February 15, 2010

Olympics - with the good comes the ugly

Lara Day here, again.  Oh, the Olympics. This international sporting competition turns into another sort of competition for me...finding the athletes who can handle any and all media interviews with the grace and personality they displayed during competition and those who should be required to have a personal media coach to prep them before any and all public interaction.  The winners thus far: Apolo Anton Ohno and Hannah Kearney. Both are winners in my book.  During a post-competition interview with NBC, Ohno did a great job answering questions about the Koreans’ sketchy maneuvers. He was brief and concise, while at the same time, allowing his personality to come through.  Then, to my surprise, he did something most attention-hungry athletes would never dream of doing – he stepped out of the shot so young buck J.R. Celski could enjoy the post-media spotlight that comes with winning an Olympic medal.  And that Hannah Kearney.  After a nail-biter competition where she bumped hometown favorite Jen Heil down to a silver medal, Kearney showed humility – another key in delivering stellar interviews - in her response to Bob Costas when he asked about Heil’s disappointment and possible shame of not delivering the country's first gold medal.  Kearney focused her response on Heil’s accomplishments and shared praise for a fellow Olympian.  Kudos to you both.  Yet with the good comes the ugly – and this one is very ugly.  The American I’m talking about is lucky his name was on the screen for less than 2 seconds otherwise I’d include it in here and search for more bad interview clips.  During his interview Saturday – just a day after the tragic death of 21-year-old Georgian luge competitor, Nodar Kumaritashvili - an American luger did an interview with NBC complaining about the new course and describing it as boring.  Come one, buddy. A man just died.  Show some compassion.  Rather, next time, just keep your mouth shut. 


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