Town Square

Post a New Topic

How quickly we forget

Original post made by John Naber on Feb 25, 2010

I was relaxing at the USA House before dinner, when I heard a commotion. A table filled with curling athletes and coaches were teasing another American athlete for showing off his medal. I looked across the room and saw the unmistakable shine of a gold medal, but I could not place the face of its owner. He was tall, wearing a hat and sporting a small chin beard, without the distinctive headband of Apollo Ohno. I am embarrassed to admit that I had to ask a nearby USOC staffer for his name.
"Why, that's Seth Wescott," came the reply. Seth became America's first Olympic champion at the 2010 Games, when he won the snowboard-cross gold on February 15. Later that day, Shaun White overshadowed Seth, with a gold medal of his own in the half-pipe.
When I approached Seth for a conversation (and an autograph on my flag), he was charming, willing and candid. He told me of his surprise that his predicted challengers had failed to qualify into his final, and how he expected to be trailing off the start, but he had confidence in his ability to pass the field on the two straight-aways. His speed was too much for the early bumps, and would force him to land poorly at the beginning, but, "I decided to keep to my strengths, instead of accommodating the course." History proved him right.
Four hours later, as I left the USA House, I dropped by the gift shop, and found a sale on "bobble head" dolls, featuring both a generic guy and gal in the USA Vancouver uniforms. A good natured Seth Wescott was standing alone in the back of the shop, using his "Sharpie" pen to color in the chin of the bobble head, before signing the base of statuette.
Not every gold medalist is surrounded by a "posse" or becomes a household name. Some of them even seem to like it that way.

Comments

There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Services, Dining and Shopping Downtown in Palo Alto
By Steve Levy | 16 comments | 2,252 views

Handmade truffle shop now open in downtown Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 1,998 views

It's the End of the World as We Know It: "Snowpiercer"
By Anita Felicelli | 1 comment | 1,503 views

Why is doing nothing so difficult?
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 975 views

Call it a novel: Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III
By Nick Taylor | 0 comments | 166 views