Feb 23, 2010
Hearing about his death was sad. Even worse, seeing it after NBC made the bonehead decision to air the crash footage. You have to hope they were just incredibly stupid and insensitive and not motivated by greed. Who didn’t immediately think about his poor family and friends being subjected to seeing that?
This year I have watched each event with a newfound respect for the danger these athletes put themselves in to pursue their dreams. On the night that Lindsey Vonn won her first gold I watched as one after another of the competitors fell and crashed down the hill. Their training must include lessons on how to fall in order to avoid serious injury. They seemed like rag dolls with flailing arms and legs, banging their helmeted heads against the mountain. Yet each time, at the end of their seemingly endless falls, they got up and limped off the mountain with what appeared to be minor injuries.
Speed skating. There's another scary sport. Racing around a track of sheer ice with sharp blades attached to your feet. The short track is even worse with competitors vying for position by nudging, tapping and sometimes just plain pushing each other out of the way. You may believe that figure skating is not a serious endeavor, but every jump can potentially end with a broken bone or a concussion. Not to mention those breathtaking lifts. Those girls could so easily slip and come crashing down on the ice. I could go on and on.... ski jumping, snowboarding, bobsled (when did they start calling it bobsleigh?).
Every now and then we get a break from the tension with some of the less dangerous sports. Hockey, which IS dangerous but these guys make it look like child's play. They are used to getting stitched up between periods and then going back out there for more punishment. Curling isn't very dangerous, unless you happen to drop one of the stones on your foot. Cross country skiing is also a relatively safe choice. Except for the event where they strap rifles to their backs and head off to shoot at targets.
I wish all the competitors luck. But most of all I hope the remainder of the games are safe and nobody else gets hurt.