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the bigger issue seems to be whether this "team" was patched together to suit the interests of another "i": hedrick's pursuit of 5 gold medals. then again i'm barely watching these games and not really following the coverage.

A very valid point. I'm not sure how one would decide that, and also doubt we'll ever know. But if indeed the only reason that the US entered a team in the pursuit was to help Hedrick win 5 medals, were I Davis, that definitely would have had a strong influence on my decision.

 

Although I'm not sure how one would ascertain that. There are group events in most of the sports. Why not long-track speed skating? And why wouldn't the US participate? The other countries did and they obviously have no interest in helping Hedrick.

 

I'm not arguing with Davis's right to decide, nor whether or not he made the correct decision.

 

I would just hate to see that sort of decision become a trend.

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Davis was not guaranteed to win the 1000m, a race where first place and no medal is a difference of less than a second.  How can you make a judgement that 2 days would be enough recovery for him? You can't. If he had done the team pursuit but lost the 1000m in the process, I don't think he would have thought it a fair trade.

Again, absolutely right. Davis wasn't "guaranteed to win in the 1000m." And he wasn't "guaranteed to win the 1000m" whether or not he also skated the pursuit. And I'm sure you're right again that had he skated the pursuit, and even had the USA won, but he lost the 1000m, he would have blamed that loss on the pursuit, and, from what we know of him, definitely would not "have thought it a fair trade."

 

You're certainly correct on all your points.

 

Did you happen to catch the shots of the crowd celebrating the Italian cross-country team's gold medal in the men's 4x10km relay? I wonder how the Italians would have felt if one of those members had chosen not to participate because he was "saving his energy" for an individual event?

Yes, I caught that race and it was a terrific victory for Italy.

 

But did you notice that Norway, a heavy favorite, came in 5th? Despite the presence of Frode Estil, the individual gold medalist of 2002 and silver medalist of this year (see my earlier post re: his heroic performance), he had no gas left and fell far away from the leaders. The point being that though these team events are wonderful, they take so much out of the athletes. Had the relay come first, how many of these participants would have chosen the team event over individual ones?

 

I guess where we differ is whether it is 'selfish' to choose individual events over the team ones. All I can think is that if I had devoted my life for 10, 15, 20 years for a specific goal, I would hope I would not be detered. While the pursuit of several medals sounds admirable, if it exhausts the athlete to the point where he exits with no medals, well, that just seems like a foolish choice.

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Perhaps the answer is to follow the lead of the relays held as part of Track & Field events which are held after the individual events.

 

Going back to Davis, he would have refused to participate in the Team Pursuit even if it was after all the individual events were completed. It's his way of giving the finger to the Federation.

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I was inclined to to be sympathetic to Shani but his post-race interview left me COLD. Perhaps it is a matter of two assholes in the 1000 race.

I suspect this is probably pretty close to the truth. Let's face it, in order to achieve that pinnacle of success, one probably is required to be pretty driven and egotistical.

 

And I think that the idea of scheduling the team events after the individuals is probably the best. Team ski jumping is tonight....am I correct that all of the individual events are over?

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Team ski jumping is tonight....am I correct that all of the individual events are over?

If you are asking about speed skating in particular, Jaymes, there are still individual events left. The 1500m tonight and the 10000m later in the week.

 

You know, I would be kinda curious if Hedrick now (or later) will himself regret participating in the team pursuit. He's a cocky guy, so it would be very natural for him to think that he can race 5 events (with their many preliminary races) with no degradation in performance. He came in 6th in the 1000m, but really his time was very close to the gold medal time. I wonder if he questions if maybe he could have gained a little more speed by bypassing team pursuit. Of course, I doubt he would ever admit it. I will be watching his coming individual events just to see how robust or tired he is...

 

Speaking of fatigue, the announcers keep commenting that Bode Miller is looking tired during his races. Did he sign up for too much? After all, he's not just slow he's missing gates...

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Team ski jumping is tonight....am I correct that all of the individual events are over?

If you are asking about speed skating in particular, Jaymes, there are still individual events left.

No, actually I was commenting upon the ski jumping events. The team jump is today, I believe, and in keeping with suggestions that team events be held after the individual events in that particular discipline, wondered if all of the individual jumps were over. I am eagerly awaiting the remainder of the speed skating events. As are, I'm sure, we all.

 

Speaking of fatigue, the announcers keep commenting that Bode Miller is looking tired during his races. Did he sign up for too much? After all, he's not just slow he's missing gates...

 

I think Mr. Party Hearty Balls Out Guy is just not in condition.

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Team ski jumping is tonight....am I correct that all of the individual events are over?

If you are asking about speed skating in particular, Jaymes, there are still individual events left.

No, actually I was commenting upon the ski jumping events. The team jump is today, I believe, and in keeping with suggestions that team events be held after the individual events in that particular discipline, wondered if all of the individual jumps were over.

Actually, I think the ski jumping team event (by country, for distance) happened yesterday. I saw it last night and Austria won. I was taken by how young a lot of the jumpers are.

 

The freestyle aerial jumps are tomorrow and Thursday but these are individual events.

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Actually, I'm kind of glad that Bode Miller is not doing so well. I've read where he is the 'hero' of a lot of young, would-be ski racers. It'd be nice to think that one could just party until the wee hours and not take things seriously and still have great success but, in real life, seems like the youngsters would do better to pattern themselves after athletes that believe in discipline and hard work.

 

It appears that it requires more than publicity and a 'cool dude' attitude to come in first.

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As an aside and whatever the reason(s), Bode Miller has not been doing that well the entire past World Cup Season contrasting with the fact that he was the overall World Cup Champion the year before. This truly was a fantastic accomplishment and should normally be expected to generate much hype and expectations. TV coverage glossed over the fact that he really was not doing very well this year and immediately prior to the Olympics.

 

He makes it difficult with his behaviour and some of his comments, but I do feel sorry for his lack of success--especially in light of his legitimate claims to greatness not so long ago. It would be so sad if the main reasons he isn't doing well are really due to actions within his controll. There does appear to be some evidence for that.

 

I agree with what you mention above also, Jaymes. I had mostly assumed that his "cool" talk was just that and that he perhaps used it as a way to personally deal with stress and motivation, but who knows. In any case, internalizing or emulating this image would not "bode" well for young skiiers coming up through the ranks.

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