Essays

Making the Twizzle Zing

Karen’s making pancakes and I’m sitting here with newly applied butterfly tape on my hand. The moral of this story… don’t attempt to clean out aluminum cans by trying to pry off the lid you’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to completely remove with a can opener. The prying motion is usually what does you in. So if the can is fighting you, let it win. Otherwise, it takes revenge and bites back. Just a little hint for anyone out there who needs a helpful tip today.

Otherwise… I was sitting here reflecting on the Olympics. With last nights coverage I was struck by two different incidents. First, the big deal that was made of the young woman snow boarder who, in her excitement to just be there in the Olympics, got caught up in the moment and ended up, sadly, on her backside watching another boarder pass her by for the gold. The commentators were all talking about it as though she “gave away” the gold medal. They had a somewhat accusatory tone when discussing it, as if she did it on purpose or something. I say this… snow boarding is an exuberant sport and the moment you take that away, it’s changed forever. The girl is 20, just a kid. She’s young, excited, and full of life. She knows, better than anyone, what the cost was. After all, she’s the one going home with a different color medal. We don’t have to tell her. She’s learned the lesson for herself. So… leave her alone. Let her shake it off, look at her silver medal with pride, and start moving forward toward the possibilities she could have in Vancouver.

The other thing that struck me about the coverage last night was the commentating for ice dancing and skeleton. These people, who we never see, are absolutely wonderful. They love the sports they are covering. They bring so much enthusiasm to the events that I find myself getting into sports I normally wouldn’t care about. But, there I was… cheering on a pair of ice dancers, wearing costumes I would normally make fun of, as the lady announcer said, “She really knows how to make the Twizzle zing”. And I was like… yeah! She does! Having no idea what the twizzle was, or what might constitute a zinging twizzle. Similarly, when the skeleton commentators would exclaim, “Whoa! Did you see that? He was flying wildly down that section, off his line, and he’s still in first place!” And there I was, again, feeling exhilarated myself, as if it was I who had just been flying down the hill and triumphantly crossed the finish line.

Which, finally, brings me to talking about the Olympics in general. I’m so impressed with anyone who’s had a dream, worked his or her butt off, and reached a goal. These athletes, most who won’t see a podium during the games, are admirable human beings. And to me, that’s what the celebration should be about, not some medal count. We shouldn’t be talking about failed attempts and how we aren’t performing as well as we should be as a country. Our athletes are there, fulfilling a dream, with thousands of other individuals who, in the name of sport, accomplishment, dedication, and love of what they do, have gathered to celebrate their sport and each other. They all represent the best in us. They show us what the world could be like, would be like, if we ignored the borders and found in each other what they have found during these magical two weeks… that we are, as human beings, more alike than we are different. Our beliefs might be divergent, but our lives, for the most part, are not. All over the world people are loving their families, striving, achieving, suffering mistakes… making their way the best they can, and trying, with everything they have, to make their own personal twizzle zing!

One thought on “Making the Twizzle Zing

  1. The reason I found myself so enraptured with Iron Chef was due to the energetic and knowledgeable commentators. Without their exuberance, I would’ve found the show rather absurd and even laughable.

    –Charles D.

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