All night tonight I had to hear about how these Olympics were "the greatest ever," "loved by fans the world over" in its success in "bringing the world together."
Was no one on NBC paying attention?
Nationalism is an ugly beast, and these Olympics were more divisive than any in history. Think of the typeset wars between Russia and Canada, Russia and the US, Korea and the US. Even the newspapers today were spouting how great it will be when the US beats Canada in the gold-medal game (I can't wait to see these jerks eat their words tomorrow).
And then here, in this microcosm of the real world, we had some truly titanic battles, many of which I was involved in, many of which I was partly to blame. Many of the things I said I stand by, but anything I may have said in malice or in anger I would wholeheartedly love to take back.
But then, think of the athletes. Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze sharing a podium with Sale and Pelletier. Slutskaya and Kwan coming back from crushing disappointment to skate in the gala. Ohno being denied a gold medal, then accepting his silver medal as if it were a gold. Think of every gold medallist who pulls the silver and bronze winners up to the top step with them before being prompted to by the photographers.
Alisa Camplin and Steven Bradbury. Vonetta Flowers and Brian Shimer. Mario Lemieux and Catriona LeMay. Simon Ammann. Jean-Pierre Vidal. Jochem Uytdehaage.
These are what we have to hold on to, these men and women whose dreams came true. This is what we have to hold on to, and remember for Athens '04 and Torino '06. They are what the Olympics should be about, and what, hopefully, they will be about from now on.
So, apology accepted, ys, but no one should have to apologize for their feelings, and for their hopes, and for rooting for their favorites, even when all seems lost.
Having said that, I apologize too.
It will go back to normal, soon. It was a fun two weeks, in spite of all of the drama.
I hope none of you will mind, though, if I don't even look at these boards during Athens...