Friday, 8 February 2013

Looking back at past Winter Olympic Games with 1 year to go until Sochi!

Yesterday marked exactly one year until the Sochi 2014 Olympics and it’s fair to say my sights are firmly set on my ultimate goal of competing there. The fact it’s never far away from my thoughts, isn’t a nuisance as you might assume, instead it acts as an aid to keep me focused. With that in mind, I wanted to share some memorable and inspirational moments from past Winter Olympics. 

Steve Bradbury – 2002
The first memorable moment took place during the Salt Lake City games. Having been in the Australian short-track skating team for over a decade, Bradbury finally got his shot at glory in 2002, 1000 meter final. Narrowly reaching the quarter final thanks to a disqualification, the Aussie relied on a tactic of staying out the way of trouble to progress past the semi final, after other competitors crashed out. Getting to the final was an unexpected event in itself, but what happened next was a shock to everyone, not least Bradbury. Trailing the leading pack, his destiny seemed set, until a huge wipe out saw all the other competitors knocked to the ground. All that was left to do was to cruise to the finish and claim Australia’s first Winter Olympic Gold. A great example of how far you can get by never giving up.

The four-man Jamaican Bobsleigh Team – 1988
The second inspiring moment I want to share comes from Calgary 1988. The four man Jamaican bobsled team became cult favourites for being the most unlikely team at the games. Against expectations they put in solid performances, but it wasn’t until a crash on one run that they cemented their names in Winter Olympic folk lore. The team rose from the crash unscathed, and in a true show of Olympic spirit, walked to the finish line to great applause. The story was later captured in the Disney’s film Cool Runnings.

Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean – 1984
Looking to Britain for the next memorable moment, who can forget Torvill and Dean, (even if I was a bit young to remember seeing it live). Their gold medal interpretation of Bolero at the Sarajevo games of 84, was arguably more art than sport, but it was certainly also poetry on ice. The performance struck a chord with us Brits and remains an enduring Olympic memory.

Herman Maier – 1998
The final inspirational Olympic moment is the one that stands out most to me. Not just because it involves one of the best Alpine Ski Racers in history, but also as it is an example of a miraculous recovery from a serious crash, which has helped inspire me on my road to recovery. Going into the downhill at Nagano 98, Herman Maier was the pre-race favourite. However, a spectacular crash saw Maier flying through the air, land on his head and crash through three layers of safety netting. The crash looked impossible to walk away from, but ‘the Herminator’ managed much more than that. Three days later he came back to win both the Super G and Giant Slalom – a truly heroic performance!

Of course that’s just a small selection of the many memorable and inspired moments that the Winter Olympics has provided. What are some of your favourites?

No comments:

Post a Comment