Monday, February 13, 2006

Guts and Determination

The Chinese pair figure skaters were just amazing tonight. First, NBC did a back story on the coach. He was a skater a long time ago when China was much more closed off to the world and their skaters and coaches only had photographs from newspapers to know what moves were supposed to look like. He and his partner went to the world championships on their own, there wasn't enough money for coaches to come too. Apparently they didn't do well and were actually laughed at by the spectators (which I think is despicable). That was the last time he skated competitively and he eventually became the Chinese national team coach. (Of course this story, like all the Chevrolet moments on the Olympics, made me tear up...I am a sap, I know it).

So on to the skaters tonight, the most promising pair was still coming back from a blown Achilles tendon 6 months ago. Watching them, knowing that he was in pain and pushing his body to its limit kept me on pins and needles the entire time. They were in first until the Russians went. Those two were coming back from a bad fall a while back that occured during a lift. It had shattered their confidence and watching them was difficult as well.

With one pair to go from China, the Russians were in first, and the comeback Chinese pair were in second. The last pair knew they had to pull out all the stops to get into the medals, so they planned to do a quadruple Salchow throw (apparently throws are the bomb in pair skating). It was near the beginning of their program. He threw her, she fell on her knees and couldn't continue for a few minutes. They went over to the side to see the trainer and after a bit, she decided to continue. I couldn't believe that she was willing to go on after that fall. It took so much courage and just really made me think, that is what competing in sports is about. They finished their program without any more problems and even though she was crying during the end, they got the silver medal. Here is their story on NBC's Olympic website.

I was so happy for them and so completely impressed by their heart and determination.


Mind Sprite said...

I agree! It was very inspiring and couragous of her to go on. That is what the Olympic spirit is all about, not the hyped up, commercialized stuff that makes up most of the broadcast.

Envoy-ette said...

I'm sorry I missed it! What a story!