Originally Posted by skiingman
Why should Bode have to be a role model to the little kiddies? I think its refreshing that he tells it like it is and always has been.
I thought about posting something along these lines- but then I thought for a few minutes on it, and I had some interesting ideas.
Whether he wants to be a role model or not, Bode needs to accept that he IS as "in the spotlight" as any American ski racer can be, with his WC championship last year and the Olympics approaching with an excellent chance to score a medal in the speed events. Sadly, the people who control what their children are exposed to, parents (especially the upper crust white suburbian parents- the kind most closely associated with skiing), are developing a poor opinion of Bode from all the bad press about him. Unfortunately, this translates to the entire sport for a lot of people who aren't already involved with it, and all of a sudden ski racing is no longer an option for these kids because their parents see it as a great big spectacle of debauchery. Basically, its more important to make sure the enablers (parents) see the good side of racing than the kids. I remember as a child hearing about sports stars' drug and violence related mishaps; it never made the behavior "okay" for me. It did, however, make my parents wary of what I was being exposed to.
I'm not saying that Bode needs to lie about it; he should just be aware to not put himself into a position during interviews to admit to such behavior, if only to make sure ski racing grows in popularity.
That said, I still enjoy the party side of skiing (too much, if you ask some people) and will continue to do so. I'm just going to make sure that when I'm interacting with ski parents, as we often are at ski swaps, clinics, and races, that I'm going to do my best to portray the sport in a positive light, becasue let's face it, the kids are going to be exposed to the other side of it more than enough once they're that age.