Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

On the Mountainfront

Happens I have a friend, a Master's level skier, who knows
Bode Miller. She is cut from the same old money bolt as Miller,
and thinks his behaviour is cute. I thought the conduct she
described was arrogant and spoiled, months before he brought
his show to Torino.

Discussing Miller at work, one colleague said he figured you
had to have attitude to get to that level.

I'm not old money, but I've met or been acquainted with seven
Olympic athletes: two skiers, three swimmers, a cyclist, and
a runner. Five of them are medalists (one is just beginning her
career, and we'll see what she does). Not one of them had a
trace of the childish, arrogant, smartass attitude that Bode
Miller has tried to pass off as a requirement for athletic
greatness. What they did have was the focus and self-
discipline that comes with years of working very hard to get
where they were and are.

Location, birth and breeding made certain that Miller has never
had to work very hard for anything, and probably never will.
It shows. The spoiled rich kid, who grew up with a ski area in
his back yard, might have become one of the greatest skiers of
all time if he had paid his dues.

He is now doing what spoiled rich kids always do when
they lose: whining.

In On the Waterfront, Terry Malloy's self-pity sounded much the
same as Bode Miller's. However, the character of Malloy added
two final phrases which, in self-acknowledgement, so far
surpass Miller that, once again, he's left behind, tangled
in the gates:

"You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I
coulda been somebody,
instead of a bum, which is what I am."


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