Last night, we watched Jamie Sale and David
Pelletier of Canada on the medals podium receive their belated
burnished gold medals, alongside Anton Sikharulidze and Elena
Berezhnaya of Russia, who now share the free-style pairs Olympics
Burnished, said I.
Two skating couples
sharing the gold. An extraordinarily golden moment. The
entire two-minute event abounded with human grace. After the
Canadian anthem was played, the cheering crowd was acknowledged by
the couples who waved back their torch-like bundles of yellow
roses, then the guys hugged, followed by the gals.
The magnitude of the
moment sunk in for me. Born of
fiasco and scandal, last night's history-making event was the huge
silver lining I hoped for and more. The dark clouds of
incredulousness, anger, and bitter tears that cast a pall over the
skating events parted and burnished gold shone through.
A week ago, the French
judge admitted that she was put "under a certain pressure"
to favor the Russians to ensure gold for her country in the ice
Later, Sale said she
felt cheated. "Felt" cheated? She was cheated!
As was every skater who pins their
Olympic hopes and dreams on fair, unbiased judging. And every
audience member who travels from afar and every TV viewer who
nightly and vicariously participates in these young people's
Olympic dreams. (That would be me)
Plain and simple: a more
difficult performance without flaws is deserving of gold. Yes, the
Russians had a more technically difficult program, but they
bobbled. That's the risk they took. It was not their
So what if I
groused about Sale's and Pelletier's drab gray, austere
outfits. What I thought was practice footage was the pair
warming up right before their Olympic skate. Spoken like a
mom, I exclaimed, "What, they're wearing THAT!?"
But their performance
was flawless. They
flowed. They moved as one. I forgot about their outfits, and
wholeheartedly loved their impeccable performance. It was the
performance of their lifetimes.
They won, no ifs, ands
My smile was as broad as
Jamie's. My emotions as stirred as David's. My cheers as
enthuasiastic and spirited as the audience's. But it was not to
be. At least not then. But right away, I saw the first
glimmers of a silver lining: I sat there, marveling at their
gallantness and mature grace. Jamie's and David's. And the
Russians'. Yes, all four of them.
Through all that
awkwardness, they showed a certain sensitivity toward each another. It
was sportsmanship of the highest calibre. Moments of true
Today, I am heartened
and encouraged that there is justice and fairness in the world. Now,
I will cloudlessly watch the darlings of the Olympics -- Michelle Kwan,
Sasha Cohen, and Sarah Hughes.
But ahh, what to do with
the Apolo Anton
Ohno situation? Oh
no! (Sorry, I couldn't resist)
I love that kid.
And his dad.
"Life is a Gift."
you silver linings,
P.S. If you would
like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to
this journal entry, you may do it here.
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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