Lindsay Vonn will not be going to the Olympics this year. I know NBC is frantically searching for another story to tell, because tonight, they aired footage that most certainly was being reserved and compiled and edited for her great comeback story, which would have aired at 11:30pm, after being hyped all evening on the day of her big event. But today, she screwed up her knee again and will instead be having surgery. She will not be going to the Olympics.
She shouldn't have been considered to go in the first place.
Sure, she's been before, but everyone knows that American Olympians are there to kick some ass and send everyone else home empty handed. Americans are to be at the top of their games, hitting their peaks, and bringing home hardware. They are not to fail. They are not to be weak. They are not to be damaged in any way. They are not to be in any form of recovery. They are supposed to function at 110%. If you cannot do this, there's an alternate right behind you who can.
Why were we talking about Lindsay Vonn like she already had a new medal? She seriously blew out her knee several months ago, and she was pushing herself to get back in time. Like the place on the Olympic team was hers, as long as she could get her body down the hill. Which is crap. So she got herself back, but not really in fighting shape, and she damaged her knee again. Because she came back too soon.
It's not like the US doesn't have some amazing, world-class Women's Alpine Skiers. There's a few solid contenders. But people don't know about them, because NBC is trying to write the story about the person we already know. It's like they don't understand how the Olympics work. The Olympics are an event where countries put their differences and philosophies aside, and the world celebrates athleticism and the capabilities of the human body. Because no matter what you believe or where you come from, we are all human. We are all people, and we can train ourselves to do some amazing things. We can identify with all of the shapes and sizes of these athletes in their varying specialties. The swimming freaks, with their ridiculous wingspans and paddle-shaped feet; the weightlifters, shaped like refrigerators; the speedskaters with their tree-trunk thighs—perhaps the most important thing is that the Olympics celebrate the wondrous variety of shapes and sizes, and shows that every shape and size can have a specialty. There's no one "ideal" body type that defines "an athlete."
People come from around the world, often overcoming serious obstacles just to compete. America has money for its Olympic program. There are facilities and coaches for training. This is not the case everywhere. So tell us those stories, NBC. Tell us about the background of these athletes from other locales, who have trained for this since they were five, with a slight break for the civil conflict, when their apartment building got shelled. Tell us the stories of the figure skater who is her country's first actual chance at a medal in her sport. Tell us the story of the guy who had to train away from the snow 10 months a year. Even tell us WHY the Dutch are so dominant in speedskating. Tell us the history of the events. Tell us what's changed recently. Watch a few 30-for-30s and learn how to tell a sports story.
NBC put all their money on Lindsay Vonn to be the big story. And now she's out.
Sucks for you, NBC. Now tell me more about Julia Mancuso.