Everyone is talking about Bode Miller.
Bode the prodigy.
Bode the bad boy.
Bode the iconoclast.
Bode the ungrateful.
I read the latest words uttered by and about Bode Miller at Yahoo! Sports and felt that for someone who rejects the limelight and all that it entails, he surely is getting a lot of it.
I was probably the one person who felt that he should not have apologized about the statements that he made on 60 Minutes. I felt that the move was as outdated as requiring female figure skaters to wear the skirt on their skating outfit because a unitard would be "revealing."
I have found him interesting at best. I had heard of him prior to 60 minutes, although I have always been into the women's side of the sport. I completely agree with him in this article that fans and agents can really take the "fun" out of competitive sports. Considering the feeding frenzy that can take place, it is no wonder that it can be hard to find the next generation in anything, willing to put up with such things.
I watched the Today Show yesterday and Matt Lauer asked his guest what was wrong with the US team. I went to myself, "what's wrong with the US team?"
I find the Olympics for the United States to be an interesting paradox. Athletes that compete in sports that don't often get the exposure in the United States that football, baseball and basketball (men's) get are all of a sudden in the spotilight and people who have never followed any of these sports feel qualified to comment on the ups and downs during competition.
People who had no real appreciation of Michelle Kwan's amateur career feel that they can trash talk about her inclusion and withdrawal from the games.
People who think only in terms of medal count or color of medal count are crying about how the United States is not ahead, just like we were in 2002, when the games were in Salt Lake, which is located in the United States.
Bode Miller is somehow unpatriotic and not living up to his potential because he has not hauled in the 5 gold medals that it was forecasted that he would win.
I would be the last person to believe that politics has nothing to do with the Olympics. However, I am a bit disturbed by the image of the United States as a country that is obsessed with winning medals during the Olympics but neglectful of these athletes and these sports in the off years.
If Bode wins his upcoming events, he wins and I am sure that I will watch the medal ceremony. If he doesn't, life goes on. You prepare for the next challenge or you go onto something else.