Friday, August 27, 2004

This Land Is an Odd Land

Just when you thought there was nothing to write about, the candidates make an appearance.


My American friends, forgive me as I'm going to write about things you don't know or really even care about as they didn't happen in the States or to Americans.

I find it interesting that the Canadian love fest with Perdita Felicien continues despite her wiping out the first hurdle in the women's 100 meter final. Here she was, the gold medal favourite, shyly trying to put down the media hype and attempting to train for the final. Canadian broadcasters practically cannonized her before the race and were predicting as easy win after Gail Devers had to drop out. All the while, Perdita quietly trained away.

On race day... tragedy. She falls into (over?) the first hurdle effectively killing the Olympic dream for a nation. She goes to the camera, does her interview and apologizes to the country. The outpouring of support and love for her came from coast to coast in this country. The media placed her on an even higher pedastal, Donovan Bailey sang her praises as being everything that Canada could want in an athlete - and we still love her.

So, my question then is this...

Why did we publicly bludgeon speed skater Jeremey Wotherspoon in 2002? The circumstances were exactly the same. He was the one to beat. He was the one with the records. He was quiet and unassuming. In the final where he was supposed to bring home gold, he tripped over the blades of his skates and fell down... and was widely ridiculed by the media and the public at large. The topic of conversation for a week was how Wotherspoon had choked, what a bonehead he was, "how do you screw up so bad at the most ciritical point of your athletic career?". All of this national ire was directed at him.

Yet, two years later, we still love Perdita.


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