Monday, February 15, 2010

Eric Heiden-Back at the Olympics at age 51

Generation Joneser Eric Heiden (born in 1958) is one of the most recognized names when it comes to winter Olympics. If you're reading this and have no idea who he is, check out his impressive list of world records. In the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics he won EVERY speed skating event - the only skater to have ever won all of the men's speed skating races.

AP File

I didn't realize he was an orthopedic surgeon, like his father. And his wife. He's back at the Olympics, serving as the team doctor. That's just cool. If you haven't heard of him it's probably because he didn't jump on the endorsement train. He preferred finishing school and staying out of the spotlight.

Photo from MSNBC

The Lake Placid Olympics was arguably the most important Olympics for Generation Jonesers. At the very least it's probably the most memorable. As young adults we were the same age as many of the competitors. It was the Olympics that brought us the Miracle on Ice, when the USA, clearly the underdog, beat the Soviet Union in a medal round ice hockey game and went on to win the gold medal. It really was a miracle!

Thirty years have flown by since the Lake Placid Olympics. Records set during those games are only yawn-worthy now. The Olympics are no longer for amateurs only. Million dollar endorsement deals await the photogenic winners. They might even be invited to compete on Dancing With The Stars!

My own children are now young adults. I'm wondering if the Olympics hold the same place of awe in their minds as it did for us. Will there emerge any clear role models from these games? And one more question. Why, oh why, does the USA always have the worst looking outfits? I'm just not a fan.


Cori said...

I liked the moose hats the USA had in the opening ceremony! The pants were ill fitting though.

tessa said...

How about those mounties that carried in the Canadian flag? Talk about ill fitting pants..

missqokc said...

I had such a crush on Eric Heiden. Our generation was more connected through events like the Olympic hockey win because with only a few channels and usually no TV in our room, we all watched the same things.