Friday, February 17, 2006

Of Character, Dude with Attitude, and Girl with Cow

If you are listening, the Olympics offer many lessons on the human condition. Take for instance, two athletes, Bode Miller and Lindsay Kildow.

From the 60 Minutes interview with Bode Miller, we have this tidbit:

Does he think his partying has ever interfered with his performance? "Definitely. There's been times when I have been in really tough shape at the top of the course," says Miller. "Talk about a hard challenge right there. I mean, if you ever tried to ski when you're wasted, it's not easy. Try and ski a slalom when the gates are," Miller says, making a hand motion. "You hit a gate less than every one a second, so it's risky, you know. You're putting your life at risk there. It's like driving drunk only there's no rules about it in ski racing." Is he saying he'll never do it again? "No. I'm not saying that," Miller says.

I once watched a 14 year old get a broken leg at the bottom of the ski slopes after being whacked hard from behind from one of Bode's stoned compatriots, and it was not a pretty thing. Get fired up, America. We have another less than upstanding role model for kids on our Olympic team. And then, in giant Slalom, where does our role model place? Fourth. Poetic justice in my mind. He is already a millionaire, so my heart is not broken.

And then we have Linsey Kildow, who suffered a remarkable crash in early action this week, and after two days in the hospital, came back to ski to a fifth place finish in women's slalom. This, to me, is character, fighting through the pain, and coming back.

To top it off, Lindsay does not necessarily find money appealing all the time:

On Dec. 17, 2005, Kildow won the downhill in Val d'Isere, France, and with it came her choice of either the standard prize money, or slightly less money and a cow. She chose the cow package and named her new pet Olympe. "I'll miss her for a while, but oh well," said Kildow about her time apart from the animal. "We're not going to be together, but hopefully she'll be thinking about me." The animal is currently still in Val d'Isere, but Kildow has made arrangements to have it moved in October to Austria, where the women's team has apartments.

Which person would you choose to have your kids hang around with? I pick girl with cow over dude with attitude.

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