Thursday, February 23, 2006

Team Japan

The pissing and moaning is audible 24 hours a day. Commentators left and right crying foul over the complete lack of podium finishes (thus far) for Team Japan.

The buildup to the Olympics was something else! Predictions of races and events to be won were rampant. According to the talking heads and the press, Japan had contenders in almost every sport. Reality has turned out to be very different. As of this morning, Team Japan has collected exactly zero medals.

The nation is now pinning its hopes on its female figure skaters. They are in 3rd, 4th, and 8th place after the short program, and it's fair to say that all three of them have a shot at winning a medal. The free skate takes place later today.

The media, however, has been absolutely amazing! They are everywhere, and they have been very passionate about fueling the faithful's expectations of greatness.

The amount of pressure piled on an athlete by the home media would be very difficult to quantify in any country, but it would seem evident that the Japanese Olympians have suffered greatly under the scrutiny of their country's media. I would be willing to bet that the Japanese media has helped to dampen Team Japan's chances of bringing home the hardware.

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