Editorial: A ‘gold medal performance’ by Tahoe’s best
“Gold, gold, gold.” It’s the mantra of the Olympic games. Countries are evaluated by their gold medal tallies, and individual athletes are judged by where they fall in the medal standings. But medals are only part of a story – the primary goal of Team USA should be to represent us honorably on a world stage. In that effort, our local Lake Tahoe-area Olympians have done us proud.
In terms of athletic accomplishments, the highlight for Tahoe – especially South Shore – has to be the gold medal performance of hometown-favorite Hannah Teter in women’s snowboard halfpipe. She is the first South Tahoe athlete to medal in a Winter Olympics.
While the rest of the country was focused on Bode Miller, who ended up with some disappointing runs to fall out of medal contention, the Tahoe area was watching Daron Rahlves, the Sugar Bowl skier whose Olympic career ended, unfortunately, without a medal. Rahlves is always a first-class performer, and a true ambassador for skiing, earning respect, even from the mighty Austrians.
South Lake Tahoe natives who have followed the career of Travis Cabral cheered when he landed a ninth-place finish in men’s moguls, although we know he is capable of more should he choose to return at Whistler – we would all like to see that. Like Rahlves, he doesn’t allow his status as one of the world’s best go to his head – he even wrote a letter to this newspaper thanking the community for its support. We think that is pretty special.
Other Olympic notable performances include a breakout performance for 16-year old Elena Hight (sixth in women’s halfpipe), who showed she has what it takes to make the games again; Julia Mancuso (who skied to a seventh in women’s downhill, a ninth in combined, 11th in super-G and has one more chance today in GS); Shannon Bahrke (10th in moguls); Andy Finch (12th in men’s halfpipe); Nate Holland (14th in men’s boardercross) and Stacey Cook (19th in women’s downhill skiing). Unfortunately, Jayson Hale and Marco Sullivan did not compete because of injury and failure to qualify, respectively.
Wherever these athletes placed, whether on the podium or further down on the board, they still claim the significant title of “Olympian.” And they have all represented Tahoe well.
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