Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ohno, Oh Yes -- Speed Skating at the Olympics!

I was contacted by to blog about the Olympics, an invitation that I did not officially accept, but a topic that I cannot resist to be following and writing about. In today's world, what is local is global and vice versa.

Yesterday, we dined at one of our favorite restaurants in the Pioneer Valley, Mr. Kim's (Gohyang) Restaurant in Hadley, which is a Korean restaurant. It is owned by a family whose father has a PhD in sports management from UMass Amherst and whose daughter attends my daughter's fabulous school, Deerfield Academy. The dad also has a faculty position in South Korea but was visiting his family while on break so we got to chat with him.

After dinner and some walking to digest the delicious Korean meal, we proceeded to catch up on the 2010 Winter Olympics events. Apolo Ohno did it again, and received a silver medal (tying his record number of Winter Olympic medals with Bonnie Blair) and he did it with his amazing athleticism, flair, and drama. The New York Times had a terrific article on this event which resulted in two American athletes standing together on the awards podium, along with the gold medalist from Korea. Yes, there was a roller derby type of crash that took place at this event but it is these kinds of unexpected events that make the Olympics so fascinating to follow!

As for another UMass connection, Michael Corey, a UMass Amherst grad from 1999, who is also the voice of the University of Delaware, has been announcing the speed skating Olympic events.

For those of you who have been wondering how a local Western Massachusetts bus company has been doing at the Olympics in shuttling the athletes (something I wrote about in an earlier post) I am pleased to report that Travel Kuz has been doing great in Vancouver and there was recent coverage in the Springfield media. As I had mentioned in an earlier post, as well, the grandson of the owner of this bus company and my daughter were classmates for years at the terrific elementary school, The Bement School, in Deerfield, Massachusetts. He continues to play hockey and my daughter to figure skate, among other numerous activities.

These Olympics, however,were marred by a tragedy, the death of the luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, from Georgia, at age 21, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and coaches. Georgia is a country that borders Ukraine, where my parents came from, and my first language is Ukrainian, which I learned growing up as a child in Canada. The Georgian Olympic delegation received a standing ovation at the Olympic opening ceremonies as they marched in wearing black armbands to commemorate the untimely, tragic death of their luger during a training run.