Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hockey, Hockey, Sandhu, Hockey

Ron MacLean said Kurt Browning had more pull than Don Cherry, hence we were going to watch the last 2 groups of figure skating to see Emanuel Sandhu and Jeff Buttle. Like heck. First off we have endless chatter about hockey before and during, when we could be watching other live events. Then CBC cut away from a foregone hockey game between Canada and Germany -- Canada would have to royally screw up to lose it now, in the 3rd, score of 4 to 1 -- to show ONE skate: Sandhu's. Then right back to hockey. As I said, CBC seems to think now that the NHL'ers are here, the only thing viewers are interested in is hockey hockey hockey. So I had a thought: we have a French channel. Yup, SRC is giving us the full flight and therefore the sense of the event and how our skaters stack up to the competition...Whoops, spoke too soon. We're back to friggin' hockey on that channel too.

It was sad though, watching Sandhu, very sad. And I'm unimpressed with Paul Martini's ruthless assessment. Some deserve to be ruthlessly critiqued, those who don't "push the limits" on their second or third kick at the Olympics, despite their hard work and robust support system, including a proud family solidly behind them. (Never, never underestimate the value of a solid family backing one in every way, mentally, emotionally, financially, and just being there during one's competitions.) Martini said there comes a time for a person to take responsibility. Sandhu has and has made great strides as a result, but emotional scars like his do not heal in a month nor a year. It is like saying to a depressed person, why don't you just pull up your socks and get on with it. It isn't that simple. Besides, we forget this is Sandhu's FIRST Olympics. He never had one where he could hide in the shadow of the greater Canadian male skater before him and gain experience on how to handle the Olympics. He had learnt how to overcome in other competitions, but as other commentators in other sports remind us repeatedly, the Olympics are different, and an athlete needs to experience it once so as to do better the next time.

It was disappointing to watch his despairing performance, yes, but that doesn't give us the right to be contemptuous.

Final score: 5 to 1, and we missed Shawn Sawyer for a non-surprise? Peeved doesn't describe how I feel right now.

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