Originally Posted by Lars
Bez, About the only thing Ali and Bode have in common is that they both had disreguard for Olympic medals. Ali, who won an Olympic Gold in Boxing actually threw his Gold Medal into the river in his hometown Louisville, Kentucky. Bode didn't really care if he medaled or not, so he says. Ali's medal was his shining moment until he realized that it still wouldn't get him a seat in the white section of a downtown Louisville restaurant. Ali also gave millions to relief organizations in the US, Africa and around the world. Bode? Controversy, is the word that might actually group them together. Ali was outspoken about certain subjects including race and religion, made predictions about his fame. He might even have had a website and a contract with Nike if they had been around at the time. Bode? well, we know what has been happening since his 60 minutes interview. If he hadn't done the 60 minutes interview and did the Bode.com thing, what happened to his Olympic performance would have all been irrelevant. Just another good skier having bad luck?
My take on Bode, really, one hell of a skier. Doing something he likes and getting paid well for it. Raised in the woods by Hippies and homeschooled who knows how he would score on an IQ test. Not wanting the fame and celebrity status of being thrown into the limelight of winning the World Cup title and doing some tv talk shows. Not liking the paparazzi following him and the news hounding him till all hours of the morning. He has his own thoughts of how our youth should be coached and brought up,(reminds me of the Michael Jackson story of never being able to have a childhood). Constantly harping about winning not being everything, well then why doesn't he just ski for fun instead of the world cup circuit, why did he even go to the olympics? He has alot of issues to deal with. I wouldn't want to be him. I feel sorry for him right now, and do feel that everyone should just let it go and leave him alone. Let the poor guy get on in life, let us get on with different threads, I myself do not dislike him.
I like this post. I agree Ali had a lot more serious issues to fight against, and I also agree that Bode has personal issues he has to deal with; hell, he's a young North American male after all. He's still in the maturing process. He just doesn't hide it. When I hear him speak, I don't hear someone who is an arrogant, spoiled star, I hear someone who is still trying really hard to be as self aware and responsible as he can, genuinely searching for answers to becoming a grown up that he hasn't come up with yet, and he's just looking in a different place than most. And so he makes a LOT of mistakes. Would I spout off every thought or doubt that came into my head to anyone with a microphone or pen? No frickin' way! I don't have the guts to be that candid and then to weather the storm afterwards. But he does, so more power to him.
My take on Bode is that he doesn't seperate ski racing from the rest of his life, in the sense that he encompasses his own philosophy of living with the philosophy of sport to come up with his own mixture, something he can look back on with as much pride as he does his trophies. There is something to be said about the process of doing things your own way, blazing your own trail, even when it gets you in trouble.
This isn't about me, but I'll just say that once upon a time I was a talented young racer. Obviously, I wasn't as talented as Bode, so I didn't "make it". As I was also a budding young artist and a bit of an eccentric, I also had a reputation for marching to the beat of my own drum, even though I am a quiet person who rarely spoke up to get myself in any real trouble. Nonetheless, the powers that be took a disliking to me, and decided that they didn't want someone like me in their exclusive club, and made it widely known. Eventually they got their wish and I quit because I realized no matter how good I got, they weren't going to choose me for their team. That's life. But when someone else gets a hard time for being different, or just themselves, naturally I will come to their defense, regardless of whether they are a huge star or a total underdog.