I don’t consider myself a hugely patriotic person. Sure I love America and I think it’s cool that we told England to go screw themselves and started our own country and became powerful and industrious. But I’m not blind to the mistakes my country has made. We’ve killed many innocent people in our quest for expansion. We’ve become way too dependant on a diminishing fossil fuel to run out industry. And, worst of all, we have failed to produce a cross country skiing team that can even come close to winning an Olympic medal. And when it comes to a sporting match, I, as an American, am humiliated that we are so thoroughly dominated by the rest of the world in something like cross country skiing.
First of all, it’s not that hard. I mean, yes it’s hard, as in “Your thigh might literally explode.” But when you think about what Americans excel at – figure skating, speed skating, alpine skiing – is waddling like a duck on skis so far beyond us? In the history of the Winter Olympics we have won ONE medal in cross country skiing. Estonia, a country of approximately 1.3 million people and a capital city whose name ends with two n’s, has won three medals.
Somehow, of the 300,000,000 people living in the United States right now, we can’t find one person, male or female, who can finish higher than fourth. I’m no mathematician, but it seems like those odds would be pretty good. At the very least, couldn’t we just put Lance Armstrong in some skis and let him take a shot at it?
In the team relay, the women finished 14th. The men finished 12th. In my heart, they finished last.
(It could be worse: We could have lost the Revolutionary War and remain a part of Great Britain, a country that has somehow managed to be a world leader while winning one total medal, a silver in the skeleton – an event that takes more brain deadness than anything else, and even in that they could only finish second.)