One of the most moving parts of past Olympic broadcasts, and the most enjoyable to me (even back when I was a liberal Democrat) was watching some American Gold Medalist receive his or her medal and the playing of the national anthem.
I assume such things are still going on in Torino, but you wouldn’t know it from NBC’s coverage. Last night, we watched and noticed that at the end of the program…well, we saw the last 13 notes of the American anthem and then things immediately switched to a ceremony featuring a Canadian winner. We got to hear ALL of O Canada.
Tonight, the show closed with the Russian Anthem – and there wasn’t even a cursory glance at any American ceremony…not even 13 notes.
It cheats the athletes and the nation that wants to share in their triumph. It’s very nice that Canada won this or Russia won that, and I like to see them waving from the podium…but at the end of the day, it’s the US Athlete I want to see, the Star Spangled Banner I want to hear.
Buster is annoyed about it. I explained to him that in the world of politically correct multiculturalists a focus on only American athletes would seem “non-inclusive” and “jingoistic.”
Buster took it a little differently. “It’s a way to downplay and minimize America,” he said, as he walked out of the room in disgust. “It’s another way, a discreet and sneaky way, a little way, to defeat her. It’s a very pussy way, too.”
Meanwhile – ice skating provided a stunning moment. I know some say it’s for wusses…but all I see when I watch women slam into the ice at 30 mph, from dizzying heights, and get back up to finish their performance (or in the case of the Russian pairs skaters, learn to re-trust themselves as a working unit) I think…enormous heart, enormous guts. Nothing wussy about it.
UPDATE: Couldn’t help but notice that last night (Tuesday) we took the gold in the mens skiing – a pretty “high-profile” competition…so NO ONE’S award ceremony was shown. I guess if there is no one but Americans worth showing, why…there’s simply nothing to see.