Olympic Winter Games: Moments of Glory
This video takes you back to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah by giving actual footage and in telling behind-the-scenes stories of six people who won medals for their respective countries. Bud Greenspan has done a remarkable job of bringing the viewer into both the emotions and discipline of these stellar athletes’ lives. The six featured are: Ice Hockey Final: Canada vs. USA; Jim Shea-USA; Stefania Belmondo-Italy; Alisa Camplin-Australia; Brian Shimer-USA; and Janice Kostelic-Croatia.
This is a video that will appeal not only to sports junkies, but anyone who appreciates stories of people who’re going for the gold in life. Jimmy Shea’s grandfather, Jack Shea, won two gold medals in speed skating at the 1932 games in Lake Placid, and Jimmy’s father was a Nordic skier in 1964 at the Innsbruck Games. Jimmy Shea’s dream was to go for the gold in the men’s skeleton competition, with his father and grandfather watching. Sadly, his grandfather Jack was killed in an automobile accident 17 days prior to the Salt Lake Games. I was touched with seeing a family come together at a very difficult time: grieving inwardly, yet going on towards the goal of the gold. Jimmy Shea won the gold medal by 5/100’s of a second, with his father shedding tears at the starting line, and his mother embracing him at the finish line. It was almost as if Jimmy had spun a thread of gold while descending down the slope, in memory and celebration to his grandfather, Jack Shea.
The other story that touched this reviewer’s heart was that of the Kostelic family in Croatia. Croatia, a country broken off from Yugoslavia as the result of a bitter civil war in 1991; a country without funding for stellar athletes. Consequently, Janica and Ivica Kostelic, with a very caring father as their coach, practiced their skiing using tree branches as slalom gates, walking along fence rails to improve their balance, and sleeping in the family car while skiing in the mountains of Austria, but always under the watchful eyes of their father.
When I thought of the training facilities, coaches and trainers available for Olympic athletes in the United States and other countries, the remarkable accomplishments of Janica made me want to say: “Wow!” Janica won gold medals in the Aline Combined, Slalom, and Giant Slalom events, as well as a Silver medal in the Super-G. She was the first Winter Olympic medalist ever from Croatia, and she equaled two others who had previously won three gold medals.
I recommend this video because it shows that people can and do endure in grief, hardships, and physical pain, while continuing to go forward in their goal for the gold.