Hot Dog: The Next Olympic Sport?

Missing gold in the grasp: youthful foolishness or the nature of the game? I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics from Turin, Italy. I’ve decided that if hot-dogging ever becomes an Olympic sport, Lindsey Jacobellis could be a gold medal winner. Until then, you go girl.

This Winter Olympics may not garner the ratings of those played in the US, but it has been interesting to view the generation gap on TV.

Bode Miller’s hot-dogging antics brought more derision than praise and no gold medals. Curling has become something other than what you do with your hair.

Hot-dogging by American show boaters snowboarders has reached a new level in the sport, certainly new heights in the Olympics.

Why? The spirit of the Olympics among athletes appears to be different than among most adult viewers of the Olympic sports.

Where are the traditional fingers pointing? To snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis who lost a sure gold medal by hot-dogging on her board just seconds before the finish line.

What happened? Lindsey was set to win the gold on her last run. Seconds before the finish line, she grabbed her board in a show of style and flair (like you haven’t seen that in snowboarders before) and caught the lip of the board in the snow when she landed.

Wipeout. Crash. No finish. No gold medal. The cute blondie settled for a silver.

Adults all over the world brought out the verbal brass knuckles and took it to the 20-year old Jacobellis.

Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune:

“It probably would be a good thing if somebody explained to the snowboarders that once they decided to sit at the adults’ table, they made the tacit agreement to play to win…. They made the decision to act like Olympians, which now means to act professional.”

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Tradition says we politely applaud her results (silver ain’t shabby, baby), but criticize the effort because it wasn’t “professional” enough, and Lindsey failed because she could have won and did not.

A Silver medal is failing? Who won the gold medal for Curling in the last Winter Olympics?

Lindsey did a wonderful thing which should inspire younger athletes and Olympic hopefuls, and should teach the rest of us a lesson.While I was disappointed for Lindsey and her so-called loss of the Gold medal, I had to think about it for awhile.

Snowboarding is not track and field, not hockey, not basketball. Among all winter Olympic sports, snowboarding is about style, art, grace, performance. It’s not about the ice cold numbers of who finishes with the best time, despite how the cross the finish line.

American snowboarders should be proud of their total accomplishments, near domination of the sport, and Lindsey’s performance.

Why? Snowboarding is about style and that’s what Lindsey displayed. Even with a Gold medal in her pocket (all she had to do was cross the finish line), she decided to add just a little more style to the performance.

That time she muffed it, failed, blew it; bit it, right? An act of immaturity so severe she’ll carry the wound into adulthood; exacerbated all the more so by so-called adults who were eager to deride her performance as another youthful example of ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda.’

Wrong. Her head was held high, her smile was natural and reflective of other snowboarders. Lindsey did a wonderful thing which should inspire younger athletes and Olympic hopefuls, and should teach the rest of us a lesson.

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Winning is not everything. It’s how you play the game. Lindsey played well. She’s a winner.