With the gym being prepped for Winter Carnival and the Winter Olympics going on, TK’s gym teacher thought it would be a good idea for the class to watch Miracle, the story of the 1980 Olympic US hockey team. When he told me this Monday, I immediately launched into a delirious fervor of patriotic fangirlishness, ending with “…and, ohmigod, isn’t it the best movie ever?”.
And then my son—the child I cherished in my womb and suffered through fifteen hours of labor, uphill in the snow both ways, to bring into this world—gave me that coldly disdainful look he does so well and said, “No”.
No? Excuse me? NO?
That one simple word elicited a maternal reaction even more explosive than if he’d told me he’d stolen my car, gotten drunk and knocked up a forty-year-old stripper. A week long Cold War ensued, arguments lobbed back and forth like nuclear warheads.
Him, arguing such lame points as all the criminal charges the coach should have faced. Dumbass.
Me, trying to explain to a fourteen-year-old being raised in a global community what it was like living in the shadow of two Superpowers. Trying to explain the dominance of the Soviet hockey players who, while they weren’t running amok in the NHL, were the equivalent of professionals, while Team USA was a ragtag bunch of college kids thrown together. Trying to make him understand what it meant.
Then, last night, during a teaser for the men’s figure skating event, TK said he hoped Pleshenko took the gold. Actually, his exact words were, “I hope the Russian dude with the speed-assisted, variable-position mullet wins the gold”.
Dirty rotten…never mind.
He’ll be watching the end of Miracle today and I’ve already warned him if it doesn’t move him—if it doesn’t make his heartbeat quicken and overwhelm him with the urge to drape himself in an American flag and belt out The Star-Spangled Banner—he’d better see if the guidance counselor can help him apply for a passport because I’m shipping his butt off to Russia to find his real mother.
About 2:50 pm this afternoon, look toward the northeast. You might see a mushroom cloud.
In one short post, you’ve summed up the challenge this country faces and why we may not be long for this world — at least from the perspective of people who grew up in the 20th Century and the Cold War.
For a change in perspective, send TK to Mother Russia with nothing but a clean pair of skivvies and a potato. Oh, and his much loved freedom of speech.
This post just proved that there’s no pre-arranged marriage in the future of our children because the gurl would be all over him like white on rice about this. She’s not anti-Russian, but she’s all about the American teams, all about her country and so is the oldest boy–the one who’s going to leave me this July to go into the Air Force.
Maybe he’s just arguing for the sake of argument? Maybe his friends are bitchin’ about their parents and because he’s a fundamentally good kid, he needs something to stir the pot with mom. Ever think of that?
I can understand how TK DOESN’T understand. It seems like a lifetime ago that I sat at my school took a field trip to the Civil Defense bunker that was prepared for a nuclear attack from the Russians.
I remember watching the Olympics as a kid and hearing the horror stories of the lives of the athletes from Russia. Remember how they were ‘escorted’ everywhere to prevent defection?
I think it’s easy for someone in this day and age to watch the first hour of that movie and be horrified at the coach’s behaviour. (Probably at the end of their first game when he makes them stay after and do lines until they drop) By the end of the movie I’m sure that opinion would change, just as the ass. coach’s did , and the players did.
One thing that movie always makes me wonder about is why is hockey the only sport in the Olympics where professional players can be on the teams? I mean, the Olympics are supposed to be amatuers, before they turn pro, in every other sport, right? I sort of wish they would go back to that in the hockey as well.
To TK’s credit, at least he considers these questions. I know too many kids who only seem interested in how long it will be until they get their cell phones back after their parents have restricted them from using it for various disciplinary matters.
I disagree with his stance, but as a result of this post, I have to give some thought to the effect different world circumstances have upon someone with a different set of experiences. Youth tends to hold more liberal views which tend to grow more conservative with aging. Given today’s politically charged environment of conflict, that’s clearly only a tendency.
As I understand it, professionals are are able to participate in all Olympic sports now. I believe they made that change because so many athletes were State Sponsored during the Soviet era, that they amounted to being professional athletes.
I have a friend whose a figure skater, and he said that he chose to work instead of compete, because it was either.or. Maybe that’s just figure skating? Or maybe it was like that 8 years ago when he made the choice? Interesting either way.
It’s interesting when a household is a mix of “we should consider sanctions if our diplomatic discussions fail” and “we should nuke their sorry asses”, that’s for sure!
And the hockey, baseball, basketball, etc are all pro athletes now. I HATE it. The Olympics, to me, were about amateurs living a dream, even if the Soviet bloc was subsidizing their athletes into being basically professionals.
Ironic—they started using pros in the USA (the Dream Teams) in ’84, the Olympics after the Miracle gold, and the men’s hockey have only won one silver since.
In my eyes, it’s less about the Olympic dream now and more just another day at work for many of the athletes. Like an extra all-star game in the season.