Saturday, February 20

A tangent in defense of Apolo

I make no apologies for my pro-United States attitude when it comes to the Olympics. I always think that our athletes should win. They do, after all, wear the stars and stripes. I also make no apologies for hoping that the other countries' athletes will make a mistake, fall or disqualify themselves in some way, making it even easier for my home team to win.
You'll understand how this attitude makes it so stressful for me to watch Apolo Ohno skate. I know he's as good or better than all the other skaters out there. (You've seen him when he decides to put his pedal to the metal. He's amazing.) I openly root for the other skaters to fall and/or get tripped up.
But this obvious bias has nothing to do with the assertion that I believe that Apolo is the victim of a conspiracy. Well, we know that the Korean skaters hate him. So there's no real surprise in the thinking that the Korean skaters, individually and as a team, will do all they can to keep him from winning, or medaling in, a race. He gets all kinds of jostled around when he skates with them.
I'm not making excuses for his non-gold performances. In fact, he's an amazing skater because all this happens and he still manages to place well in the contests. The conspiracy, I believe, is in the judging of the skaters and their flying elbows and whatnot. How are they allowed to continue to skate in that manner? Some of these pushes and nudges are frighteningly violent and remarkably obvious. "Dear Judges: Open your eyes and look at these pushing infractions! Teach these pushy kids that this kind of behavior isn't becoming on the ice."
Anyway, I'll admit to being a sore loser, because I think Apolo always should win. I hate it when I see his progress impeded by some other skater. I like it better when he is able to kick everyone's asses!

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