Why the Winter Olympics Blow Snow – No Michael Phelps
The Winter Olympics are not as big a deal in the United States as are
the Summer Olympics.
The main reason is that Michael Phelps does not participate in the
Winter Olympics. He’s the U.S. swimmer who has won 18 Gold Medals
during the Summer Olympics but none so far during the Winter Games.
Without Phelps to focus on and brag about, we are left searching for
an American athlete who can dominate the world in his or her sport. No
American this year will do so, nor has this happened in any other
previous Winter Olympics. Ok, maybe Sean, or it Shawn, or is it Shaun
White crushes in the half-pipe big air snowboarding. But that’s not
like swimming the 400 individual medley as Phelps has – and taken
Americans like to watch Americans win Gold Medals and be the
undisputed best of all time. We get into feeling all superior. This
person does not exist in the United States for the Winter Olympic
Games. You could say, Eric Heiden, who won five Gold Medals in speed
skating many years ago, ruled that rink. But he did it for just one
Olympics. Phelps crushed everybody in four different Olympics. Phelps
is America’s God. He is our nectar.
I would like to see Phelps on the four or two-man bobsled team. I
bet he could inspire his teammates to Gold Medals the way he does in
the swimming relay events. He’s got the body of a bobsledder with that
long torso and well-rounded shoulder blades. The question is, can he
sprint fast and jump in the toboggan smoothly and quickly and endure
the terror of riding 60 miles per hour down a mountain in a small
tube? And when would he do his arm flap before the race as he does
before all his swimming races? And would it be as intimidating to
competing bobsledders as it has been to his swimming competitors?
Probably not. Bobsledders have a different mental make up than
swimmers. They are more fearless and crazy and most of the best grow
up in cold, dark regions of the world. They don’t care about Michael
The Winter Olympics blow snow because the United States doesn’t
dominate these Games the way it does the Summer Olympics. We’re an
also-ran. Being an also-ran doesn’t sit well with Americans even
though we’re getting more used to it over the past several decades
based on our lame national average SAT scores versus dozens of other
countries. At the Winter Games, we don’t have any sports at which you
could say, like in U.S. Olympic swimming, we rule the universe. We
snag some medals here and there, but there are too many events at
which we aren’t the best. We aren’t good at curling, for example.
There is no Curt Curling walking the streets of America.
In speed skating, it always seems that somebody who is not from
The United States wins those races. We rarely even come in second or
third. How come Americans can’t skate faster?
These disconcerting results make our country feel inferior. We get
down about not being the best. The country’s psyche gets messed with.
We get the winter doldrums. It’s frigid outside and inside we feel
frozen as we watch our United States athletes not finish first and
often way back in the pack. When was the last time you saw an American
on the Medal stand in the Nordic Combined? I’ll be it’s been since the
1950s. What is the Nordic Combined? See? Nobody knows in this country.
But people in Germany and Norway do. They live and breathe the Nordic
The Winter Olympics are, for Americans, a boondoggle, a race against
lost time, a destiny of defeat and despair. We get beat. Other
countries win. It bums us out. In the figure skating, it always seems
to be the Russian pairs skaters who are the most talented and snag
Gold from us. We watch them and have to admit they are better. They
are more regal and their skating outfits more appropriately austere.
We succumb to our inadequacies, face some tough truths, and wrestle
with ourselves emotionally.
We must come to terms with the fact that we are not the best in the
world. We must accept that we are less than. We confront stark
realities, that we are losers in multiple ways.
We blow snow.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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