Friday, August 24, 2012
But fair play is also a philosophy - one of respect for others, and respect for the institution of sport. It leads to an agreement, between all of those involved in sport, on the values and lessons that we want sport to teach our children and ourselves.
Yesterday. All my troubles seemed so far away.
Yesterday, one might say that the shat hit the fan. (The excrement made physical contact with a hydro-electric powered oscillating air current distribution device and used primarily to describe a set of circumstances where events became inflamed to a point that control was lost.)
As busy as my yesterday was, two rather startling incidents surfaced in the news. Both grabbing headlines in the myopic media circles in which I spin. You, without question, heard of them as well. On the RCVman scale of importance (measuring vibrational shockwave intensity from blog zero as positiver-negative) they were:
1) Lance says no mas, and
2) Ironman Canada is no mas
NOW I NEED A PLACE TO HIDE AWAY.
Because this is a editorial soap-box, not merely a 'lazy fair' social media chance to cut and paste other peoples opinion and ask for validation, link and like, and because I think there is room for commentary among all the shallow 'fair and balanced' reporting of current events, I humbly submit my abridged thoughts on the subjects du jour.
Lance. THERE'S A SHADOW HANGING OVER ME.
I will take a stab at it: 80%. That is the percent of pro cyclists, better, pro cyclists riding in any TdF, in any given year, doping. I have no evidence to validate this number, it is a wild estimate. I have no proof. I have caught no one on camera with needles in their arms. It is all, 100%, total hearsay. He said that she said that so-and-so may have cheated. OMG, stop the presses and call the cops. This malicious innuendo is exactly what Lance has endured since 1999. Despite all his glory, fame, championships, altruism and generosity, this dark shadow hung over his head and foundation like an umbrella. I would plead 'no more' as well. Walk away. Fine, you win. It makes no difference to me. As LA cites in his official response "I know who won those seven tours, the other riders know, and you know". Here is another poignant example of why I have issues with authority. I will continue to know who won, and choose to believe he won because of his superior work ethic and God given genetics, his courage and his competitive concentration. His skill and his personal power. If he was in the 80% group or the 20% group is not the story I opt to follow. The guy is 40 years old and wants to win Ironman. He won the most important cycling race on the planet seven times. He beat cancer and has provided millions of dollars for further research. Did he dope along the way? I guess it depends on who you ask. Americans like their heros on a pedestal almost as much as they like knocking them off. In my book, and by my rating scale, Lance tests positive.
IMC: I BELIEVE IN YESTERDAY.
Thirty years and out. My all-time favorite event is 48 hours away from extinction. Politics (and its evil twin, greed) have won another one. After Sunday's 30th running, WTC, Ironman, Ironman Canada, will relinquish its license to the Challenge group, headquartered in Europe. The event will continue under, as they say, new management. I don't know what really happened between the mayor of Penticton, long-time RD Graham Fraser, Felix Walchshöfer, of the Challenge Group and WTC, but is sure seems to reek of political pork and the policy of profit. Meaning, of course, that it saddens me. For a number of reasons. One, I will miss the last running of my favorite event due, in part to similar politics and my overt disdain for hypocritical, hallow authority, and two, because I find it distasteful that money, profit and power have become such demigods in our society. The culture of Ironman used to be of sport, challenge, camaraderie and support. All this was epitomized by the people of Penticton and the long course participants in their annual celebration of the human spirit and soul. Now event production simply goes to the highest bidder. I believe in yesterday's joy, in the value of competition. As an athlete, as a manufacturer's representative, as journalist, as a volunteer, I have been fortunate to have participated in fifteen of the thirty events known, now retrospectively, as Ironman Canada. Each has been special. I believe in yesterday, and hope Felix will carry the torch onward and upward.
That's enough commentary for today. A long run and more pizza oven work on tap. Some nice irons that have been heating in the fire look to be, at last, ready to hammer to shape. Details as they happen.
Have a great weekend. Hang in there. Go hard.