Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kerrzy's Notebook: Olympic Apologies

This week at the Vancouver Olympics we had two athletes from two different countries in two different events saying "I'm sorry" - for two very different reasons.

First up - speed skater Sven Kramer of the Netherlands. You might remember him from a blog last week, where he told off an NBC reporter who started an interview by asking for his name, country and event (after he set an Olympic record and won a gold medal).

Kramer was back in the news this week after he was disqualified in the men's 10,000m, a race he very likely would have won, for a lane violation. What's worse is that it was his coach who told him to get into the inside lane, which caused the DQ. Not surprisingly Kramer, who is arguably the sports biggest star, was livid once he found out that he was out of the race, pushing his coach away and throwing his glasses to the side. That's not where it ended though...

The 23-year-old was clearly (and rightfully so) in one of those "stay out of my way" type of bad moods, so he tried to head to the dressing room to cool down. He was stopped by a female volunteer with the Olympic host broadcaster who told him to go immediately to the infield - for her efforts, reports say she was allegedly shoved and yelled at by Kramer.

A day later Kramer, who seems like a pretty good guy, apologized to the volunteer and gave her a small gift.

Onto the next apology - you know how Canadians have a reputation of being almost too polite? This is why:

Jon Montgomery of Russell, Manitoba, won our country's fourth gold medal of these games when he captured top prize in the skeleton (which, if you don't know, is basically a face-first luge). Montgomery was on the sidelines when he realized he had won, and celebrated by jumping around and screaming at the top of his lungs - which I'd say is a pretty standard sight in those circumstances.

I was here at work watching when that happened, and I didn't think it was an over the top celebration at all - I actually got chills down my spine watching the sheer passion of a guy who had just realized a dream that was years in the making.

But, as Yahoo! Sports' Fourth Place Medal tells us, in true Canadian fashion - Montgomery is apologizing for the way he acted, saying:

"I had said at the beginning of the race that if I was in that position and I did get gold coming from behind that I was going to remain stoic and respectful because you never want to cheer when somebody else loses. But I have to apologize to [Latvian Martins Dukurs], that didn't happen, I lost my mind when I saw the 0.07 come up and I was like I had stuck my finger in a light socket."

Only in Canada would you get a gold medal winning athlete apologizing to the silver medallist for celebrating too hard. I'm not saying it's a bad thing - but isn't it the most "Canadian" thing you've ever heard?

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