Lindsey’s Gold

It’s a bittersweet victory.

To triumph in the Olympic downhill is an amazing feat.  Not only do you have to be that good, you’ve got to emerge victorious on a unique hill on a single day.  This is not like winning at a swimming or track meet, where the conditions are essentially identical every time and no competitor has an advantage.  There’s so much variation and luck involved in ski racing that when the favorite wins, they earn supreme compliments.  I doff my hat to Lindsey Vonn.  She’s the best, and she proved it, on a single day on a single piste.

But did she have to trot out all that tripe about being injured?

Maybe she truly was injured.  Then again, why didn’t she go for an x-ray?

You know when you’ve broken a bone.  I’m speaking from experience.  There’s nothing better than going for an x-ray and finding out the result is negative.  It’s a great relief.  And if you’re truly injured, it doesn’t matter if you go for the x-ray or not, you can’t compete.  Maybe they can tape you up and shoot you up in football, maybe even occasionally in basketball, but not ski racing.

Even major competitors believed Lindsey was lying.

Anya Paerson, who’s won her share of races and is no crybaby, claimed that everybody out there is injured to a degree, it goes with the territory, especially after months on the grueling World Cup circuit.  It’s just a matter of whether you make a big deal about it, use it as a crutch.

Didier Cuche, the favorite in the men’s downhill, was racing with a recently implanted plate and seven screws in his broken thumb, but he didn’t complain, he got up and raced.  And when he lost, he shrugged his shoulders.

Bode Miller would have won the men’s downhill if the sun had broken through when he skied down the hill, as it did for the eventual winners. On a bumpy course, Miller was stiff and off guard, he couldn’t see the terrain variations, he lost by only nine hundredths of a second.  But he didn’t complain about this in the finish area.  He ultimately covered the subject on his blog, but there were no sour grapes involved.

And then we have Lindsey Vonn.  Who says she’s injured to such a degree that she may not be able to compete at all!  May let down our entire country, the universe, after appearing on the cover of "Sports Illustrated", showing up in a bathing suit the week after!

Or maybe she just wanted to lower expectations.

Or maybe she just wanted to play mind games with her competitors.

And eventually Lindsey took to the snow and bitched about her shin.

Then she won the training run.

Utter hogwash.  Reminded me of nothing so much as the weasel who leaves class telling you he flunked the test, needing to cry on your shoulder, requiring sympathy, and then when the results come in walks around with a shiteating grin on his face, like he’s the cat that just swallowed the canary, ultimately revealing that he got the highest mark in the class.


I hate people like this.

And Lindsey Vonn hasn’t got enough rough edges to hate her, but I’m not jumping up and down, expectorating hosannas either.  Because how you win is very important.  Are you a gracious winner?  It’s bad enough being a sore loser, but can you win without cheating, without playing mind games, without sacrificing your soul?

Lindsey Vonn didn’t cheat.  She spent more hours in the gym than Madonna.  She’s got a full time coach in her husband.  She earned her medal.  But she didn’t earn our trust.

P.S. When Bode Miller disappointed America by winning no medals in Torino he was hampered by a knee injury, which required surgery after the season ended.  But he made no excuses.  Said a few dumb things.  Then again, he was too stupid to know that the media doesn’t like its heroes authentic, but malleable.  They want someone they can manipulate, to fit their story.  They got what they wanted in Lindsey Vonn.  A grind with a pretty face who achieved the goal but didn’t touch our hearts.

P.P.S. After winning the bronze medal on Monday, it was revealed that Bode Miller had arthroscopic surgery on his knee just after Christmas, an injury that has never even been revealed prior to now.  This on top of a sprained ankle sustained playing volleyball on December 12th. Who’s the loser and who’s the winner here?

Comments are closed