Thursday, February 18, 2010

Plushenko, Lysacek bring it...Lindsey Jacobellis' 15 Minutes are Over

Artist Depiction
Hype...the Olympics live by it. Some athletes live up to it, some don't and some make you wonder if the press is having a slow news day.

Russia's Evgeni Plushenko came out of retirement and showed critics he could still bring it, hitting a quad and staying on top of the short program after skating early in the program. Evan Lysacek, with Hugh Jackman good looks, is only one-half point behind Plushenko.

Then there's Lindsey Jacobellis, whom the press followed around insessently, not because she had a compelling story, unless you consider royally screwing away your gold medal in the last olympics compelling. While most athletes' stories involve hardship or coming back from horrific injuries, Jacobellis was well in the lead at the 2006 Torino Olympics, but at the last jump, she decided to do a board tweak, grabbing at her board in early celebration. Unfortunately, her trick caused her to land badly and fall, landing her into second place. Later, she would at first claim she wasn't trying to do a trick, but gave some lame excuse of trying to steady the board.

So the press want to see if she could redeem herself--the press loves redemption. She didn't. She faltered and went off-course in the semi-finals--and actually I'm not surprised. Most athletes express their determination; the more modest ones and those who know they won't make the finals dictate how they want to do their best. Interviews shortly after the event show Jocobellis has no competitive drive, no quest to be the best. No fire. She was just here for "to have an experience." Said Jocobellis, "It wasn't as stressful. My first time I felt like there was a lot of expectation on me." No wonder she didn't win.

I just hope that if she's in the position to go to the 2014 Olympics, she'll give her spot to another American who actually WANTS it. Buh-bye Lindsey...your 15 minutes are now up.

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