Sunday, February 16, 2014

still watching the Olympics

One of the best things about the Olympics is how every athlete has their own journey, and their own story, about the road they traveled to get to the pinnacle of their sport. Mostly the old adage about how truth is stranger than fiction applies--if a writer were to make up their 'back stories', sometimes it would just be unbelievable, or push the boundaries of serendipity. I'm humbled and amazed when the athletes let us, the viewers, share their stories. There is joy and tragedy, both, often in equal measure, and I always hope that the joy will overbound the sadness. Which is part of the reason why I was so uncomfortable watching the post-race interview of Bode Miller, just after he'd won (tied! wow!) for the bronze. I understand it is the job of the reporter to push the boundaries and to bring the viewers content, but she just kept pursuing with the questions in a way that was designed to make him emotional (particularly regarding the recent too-early passing of his brother). I didn't want to see that -- that should have been a private response for Mr. Miller and his family and close friends. I know in this age of constant media attention that the consumer appetite is insatiable, but I wish we could back off some, and give people more space. Especially athletes. While their back stories and lives play a part in who they are and what drives them, it really should be about their excellence in their sport. There was an earlier piece that was pre-produced on Noelle Pikus-Pace (women's skeleton silver medalist) that also contained personal backstory. I liked that approach better, because it was obvious that the athlete had made the decision to share her history in the piece. At least, this is what I think for our heart-and-soul athletes. Politicians, or course, don't necessarily deserve the same courtesy. The reporters can have at them! ;)

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