Olympic Silver Lining 

Monday,  February 18, 2002
Suburbia, California 

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 championships. 

Burnished, said I.  Not tarnished.  

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 dancing competition.  

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 night. 

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 or buts.  

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 human grace.

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."

Wishing you silver linings, 
Author Unknown

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.  


 "The only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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This web journal was created on a September Morn, 
September 29, 2001
.
September Morn 2002