Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Magnificent Olympic moguls

Given how much time I've spent skiing the bumps in recent days, it seems appropriate that the men's mogul event produced not one but two wonderful stories.

The gold went to adopted Aussie Dale Begg-Smith. A dual Australian-Canadian citizen, but Canadian by birth and upbringing, it seems the Canadian team didn't really see his potential. Tired of waiting on the development squad, he decided to ski for Australia (perhaps the Canadians had never heard of a guy called Marc Giradelli.*)

Even more inspiring is the story of Toby Dawson who took bronze. Korean by birth and abandoned as a baby, he was adopted by husband and wife ski instructors from Vail. I have the best parents you could ask for, but if I had to be adopted ski instructors from Vail would have been at the top of my list!

Update: Australia Post has already put Dale Begg-Smith on a postage stamp. He's all ours and no, Canada you can't have him back!

* Giradelli was an Austrian who wanted to continue to be coached by his father which the Austrian team wouldn't allow, so he decided to ski instead for Luxembourg where one of his parents was from. He became one of the greatest all round skiers winning an unequalled five overall World Cup titles. While Slalom and GS were his strongest events he wasn't as dominant in them as either Stenmark or Tomba in their time, but he was much more competitive than either of them in the Super G and Downhill, making him in my view a stronger all round skier. But maybe I'm biased - he's been one of my skiing idols since the mid-80's.

No comments: