Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


March 2

What a successful Winter Olympics for North America! The USA set a record for most OVERALL medals with 37. Host nation CANADA also set a record by capturing 14 GOLD medals. Finally, after decades of being bullied by Europe, North America kicked butt!

But one has to wonder: Did the USA and Canada really field their best athletes in 90 years of Winter Olympics or was the COMPETITON not as competitive? No offense to our AMAZING athletes…BUT…while we achieved great heights, other nations also achieved great lows. Most notable in this category: RUSSIA. The once dominant power finished 6th in overall medals—the first time ever NOT to finish in the top five. For the first time in 64 years, not a single Russian managed to medal in figure skating, a sport they had dominated forever. Oksana Baiul must be furious!

She’s not alone. Folks in Moscow are not pleased. Russian Presdient Menedev asked for the head of the Olympic Committee to resign. Prime Minister Putin said: “We shouldn’t be whipping ourselves with chains, but this is a disappointment.” While Dmitry and Vladimir’s concerns are understandable, they must realize how Olympic training changes when Communism disappears. Gone are the huge, state funded budges to assure nationalism and sports success. Let’s face it: In China, prospective Olympians train for years in federal camps away from home. But in non-socialists nations it’s different. In the USA--as NBC repeatedly reminded us--parents take out second mortgages to pay for a kid’s training expenses.

But let’s not cry for Russia just yet. With the 2014 Winter Olympics being held in Sochi, the former resort of Russian empirical aristocracy, one has to assume the land of ballet and Tsciachovsky will rise again.

Let’s just hope Putin stops whipping himself with chains!

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