It suddenly occurred to me that we are well into the second week of the Olympics and I have posted hardly anything about them yet. Then it also occurred to me that maybe there was nothing that was all that inspiring to write about.
I am not a big figure-skating fan. As a fan of NASCAR, college football, hunting and fishing, I don’t even consider it a real sport. A nice display to be sure, but the criteria for winning are too subjective to be truly considered a sport. I watch it with my wife because it makes her happy for me to do so.
So as I sat tonight, watching the women’s short program, I really didn’t expect to find anything extraordinary. Then Emily Hughes stepped on the ice.
Emily, you will recall, is the younger sister of previous gold-medalist Sara. She is also a last-minute replacement for skating superstar Michelle Kwan who withdrew with an injury. While the expectations of others may not have been high, there is still enormous pressure. This is the Olympics, for goodness’ sakes, you are the younger sister of a gold-medalist, and the replacement of one who was one of the favorites going in.
Just the pressure of skating on ice without falling on my behind would have been enough to send me scurrying to the nearest tree stand.
This little girl with a big heart ignored the pressure, went out there on the ice (without falling down, mind you) and had a ball. She was not the most spectacular skater there tonight, but I was blown away by the fire that Emily showed. “No fear and a lot of fun,” seemed to be her motto. The announcers seemed to think that she hit all of her “elements” strongly. I still don’t know a loop from a salchow, but it looked good to me.
I was impressed.
I am a fan.
Now if we can just get NASCAR included as a Summer Olympics event.
P.S. Our On Mission Celebration concludes tomorrow night. I will post a full report then. It has been awesome. I love missionaries, they are my heroes.