Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Going for Gold in the Snowboard Cross

Torino's winter games featured the first ever snowboard cross. This may well be the most fun to watch olympic event. Four snowboarders start together on a narrow, bumpy track in a race to the finish. Precise control is critical. Any wayward move will cause the competitor to lose precious speed which is difficult to make back. Wipeouts are common. Less than the length of a snowboard separated silver and gold in the men's race. USA's Seth Wescott took home the top prize.

The real excitement happened in the women's race. After the first turn in the track, America's Lindsey Jacobellis pushed out in front. Halfway through the race, two competitors had wiped out and Jacobellis had a very comfortable lead. She had the gold medal in the bag. On the second to last jump, she decided to showboat a little and grabbed her board in mid air. She lost her balance and fell. Despite her quick recovery, Switzeland's Tanja Frieden passed her for the gold. Jacobellis wasn't too upset. She told the AP, "I was having fun. Snowboarding is fun. I was ahead. I wanted to share my enthusiasm with the crowd. I messed up. Oh well, it happens." So she's bringing home the silver. Good for her. I watched the event on Sky News. The British satellite network set highlights of Jacobellis' run to the tune of "American Idiot." Ouch. There is no sympathy for the yanks around here.


  • What? Are you a sportswriter now? If I scroll down the frontpage long enough isn't there some sports quiz where you were beaten by a girl?

    Good for Lindsey huh? Well, actually its good for NBC. Why? Because for the next 3.5 years following the closing ceremonies, this gargantuan gaffe will only be seen on the occasional biggest blooper of the year or decade reel, and we will forget Lindsey's name...until that is, the work up to Vancouver in 2010. Then they will play that clip over and over and over again until the pressure on her to win gold is so immense it will turn her into play-doh. We shall see how much fun she is having then.

    Besides, I think you are wrong about the sport altogether. The track is too narrow, and there is no passing that occurs more than 5" after the start, only wipeouts.

    Oh yeah, and how come we get overfilled with snowboarding and nobody talks about the incredible "brass balls" it takes to (not sell Real Estatein this case) ski down a ramp at break-neck/skull/femur speed and launch yourself off the ramp only to land 130 meters downtrack with nothing but your skis and a flimsy little helmet on. Talk about "Xtreme." Of course its not popular if its 1) old and 2) Americans don't do well in it.

    By Blogger Joe C, at Wednesday, February 22, 2006 11:10:00 PM  

  • No. I'm not a sportswriter, at least not a good one. But this story fascinated me. You must admit, SBX is fun to watch. Skeleton and ski jumping may require more stones. Downhill may require more skill. But watching people race head to head is more fun than watching people try to beat the clock. I agree the SBX track is too narrow, and I'll grant you I get juvenile enjoyment over watching the wipeouts. And yes, I like sports where Americans do well.

    Good for Lindsey for not crying over spilled milk. Bad on Lindsey for showing off and losing the gold. I think she learned her lesson.

    By the way, if you knew the girl who beat me on the sports quiz, you wouldn't be giving me much grief. Erin is a sports goddess. She also has a killer jump shot and can run both of us into the ground. :)

    By Blogger Tom, at Thursday, February 23, 2006 9:31:00 AM  

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