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: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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