I’ve been a fan of the Olympics ever since I was a kid. I still remember faking an illness one day so my mom would let me stay home from school during the Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway. I watched all day without even an ounce of guilt.
One of the things that is so great about these events is the amateur nature of the competition. Barring a couple of the large team competitions, these aren’t celebrity sports stars. They’re no-names competing in obscure athletic contests, whether it’s strapping blades to their feet and sprinting around in circles as fast as they can or tying themselves to a tiny sled and rocketing down an ice tunnel at break-neck speed.
That usually means you’re cheering for young kids who recognize the incredible moment they’ve been blessed to experience. Yes, they’ve undoubtedly earned their spot through hard work and dedication, but they mostly remain innocent of the narcissistic self-focus that so often accompanies athletes these days.
Or so I thought. Two recent stories indicate that the self-absorption virus may have settled on America’s Olympic delegation in disappointing fashion.
First came the embarrassing bigotry of U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon. Because Adam is gay and an Olympian, he apparently believes that entitles him to be bigoted towards those who don’t agree with him on LGBT issues, even when (or perhaps especially when) his target is as high-profile as the sitting Vice-President of the United States, Mike Pence.
Since Pence led the U.S. delegation to South Korea, he wanted to meet with Rippon personally so they could discuss the skater’s beef (which, by the way, seemed to center around the false assumption that Mike Pence funded gay conversion therapy which he did not). Rippon refused, and has become some sort of bizarre folk hero to the leftist media that hates Pence. To see just how bizarre and Orwellian this whole Pence/Rippon saga has become, check out this excellent assessment.
Then on the heels of that disappointing bit of “look at me speaking truth-to-power” Olympian self-promotion, came this one:
Speed skater Shani Davis has boycotted the opening ceremony at the winter Olympics after a coin toss was used to decide who would lead out the U.S. delegation.
The coin toss came down to Davis and luge champion Erin Hamlin. Hamlin won the toss, but rather than be happy for his female teammate, Davis took to Twitter like any social justice warrior would to express the true Olympic spirit:
“I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event. @TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022. #BlackHistoryMonth2018 #PyeongChang2018”
You caught it, right? A “Black History Month” hashtag? Because obviously the coin toss between him and another Olympian who had received the same number of votes as him was an act of racism. Now all we need is for Erin to tweet back a #EverydaySexism and we can officially turn the Winter Games into the Social Justice Games.
I don’t think I’ll be skipping school to watch those.