After two weeks of coaching and skiing in Big Sky it was time to get going again. Last week I competed in Aspen, Colorado. All the athletes of the U.S. Women’s Olympic team and alpine team were there, minus Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso. They are busy on their well-deserved media tour of the United States. Monday night Julia appeared on Larry King Live and Lindsey on Jay Leno.
Witnessing my friends and teammates achieve their goals in Vancouver was thrilling. My highlight, watching Bode make it down the slalom run during the combined to win his first gold medal. Bode has been surrounded by controversy throughout his career; however, one thing has remained in his skiing, passion. Bode races for the love of the sport and I find that admirable in a ski world where coaches’ opinions and outside influences are ever prevalent. Bode will always be Bode. Plus no one can doubt that the man is exciting to watch. I hold my breath every time he steps into the start.
Media attention has been swirling around Lindsey and Julia and their so-called “feud.” Skiing on the team with both of these girls for many years I have never once witnessed ill will between them. Both girls are incredible competitors and have always shown sportsmanship towards each other. During the Giant Slalom race NBC showed more coverage of Lindsey falling and Julia getting flagged then of the actual Olympic event. Sarah Schleper, the top American GS skier this year and in possibly her last Olympic games got no air – time. Neither did many of the U.S. athletes racing in the Games.
There are only four skiers in each event from the U.S. It doesn’t take an enormous amount of effort on NBC’s behalf to show the athletes that are representing our country. Last time I checked the Olympics was about the athletes competing not the media creating drama. Julia quoted on her Twitter page during the media buzz about the supposed “feud” between her and Lindsey, “save the drama for your mama.”
It’s about the sport and the astounding athletic feats people are achieving. I am not the only one who feels this way. A Facebook group was created during the Games called “Why does NBC hate ski racing? The worst coverage of the Olympic Games…period.” There are currently 5,976 members.
My digression about the Olympics has gotten me off target. I returned to competition in Aspen for downhill races and found myself on the podium one day. It was a great feeling to come back after the letdown of not making the Olympic team.
Staying positive and looking to the future. Hope everyone is making good turns this week!