The United States Olympic Committee
February 23, 2002 9:27 PM   Subscribe

The United States Olympic Committee invites you to help them decide the recipients of the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award. I don't think you have to be an american to participate. Nominations close tomorrow evening, as do the 2002 Winter Olympics themselves. The award is supposed to represent commitment, courage, perseverence and vision. The nominations may be more of a popularity contest, but the U.S. Olympic Committee itself makes the final determination. Previous recipients include Carl Lewis and Scott Hamilton.
posted by ZachsMind (15 comments total)
My money's on Jim Shea. Although I won't rule out Wil Wheaton.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:35 PM on February 23, 2002

I voted for Wil Wheaton.
posted by fleener at 9:40 PM on February 23, 2002

I voted for Jim Shea for the men, and Sarah Hughes for the ladies.
posted by scottymac at 9:57 PM on February 23, 2002

The american female bobsledders that won gold, when no one thought they would. They kept their heads down, did their best, and beat everyone.
posted by mathowie at 9:57 PM on February 23, 2002

Brian Shimer. He's been trying for four Olympics to get a medal, he was "all washed up" at 40, he lost a medal by .02 seconds four years ago, and he takes the bronze in his final bobsled run ever, ending a 46-year medal drought. That was just plain COOL. Talk about perserverance!
posted by apollo at 10:01 PM on February 23, 2002

Enough with the fargin' Wil Wheaton! He's gotten just about as noisome as pancakes.

Back to the topic: I voted for Sarah Hughes. The total confidence with which she skated, going into it not expecting a medal. I also really liked Brian Shimer, a great story. Both Shimer and Hughes seemed totally bewildered when they won, as if they absolutely couldn't believe it. Great moments.
posted by evanizer at 10:17 PM on February 23, 2002

Ditto Shimer and Hughes. Brian Shimer is the epitome of commitment, courage, perseverence and vision in working toward his goal. Sarah Hughes was poetry in motion in her long skate.
posted by bjgeiger at 10:25 PM on February 23, 2002

Didn't vote for him, but I'd almost guarantee Jim Shea for this, though for some reason his mantra of the games not being about medals somehow felt rehearsed to me. Maybe I'm a bit too cynical at this point.

I like the Flowers/Bakken nom, great idea. Anyone think Kwan or Ohno might surprise us with a win on this one?
posted by evixir at 11:22 PM on February 23, 2002

I say, give it to the Russians.
posted by mikhail at 6:31 AM on February 24, 2002

Vonetta Flowers gets my vote. Colby King of the Washington Post writes:

"The thrill of watching Vonetta Flowers, the only African American woman competing at the Winter Olympics, bobsled her way with teammate Jill Bakken to a gold medal and into history was matched only by Flowers's inspiring words in victory. "If something comes out of this, I hope other races -- not just the black community" -- will take up different sports and not "just do the things that people tell them they're good at." To which I shout, "Amen." Flowers's "broaden your horizon" message was directed to athletes. But it applies beyond the world of sports. Her words should resonate in the mind of every person thinking about the next step in life, including youths weighing their professional career goals."
posted by Carol Anne at 7:17 AM on February 24, 2002

I like Brian Shimer for this for the same reason as apollo. For the women, my thought was Tristan Gale, because she just seemed like her head was about to explode after she won Skeleton. But Sarah Hughes will probably get it, because figure skating is the marquee event of the Winter Olympics.
posted by geneablogy at 8:27 AM on February 24, 2002

Erf. I feel like arguing the Hughes idea. Not to be antagonistic, but I just keep thinking that if Slutskaya hadn't bobbled her way through her routine, we wouldn't be hearing much of anything about Hughes at all, so the praise and adoration just seems kind of hackneyed. How many of the other girls who were there with no real hopes of a gold medal went out to just skate their hearts out in the free skate -- the ones who didn't make it onto NBC's Apple Pie Radar? The ones whose names we don't hear about because they don't have footage of themselves at age 3 saying they wanted to be in the Olympics... et cetera. But I blame NBC for most of this, so in that light, I truly believe Sarah Hughes should be given the NBC Chevrolet Olympic Spirit Moment award, if there was one.
posted by evixir at 2:30 PM on February 24, 2002

I say that the award should go to each and every American, for being heroic enough to support their country and put flags everywhere, striking a blow to worldwide and domestic terrorism.
posted by Hildago at 2:46 PM on February 24, 2002

Evixir: "..if Slutskaya hadn't bobbled her way through her routine, we wouldn't be hearing much of anything about Hughes at all.."

Incorrect. Sarah Hughes performed before Slutskaya. Her routine was almost flawless, and had set the arena on fire. The audience had done a doubletake almost in unison and were then mesmerized by Sarah Hughes' performance. Even if Slutskaya matched or exceeded Hughes in the freeskate, people would still be talking about Hughes. Skating first, Sarah dropped the gauntlet and raised the bar. The other skaters simply were unable to reach the goal she set.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:01 PM on February 24, 2002

I'd nominate the ref from the US-Canada women's hockey final, giving eight consecutive penalties to the Canadian women. Commitment, courage, perseverence and vision.
posted by philfromhavelock at 5:21 PM on February 24, 2002

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