Vail Daily’s View: America’s least known superstar, Lindsey Vonn
Vail, CO, Colorado
It’s tough to be an American these days. Look at Lindsey Vonn.
Here’s someone who is arguably the greatest on earth at what she does. She may even prove to be the best ever.
People in Europe know this. She’s a household name over there. And we in Vail take great pride in calling her one of our own.
Yet in the rest of the United States, a country hell-bent on idol worship and also one of the world’s most fiercely nationalistic when it comes to competing with the rest of the world, this bona fide phenomenon of American athletic ability probably has fewer fans than A-Rod still has in Croatia.
How could this be? What’s to blame for the popularity gap between Europe and the United States when it comes to ski racing?
You can blame geography: The best places to ski in western Europe are a couple of hours from everything. The best places here are in “fly-over country.” Sorry, everyone, but it’s hard for people to get into a sport that they have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to watch or participate in.
You can blame simple economics, at least on the U.S. side: A leather ball full of air costs about 1 percent as much as a decent set of ski gear.
Or just blame that good old nationalistic pride (or independent spirit, if you like): The three most popular sports in the U.S. are thought by many of its citizens to have originated here. (The rest of the world’s most popular sports ” tennis, soccer, etc. ” are all victims of this one.)
In a country whose sports world, amid everything else, is riddled with scandals and a darkened image, let’s hope that Vonn and her honest-to-God achievements are able to garner enough attention to serve both here and abroad as a model of skill, dedication and grace for all Americans.
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