Torino 2006: Winter Olympics Finds Americans Falling Short

The tradition of posting a portrait of an Olympic hero on the cover of a Wheaties box may not be as easy to accomplish for the 2006 Winter Olympics as it has been in the past. In almost every event held an American has displayed the talent and charisma to achieve the coveted gold medal, but has not followed through with an actual performance. This winter in Torino, Italy has been a showcase of catastrophy.

First there’s Michelle Kwan, who is one of the strongest American contenders for a gold medal in figure skating. Kwan was well on her way to being in prime condition for what was to be her final appearance in the Winter Olympics. All this ended up amounting to was a groin injury that had Kwan throwing in the towel during a practice run. This unfortunate consequence effectively removed her from any sort of competition for what may be the rest of her career.

Stepping up to take the torch for Kwan was Sandra Cohen. Cohen was, from the beginning, a very strong competitor for the gold, and had the potential to be a nice little dream-come-true victor. After firing multiple coaches and then sticking with her original coach, Cohen had set herself up to be one of those “win in light of unsteady management” type of people. However, in the race for the gold, she slipped and fell, twice, and let Japan escape with the medal.

Bode Miller, who has become more of a pop-culture icon than an athlete in the past few months, has done absolutely nothing to display that he should even be competing for America in the Winter Games. After being disqulified twice; once for straddling a gate and once for completely missing one, and finished nowhere near medal competition in the other two events, I think I’ll skip his final performance in Torino. Miller has been another America hopeful for medal competition since day one that seems to have gotten a little to big on himself and not on beating other competitors.

And finally, the US Hockey team. Great aspirations for the men’s team led to great upset as they did not even make it to medal compeition, and the women’s team fared just about as well. Instead of registering a gold medal performance, both of these teams barely registered a pulse.

So to you, American Olympiads; Miller, Kwan, Cohen, and all you crazy hockey gurus, I propose a toast. May Torino 2006 not be remembered long, and not be repeated ever.

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