02/27/06 — They are finished: Olympics ends with a whimper

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They are finished: Olympics ends with a whimper

More than 26 years ago, Americans stopped what they were doing to sit by the television and watch the Olympic Miracle on Ice in the hockey arena when a group of upstart Americans took on the world ... and won.

At the time, many noted the joy with which the Americans played and how it contrasted to the machine-like Russians. There was a spirit and an innocence.

The Olympics are not so innocent anymore. This year’s games came complete with an Austrian doping scandal and bickering between two American speedskaters. Then, there was the Michelle Kwan controversy and the oopsy daisies at the figure skating venue. And don’t forget the American snowboarder whose hot-dogging cost her the gold medal.

The closest we came to innocent celebration was male snowboarder Shaun White, who teared up when he saw his folks after winning the gold medal.

The Olympics ended with a bit of a yawn and a whimper this year — in spite of NBC’s efforts to X-Game them up with snazzy music and an ultra-modern introduction for each event.

In the end, it was just another TV show.

The events are over now, and we will all go back to our lives — those who even bothered to leave the routine in the first place.

But it is too bad that we will not bring home the same joy of sport and love of country we did in 1980.

Those really were the days.

Published in Editorials on February 27, 2006 11:44 AM