Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


February 17, 2014

TIDBITS: The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat

CROSSVILLE — The eyes of the world have been focused on Sochi the last week or so as the winter Olympics enthralled us all. Out of the games come some memorable moments.

We’ve gotten to rejoice with athletes in the thrill of victory as the Canadian curling team went 8-0. With a record like that, you can almost forgive them for putting our own women’s curling team out of the games.

We’ve admired the humble nature of hockey team star TJ Oshie, who won a shootout Saturday against Russia to help Team USA advance. When called a hero for his skill in the shootout, he said, “Heroes wear camo.

“My grandparents were in the military and so is a cousin of mine, and a close buddy, so when I heard the word `hero’, it didn’t really seem like what I am,’’ he said Sunday. “Those guys sacrifice a lot more than a couple of hours in the gym and practice every day. Those guys sacrifice their lives.’’

While I don’t like to turn professional athletes into role models, I think we can all agree this young man is a good example of keeping your feet on the ground when everyone would have you flying high on your own ego.

We’ve also been there to witness the agony of defeat. While many of the sports determine the winner based on the scoreboard, many Olympic events are determined by judges. And sometimes you just don’t agree with the judges’ opinion. Just ask Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner.

She came off the ice thrilled, just knowing she’d skated a good program. Then, she saw her scores come in at a disappointing 63.10 in the team figure skating competition. That was six points shy of her season best score.

Wagner made a disappointed face and mouthed a word that showed her displeasure in the score. That face was captured and became more famous than her routine to “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”

Of course, there is nothing the public loves more than an underdog. Wagner gets to compete again this week in the individual figure skating competition. According to reports, she took the weekend to get away from Sochi, work on her routine to fix the things that didn’t score so well before and to get ready to try again.

And then there was Andrew Weibrecht, the “War Horse.” The American member of the US Ski Team is going home with a silver medal in the super-G. He won a bronze in Vancouver, but his return to the Olympics and a better finish wasn’t a safe bet. He blew out both ankles and had surgeries on both his shoulders. He also lost his sponsors at one point for less-than-expected results.

Like all athletes that make it to the pinnacle of their sport, it wasn’t easy. He had setbacks and he had challenges. And he had to have the drive and determination to keep going when I would guess many people told him it was time to hang up his competitive skies and enjoy the slopes for a hobby.

It’s those behind the scenes stories that make the Olympics such an interesting event to watch. You can only sit through so many snowboarding competitions and watch so many figure skating routines before your eyes start to glaze over. If you’re not an expert, it’s really hard to determine who will win because you aren’t a judge. But when you hear what these individuals have gone through to get to where they are, it’s inspiring, and it can help all of us make the decision to take another run at the challenges we have faced, to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and try again.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at

Text Only
  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014