Do you remember the 2002 Winter Olympics? I do...specifically, because of Sarah Hughes. She became the women's figure skating champion after winning her long program, but that's not why we remember her.
We remember her because her long program was magical...unexpected...joyous...nearly perfect, and, after her fourth place short program, a Good Story, which is what the Olympics are REALLY all about.
Well, to everyone except for the athletes, that is.
Remember Dan Jansen, speed skater from Lillehammer, 1994? Best skater in the world for ten years? Lillehammer was his fourth Olympics - he'd had extremely bad luck trying to get on the podium so far.
That year at Lillehammer he'd brought a secret weapon...his baby daughter Jane, named after his sister Jane, who died in 1988 on the day Dan competed in the 500 meter race in Calgary.
Dan finally won his gold medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, setting an Olympic record while slipping twice, and took a victory lap around the lane with his baby daughter.
One last Good Story...MIRACLE ON ICE!
I mean, this winter Olympic victory was so huge they made a movie out of it! (no no we're not talking about Cool Runnings in this post go away go away)...
In the 1980 Lake Placid games, our US guys were huge underdogs against the Soviet team that had dominated in play against every single team in the world. But WE WON, 4-3. Do you believe in miracles?
So, it's been great reminiscing about Olympics past...I never, ever miss an Olympics, you know? It doesn't matter if I think the sport is completely ridiculous (read: curling) or frilly (ice dancing), I still watch it. It's always been one of my things.
Until now, that is.
We've dropped the ball, here. Our friends and neighbors in Russia are suffering and scared for their lives, and the lives of their friends and families.
How is it possible that we are dealing with a leader who has clearly lost his mind? It is not acceptable for him to be bringing down a reign of terror on any segment of his population!
I guess I'll just keep saying this until someone hears me: It was bad enough that we kept dealing with the President of Iran after he denied the Holocaust ever happened.
But here, we have another world leader cut from the same cloth, and it's our second chance to get it right. We are the leader of the free world and it's our responsibility to do the right thing, which is to boycott these Olympics.
America going to the Sochi Olympics gives it legitimacy,which is the same thing as giving Putin legitimacy, which means that his stance on homosexuality is legitimate and so everything's okay, which IT IS NOT.
Putin's latest missive explains that gay Olympic athletes at the games will be fine, 'as long as they stay away from children'.
I can't even go there about how insensitive and unfair that is, except to say that this uneducated and hate-filled man is leader of a very dangerous and unbalanced region.
We need to boycott, we need all of our people out of there, and we should offer asylum to anyone who needs it. I don't want another Holocaust, and this feels like the very beginnings of something.
So. US boycott, and if they don't, then I'm at least boycotting anyway, and one of my favorite things, too.
We should be able to do something, somehow...