Posts Tagged ‘Silver Medal’

Gold, Silver and Incredible Team Work

February 25th, 2010 by Robin

Bill Demong wins gold, Johnny Spillane silverAfter twenty two years, gold and silver on the same day.  Words can not capture it.  Four medals for the Nordic Combined in 10 days – after zero in the previous eighty-six years.

When I spoke to Billy Demong’s mom right after the race she reminded me of the time I sat her down and said that as a coach to her son “I am going to put you through the wildest emotional roller coaster you could possibly imagine.”  She then pointed out to me that I had also told her it was possible some day her son could win Olympic gold.

Today was perhaps the finest example of team work I have ever seen at the Olympics.  Bill Demong took gold and Johnny Spillane took silver in large part because Todd Lodwick led a pack of ten very strong skiers who were set to try to ski Billy and Johnny down.  Todd sacrificed his own medal chances by putting the brakes on that pack several times, by surging to the front and then slowing the pack down.  As Todd came into the stadium in a possible race for fourth, he then coasted in high-fiving the spectators in the crowd on his way to crossing the finish line.  Talk about commitment to the greater good!!

I don’t know if there is a gold bullet, but if there is I’ll find it and add it to my growing collection of “silver bullets” to commemorate this incredible day.

More to come…

Second Silver Medal Just as Sweet for U.S. Nordic Combined

February 24th, 2010 by Robin

U.S. Nordic Combined Team wins SilverAnother history-making moment for the U.S. Nordic Combined Team: A silver medal in the team relay competition on Tuesday.

There is an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment among the team today.  The world seems right.

To me, it serves as confirmation that when a group focuses on being a team and builds a foundation of trust, commitment to the greater good, and mutual accountability, they can become the very best in the world.

The Nordic Combined athletes have a new look of pride in their eyes I have never seen before.  They’ve been nicknamed the “band of brothers,” and have literally have spent more than 3,000 days together living out of the same cramped hotel rooms, sleeping on each others shoulders during long and sometimes cold bus rides, and enduring the hardships of traveling and competing in more than a dozen countries every year for more than a decade.  There were no shortcuts in earning this medal.

Attending an Olympic medal ceremony and being awarded a medal in front of the crowds has to be one of the most emotional experiences there is in any lifetime.  I am so incredibly proud of the U.S. Nordic Combined Team for making it to that podium.

The U.S. Olympic team is on a roll, and seems determined to make this Olympics one for the record books!  A lot of athletes’ competitions are over now, yet they all continue to show up at other events and cheer and support the entire U.S. delegation.

The people in Vancouver and the streets are becoming more energetic every day.  Olympic fever is building, and I can feel it pulse as I walk down the streets of Vancouver and Whistler.

All of Canada is holding its breath, watching and hoping for the men’s hockey team.  Hockey is a religion here.  After Canada’s loss to the USA the other night, I found myself riding Vancouver’s subway and it suddenly occurred to me wearing a bright (and very visible) Team USA Olympic uniform might not be the smartest move down in the subway filled with hundreds of Canadian fans.  No one said anything even the least bit rude, and I was never concerned for safety – although perhaps not the most thoughtful move on my part, looking back on it!

Ultimately, the theme of the Olympics, “Go World,” continues to shine through.  It is reassuring to see the youth of the world come together for the fiercest and most hard-fought athletic competitions on the planet and do it in peace and harmony for 18 days.  Where else can you bring so many countries together for one event and feel good about the future of mankind?  It truly is remarkable.

And, yes, if you were wondering, I’ve added another Silver Bullet can to my medal collection.