As a politics’ examiner, my usual field of interest consists of political news around the world, specifically the United States. However, as I sat at home tonight warmed in this cold Atlanta winter by my gas fireplace, I complacently watched the winter Olympics.
Now I will admit, half the events taking place over the course of these winter games fail to catch my attention span. I’m not one to judge, but I won’t lie when I say I find it quite difficult to sit by and watch men’s figure skating and several other events.
However, tonight, I witnessed, in my opinion, one of the greatest and purest acts of athletic talent known to mankind. This act I speak of is the incredible display of professional snowboarder and Olympic athlete Shaun White.
Before this moment, I had heard about the prowess White held on the half pipe slopes and his plans for gold. Yet, I failed to understand the sheer ability this one man possesses.
It wasn’t until White, adorned with an American flag bandana across his face, flew above on his first jump, that I understood the unrivaled talent this man has. With his flowing locks of blazing red hair, White raced down the half pipe, performing countless perfect tricks while finally cascading to the end, fists raised high in the air.
As the judges finished deliberating and the results were announced, White’s first run score of 46.8 put him way ahead of nearly all competition. He set the bar high. Yet, the funniest part, as the announcers revealed to an uninformed viewer in myself, was that this man, despite his unbelievable run and score, hadn’t even performed his hardest trick.
After what seemed like ages of countless other hopefuls vying for even the opportunity to stand next to White on the podium, the competition was over. White had secured gold, even before his second run. The cheers and ecstasy flowing through the crowd sent chills up my spine.
Upon seeing his victory secured, I figured White would most likely just board down the center of the half pipe or just take it easy. I was wrong. Despite an already secured gold, Shaun White boarded down the half pipe putting up even more impressive stunts than before and finished with an unbelievable signature move that no one else in the world has ever done.
Up until then, I was amazed. At that point, I was awestruck. Shaun White ended his night with a towering score of 48.4.
In this time of great heartache and strife throughout not only the United States, but most of the world, the pure talent of professional snowboarder Shaun White stands as a beaming light of good. Watching White stand with his teammate and bronze medalist Scotty Lago with American flags raised high made me proud and honored to be an American.
Now I understand that this article might sound corny or cheesy as on countless occasions the great struggle but future triumph of a fellow countryman has inspired the patriotic sense we all hold true. However, on this occasion, and this night, Shaun White stood as a testament of possibility and determination. He stood for America.