Throw Triple Axel Makes Olympic History!

Now this is the reason why I watch Olympic Figure Skating! Today, for the first time ever, a pairs team in the Olympics not only attempted a Throw-Triple Axel, but they landed one as well. And it wasn't the Chinese, it wasn't the Russians, it wasn't the Germans. Rena Inoue and John Baldwin, U.S. National Champions, accomplished this feat to the deafening roar of Olympic applause and scored the second highest technical mark of the night and finished sixth overall in the short program. Behind the Russians and Chinese as expected, but only five points back. This means that should Inoue and Baldwin skate their best in Monday night's long program, they have a real shot at a medal.

Any medal would be beyond belief for an American pairs team. No medal was expected, and no medal has been won in this event since Jill Watson and Peter Oppegard scored a bronze in Calgary. Incidentally, Peter Oppegard is Inoue and Baldwin's coach. Also of note, Watson and Oppegard trained at the Detroit Skating Club under Johnny Johns, who is Hinzmann and Parchem's coach, but left the DSC for the Birmingham Skating Club in 1988 to train with Rita Lowerie before the games. I just love these Michigan connections! Unfortunately, Hinzmann and Parchem fell in the short program and finished 13th, way out of medal contention.

Meanwhile, it was a disappointing day in Torino for US Gold Medal hopeful Hannah Kearney in the women's Moguls event. Kearney was favored to win gold, but she failed to qualify for the final held Saturday evening, and the US women finished a disappointing 10th, 11th, and 18th.

Also, it was a disappointing day for Michelle Kwan as she had a miserable practice session on the ice, leaving in doubt the bid for that elusive Gold Medal by the most decorated and well-known skater in U.S. history. C'mon Michelle! We're pulling for you!

But you know, that's why we conduct sporting events. You can be the best in the world at what you do, you can be the best in the world over a period of ten years. But if you don't bring it the day of competition, you're out of luck. That's competition. That's sport. And that's what life is all about--bringing your best every day to what you do. Maybe we don't compete for Olympic Gold and Glory every day, let alone once in our lifetimes, but there are things we do compete for every day for ourselves and our families. It's those things that drive us to get up and go to work each and every morning, even on those days when we much rather stay home. And it's about the sacrifices we all make for the moments of grace in our lives. Olympic athletes do make sacrifices in their lives. Many of those sacrifices are greater than you or I will ever make. But reward is usually directly proportional to the depth of our sacrifice. And having seen and touched an Olympic Gold Medal, and in just being next to a friend who has earned one and seeing the unbridled glee and joy in eyes, makes me just a bit more focused on pursuing the goals I have set for myself in life.

Thanks for reading.


Dramedy Girl said...

I knew I should have watched yesterday! Figure skating is my favorite competition in the winter olympics and because I don't know how to manipulate all the crap my sister has hooked up to her tv I couldn't get the cable to work. Grrrr. She def. owes me this time for babysitting.

Thanks for the compliments on my site! I'll definitely keep you in the loop for a reasonable design team. :) Love the picture at the top of the blog. Very peaceful looking.

February 12, 2006 10:15 AM

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