Pro­vid­ing thrills for view­ers

Olympics are

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - National -

Re­gard­ing Ron Cook’s col­umn “Time for Olympics Has Passed” (Feb. 12 sports): You’re right, Mr. Cook, the Olympic Games are not like pro­fes­sional hockey — no one punches any­one in the face. You’re also cor­rect that Pyeongchang’s sta­dium will most likely be torn down — like Three Rivers Sta­dium was when the city and county still owed $40 mil­lion on it.

But this year’s games take in more than 100 events with nearly 3,000 ath­letes com­pet­ing. And you don’t think there’s any­one whose name is worth know­ing?

Start with Si­men Hegstad Krueger of Nor­way. Af­ter a crash at the start of the men’s 30K skiathlon, he picked him­self up, dusted him­self off — and came from the back of the pack to win gold.

Or Chloe Kim, who took gold in the snow­board half­pipe with a near-per­fect score of 98.75? She was prob­a­bly good enough to win four years ago in Sochi, had she not been just 13 and too young to com­pete. Still not in­ter­ested?

Watch Red Ger­ard, the 17year-old snow­boarder, af­ter his slope-style per­for­mance. Check out Red and his bud­dies, watch­ing the re­main­ing com­peti­tors get lesser scores. Grad­u­ally it dawns on them that Ger­ard could would win gold, and you hear a cho­rus of Bill and Ted-wor­thy “Du­u­u­u­udes” that had the hus­band and me howl­ing.

And I dare you to watch an in­ter­view with Maame Biney, a Ghana-born U.S. high schooler, first black woman to com­pete in speed skat­ing for the U.S., and then for­get her name.Go on; I’ll wait.

I heard two of my co-work­ers — mo­tor­cy­cle me­chan­ics — talk­ing: “Did you see that Kim woman?” For a minute I thought they were talk­ing about me. And then, “On the Olympics? That Kim woman, du­u­u­ude, she was so cool!”

Quib­ble with the pol­i­tics and ex­pense and se­cu­rity con­cerns at the Olympics. But don’t say no one is watch­ing, and don’t say no one is worth watch­ing.You’re just wrong. KIMBERLEE LOVE

Glen Os­borne

Hey,Ron Cook! Over here! If you’re look­ing for that “one per­son” speak­ing about the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, I’m def­i­nitely one of them (Feb. 12, “Time for Olympics Has Passed”). While you opine the lack of “big names” in the Win­terO­lympics, I find it ab­so­lutely re­fresh­ing to see these com­mit­ted, gen­uinely en­thu­si­as­tic and hum­ble ath­letes be­ingfea­tured in lieu of the jaded, spoiled, over­paid ath­letes of­fes­sional sports.

It’s a won­der­ful change of pace to see team­mates sup­port each other (U.S. bronze-win­ning ice skat­ing team, just one ex­am­ple of many), in­stead of openly com­plain­ing on so­cial me­dia about per­ceived lack of play­time, lack of salary, lack of re­spect ... fill in the blank (but usu­ally, you can insert a Steel­ers player’s name and com­plaintin there).

Get your head out of lo­cal pro­fes­sional sports, Mr. Cook, even if only for two weeks, and maybe take the time to learn some of the names of the U.S. ath­letes out­side of Lind­sey Vonn (whom you in­sult, by the way, dis­miss­ing her im­pres­sive alpine ski­ing ca­reer by as­so­ci­at­ing her only with dat­ing Tiger Woods). To an­swer your ques­tion: Yes, the Olympics are more than wor­thyof view­ing. DANA CASALE


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