I’ve enjoyed the Winter Olympics…not the actual Olympics but the backstories. I’m not much into cold weather sports…or just cold weather. I do enjoy the stories of what the athletes have overcome to get to where they are. The Nigerian bobsled team, an American soldier who had to train for the bobsled while serving in the sands of a far-off land…you get the idea. What I haven’t understood is the hatred directed at some of them.
My case in point is Lindsay Vonn. I admit I haven’t really followed her career, hanging on her every run. I did make note that she was a pretty, blonde haired girl who liked to go fast and live on the edge. She reminded me of all the pretty blond girls who wouldn’t give me the time of day…back in the day. I didn’t hold it against her and watched replays of her more memorable moments.
I held my breath watching some of her more cringe-worthy crashes. A mutilated knee or a broken arm, being airlifted from the slopes. Injuries that could have ended many careers but not hers. She chose to work to overcome and compete in one more Olympic game…and dedicated it to her grandfather. You would think people could cut her a little slack.
I admit to cringing, too, when it became newsworthy that she was dating Tiger Woods but then again, he is the Tiger. I’ve made a few missteps when it came to affairs of the heart…I think. At my age, it’s a bit hard to remember. I do remember that none were newsworthy.
But oh my, she made the worst mistake of her life. When asked a question, she told the truth. “Well, I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the President.” She further went on to disparage the President by saying that she wouldn’t go to the White House if she won. How bold and audacious…how completely unpatriotic, to tell the truth when asked the question. She was racing for her country, herself and her recently deceased grandfather…but, not the President.
Can we not overlook a little faux pas? Can we not overlook not racing for our President or visiting him if she won? Can we not give her some thumbs up for standing by her beliefs even if we disagree with them? Must we boycott or cry out for cancellation because someone doesn’t agree with our position?
Was it so egregious, we cannot give a pass to a woman who has been an inspiration to other young women…and men I would guess? Can we not give her a participation trophy for doing her best? Can we not just say “Thanks for the efforts?” No, she was refusing to go to the White House, and for some reason, it is an unpatriotic travesty. Many are happy…an ungrateful US athlete failed.
I wonder if any Olympic athlete woke up this morning and said to themselves, “This one’s for you Donnie T?” Another question might be, “Should they?” Are we so filled with hatred we must glorify OUR athletic failures for answering a question with truth? Should all athletes just give up their First Amendment rights, just because they are athletes? I would say our friendly Russian trolls have done their jobs well…or maybe they didn’t really have to.
Don Miller writes on varying subjects, not all are subjects that bother him so. If interested you can find him at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM