Saturday, February 18, 2006

Jacobellis' Hard Knocks "Lindsey Jacobellis tried to show off and she got what she deserved: She fell on her tail.

Jacobellis had a 50-yard lead in the first women's Olympic snowboardcross final Friday in a dandy of a race. She had looked over her shoulder several times in the bottom section of the run to see where her opponents were on the course. Obviously, she could already feel the weight of that gold medal around her neck. She was excited. She was confident of her victory. And she tried to show off a bit, throwing a back-side method over the second-to-last jump. But she held the grab too long, lost her edge and tumbled to the snow.

While she was scrambling to get up, Tanja Frieden of Switzerland came around the final turn and blew by Jacobellis to steal what would have been Team USA's fourth gold medal in snowboarding at these Olympics. But then again, Frieden didn't really steal anything; Jacobellis gave it to her."

If you didn't see this, you missed one of the memorable moments in all of sports. I'll have it on Tivo for some time. In fact, if you want to see it, come on over.

At first I was stunned. I caught a glimpse of what I thought was a showboat move and her snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I thought that she got what she deserved.

But as I saw Jacobellis interviewed by Costas last night on NBC, it became clear to me that she is a young girl, an amateur in the best sense of the word. Amateur: [French, from Latin amātor, lover, from amāre, to love.]

This girl loves to snowboard. She worked hard to win but to her it seems that the joy of the sport exceeds her desire to win.

And of course she learned, or can learn from this experience.

Proverbs 1:8-9 8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. 9 They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
I was talking to my son about this very passage yesterday, not knowing that a living illustration of the relationship between wisdom and success would materialize later that day.

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