victory was that in Torino four years ago she entered the contest as favorite and stumbled to a 22nd place finish. I can only imagine how hard it has been for her waiting four years for redemption. It was a victory that defines and legitimizes the cliché, “Olympic moment”.
I also cheered America today after assembling the Little Scamp’s new Radio Flyer tricycle. Radio Flyer is an American company based in Illinois that manufactures products in Wisconsin. Beyond the fact that an iconic company still builds things in America, the directions were good and the assembly process as a whole was a breeze. Believe me, I know. I am terrible at putting things together. I get these Chinese-made things and find extra parts, missing steps in the instructions, impossible to interpret diagrams. Not with American-as-apple-pie Radio Flyer! They even had a note that an extra piece was supplied purposely. And I was one proud Dad watching my LS learn to pedal that thing around our neighborhood. Dang right I can do man-stuff like puttin’ things together….oh, the LS did well too.
Back to the Olympics where there was even more American glory on display. Apollo Ohno won a Silver to become the co-all-time American leader in medals won Saturday. On Sunday Johnny Spillane won Silver in men’s Nordic Combined cross-country skiing. Johnny Spillane. Is there a better American name than that? Before Spillane, no American had ever medaled in the sport. He was runner up to Frenchman Jason Chappuis. But get this, Chappuis was born in Montana to a French father and American mother and is therefore an American citizen. So we really should be able to claim half a medal there. Then again, Hannah Kearney it turns out is half Canadian so we’ll call it even.
Better wrap this up and take out the trash…..oh, crap, just looked at the box. The LS’s tricycle it turns out is only half-American too, plastic in America and steel parts in China. <blank stare> Well, that’s better than most anything else we own. I’ll take it. U.S.A.!
One of the few things I can halfway boast about — notice I even watered down what I can brag about; self-deprecating humor is unstoppable — is skiing. I used to be really good.
I can remember when I made the transition from the ubiquitous and telling ski suit to only a sweater and jeans (Scotchgarded just in case). I went a whole week skiing blues and blacks without falling.
On the last day, I skiied up to my group, bursting with confidence, and promptly fell flat on my face.
Jeans? That’s bad form, unless your a Texan.
Just found out, we won the America’s Cup today! A team led by Oracle tycoon Larry Ellison. Their boat was skippered by an Aussi, co-sponsored by European automaker BMW, and included in the crew one American, a tactician, besides the 65 year old Ellison who presumably served as ballast and a whole bunch of Kiwi’s, Euro’s and Aussi’s, perhaps a Norseman as well, who knows. Whatever. The trophy goes to San Francisco now. USA! USA!
Texan?? That’s “over the line, Smokey!”
I love watching me some Olympics