Lindsey Vonn will not compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi after injuring her knee.
Since 2010 she has been the most dominant female alpine skier in the world. It’s massive personal blow.
It’s also a disappointment for fans or hers (like us!), winter sports enthusiasts, Americans, and people of all nations who plan on watching the Olympics next month.
Here are the three reasons why. Note that they are ranked in reverse order, for the drama. Thank you.
3. Norway could beat the U.S. in gold medals now.
Norway is now the favourite to win the most gold medals in Sochi.
2. NO COLD TIGER WOODS.
In one of our many alternate universes, Lindsey Vonn has two fully functioning knees. She’s skiing down the Caucasus Mountains and there, below, is Tiger Woods looking up at the face of the slope. As the flurries start to collect on the furs of his oversized ushanka, a volunteer approaches from his left, and places a tiny American flag in his hand.
1. Lindsey Vonn, point of intrigue.
For the most part, the Winter Olympics consists of anonymous people playing unusual sports. That’s part of the charm, sure. But it gives the games a certain quaintness, and gives even the successful athletes a “cult hero” vibe. There’s a relative lack of respect when it comes to the Winter Olympics, especially compared to the romanticism with which people view the traditional events in the Summer Olympics. It comes from our collective lack of familiarity with the sports and the athletes, and it’s probably unfair.
But it’s there. When Usain Bolt wins the 100-meter, people talk about THE LIMITS OF THE SPECIES. When Apollo Ohno wins the 500-meter short track, people just think it’s sorta neat.
Vonn is one of the only famous people competing at the Winter Olympics. She’s also one of the best in the world at what she does. It sounds overly simplified, but fame matters when the vast majority of people have no idea who are what they are watching. It provides context, even if it’s a celebrity-based context. In a weird way, her fame legitimises the games in the minds of fans.
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