Monday, December 14, 2009

"One Winter, Five Dreams"

With the Olympics less than 60 days away, we often get caught up in the drama in the race to the Gold Medal. "Who's going to win the ladies Olympic Title? Kim Yu-Na, Mao Asada, Joannie Rochette perhaps?"

While the race for the medals is certainly an exciting aspect of the Olympics, it's not the only aspect worth following. I love the personal stories of triumph we often are treated to during the Olympics. The athlete's personally stories often bring a smile to my face or have me reaching for kleenex. Some medal contenders...some just there for the opportunity to represent their nation...all amazing!

Panasonic is doing something extraordinary; they are giving five athletes who will compete in Vancouver a voice. These five athletes all have an amazing story to tell:

Robel Teklemariam who grew to love Cross-Country Skiing in Lake Placid far from his native Ethiopia.

Katharine Eustace who only began her sport, Skeleton, two years ago and is unsure if her country, New Zealand, will qualify 1 or 2 spots in Vancouver...she has to sweat this out.

Kazuhiro Koshi who will attempt to medal as the oldest Japanese competitor in Vancouver.

Clyde Getty, the veteran Argentinian Freestyle Skier whose vocabulary doesn't include the word "retirement."

But I'm most excited for Figure Skating's own Tuğba Karademir. Tuğba, who is the face of figure skating in Turkey, has an amazing story. She dreamed of being a skaters as a little girl and her parents have dedicated everything to her training. They moved her to Canada to train and in 2006, a lifelong dream was realized when Tuğba became the first figure skater to represent Turkey at the Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.

Visit the One Winter, Five Dreams website and follow the dreams of these fine athletes, including Tuğba Karademir. You can read up on their individual stories and follow their blogs as they move ever closer towards their Olympic Dreams.


jumping clapping man said...

Thanks for keeping us focused on other attributes of our sport (and others) that have equally high value!

I also think Elena Ged. deserves a nod here, as she was forced to leave her native Georgia due to the ethnic cleansing there, and has had to refocus and find a new team in an entirely new setting. (I don't know the details of the story beyond this, and my memory may be further dramatizing them, but I think this is mostly true.)

Anonymous said...

hmmm, while Olympic stories are sometimes fun and informative to watch, I kinda feel like they are fillers. NBC uses sappy stories to get people emotionally involved. I'm not sure I like the manipulation. I rather just watch the sport for the sport's sake. If people like to watch sappy stories of the athletes, then NBC can put it on their other affiliated channels or internet. That way people who wants to read/ watch background stories of various athletes can have a field day and for people like me who don't want to be emotionally manipulated and just want to watch who wins, can just watch the action.