A Tale of Two Athletes

22 02 2010

I watched two televised remarks by American athletes in recent days.

Tiger Woods.  I’m not sold.  I didn’t sense sincerity and don’t think his remarks were heartfelt.  I think it was all about carefully scripted image repair.  His demeanor was so cold I’m surprised I didn’t see icicles dripping off the lectern.

Two thumbs down.

Evan Lysacek. Men’s figure skating gold medalist.  Evgeni Plushenko, 2006 Russian gold medalist, had to settle for silver, and he was vocal in charging that he was robbed.  In a later interview, Bob Costas baited Lysacek repeatedly, taunting him with comments by Pleshenko and even Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.  Lysacek was incredibly well-spoken and completely complementary of Pleshenko.  He refused to up the ante, insisting that Pleshenko was a valued asset to the ice skating community and a role model to him.  Even though he’d been up all night and his remarks were off the cuff, he was articulate, gracious, and thoughtful.  And it wasn’t mere rhetoric.  He had points to make and he made them.  Respectfully.

    1. He beat Pleshenko, not in the artistic score, but in the technical score.  (Pleshenko maintains that completing a quad trumps everything else.)
    2. Congrats to the people of Russia for supporting Pleshenko, and be proud of him.
    3. Things get said in the heat of the moment.

      Two thumbs up to a classy guy.

      (Perhaps I should say that before last week I’d never heard of Lysacek, so I’m basing my comments on one interview. I really hope he doesn’t turn out to be a scumbag.)

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