Inspiration From The Ice

This year, Mt.Olympus descends upon the British Columbian Highlands of Vancouver. It's when mortals from around the world push their limits to become gods over frozen water.

"I'm going to walk on water...frozen water, that is!", declared the flamboyant (and controversial) figure skater who worships all things Russian, Johnny Weir. He certainly "rocked the pink tassel" on the ice on Tuesday night, blowing kisses to the crowd during his number at the Men's Figure Skating Short Program.

The first Olympic victory that truly touched my heart (as well as millions worldwide) was that of Quebec native Alex Bilodeau, who won the first gold for Canada on home soil at the Men's Moguls Freestyle Skiing event. His inspiration and number one fan? His older brother Frederic who has cerebral palsy. Alex tearfully acknowledged over a press conference that the medal he won was rightfully his brother's, whose disability never discouraged him to ski.

So intense a performance was delivered by Team USA's Evan Lysacek at the Men's Figure Skating Short Program. Evan's slick and powerful performance to Stravinski's "Firebird" on the ice had him falling on his knees in sheer, tearful joy afterwards, and placed himself in a tight second spot from Russian skating czar Yevgeny Plushenko. Evan knew that all his training paid off, that he nailed all the difficult triple axels and footwork. His choreographed moves sliced the ice with surgical precision.

That's why I'm very much looking forward to tonight's Men's Figure Skating Long Program, the main event that would put an Olympic exclamation mark on this competition. Of course, I'm rooting for Team Evan!

And with the Olympics come those TV ads all dressed in snowy white. I'm talking about the Visa commercials voiced by Morgan Freeman. I love how they "humanize" these Olympic athletes by telling their stories of defeat, failures, and mishaps, and how they used it to win. Take for example this one by a Chinese skating pair who emerged silver medalists in Torino last 2006 despite a horrible fall:

Or how about Dan Jansen's personal tragedy of having lost his sister just a few hours before his competition?

And remember those Jamaican bobsledders from the movie "Cool Runnings?"

Here's my personal favorite, Julia Mancuso's story of how she drew her own posters as an Olympic gold medalist as a child. The drawing comes to Olympic life!

There's inspiration everywhere...even from the ice.

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