Posted on 01 September 2012.
I was amazed last evening while waiting for the walkout of Romney’s acceptance speech by the Ron Paul delegates that never occurred. I was amazed to hear one of our genuine sports heroes, Mike Eruzione, one of the captains of the Miracle on Ice hockey team, say Mitt Romney saved the Olympics. Yes that Mike Eruzione: The amateurs that beat the Soviet pro athletes – at Lake Placid in 1980. He said Mitt Romney saved the Games. Eruzione said these words:
Mitt’s leadership not only turned around those Games by solving the operational and financial problems – but he did something deeper – he drew a line in the sand and said, that the 2002 Games would have the highest standards of ethics and integrity.
He put Olympians — the athletes — and the ideals of the Olympics back at the center of the Games.
He focused on restoring the Olympics to the top pedestal of sports and he preserved the opportunity — and idealism — of the Olympics for future generations.
Eruzione is right as to the integrity part. The Salt Lake Winter Olympics were threatened by the bribery scandal (I think that the good folks in Utah were simply misled and not corrupt) and Mitt Romney did come in and save the Games. It’s a great reason to vote for Romney. He’s a man of integrity. He did save the 2002 Winter Games.
But Eruzione, who I admire very much, is sadly mistaken about Romney placing the ideals and the athletes “…back at the center of the Games.” For if Mitt Romney had done that, he’d have to stop the sports imperialism of professional athletes at the Games. The only way to place the ideals and the athletes first in the Olympics would be for Romney to have had to get the pro athletes OUT of the Games! We know that did not happen; so does the Nigerian basketball coach.
Let me put it this way: If we had the sports imperialism we have today in 1980, Mike Eruzione would not have been on the Olympic hockey team – he’d had to have been already in the NHL! The Miracle on Ice would not have occurred. Coach Herb Brooks was recorded at the end of the movie Miracle that today’s Dream Teams, made up of professional athletes, aren’t the real Dream Teams but rather an amateur team like the 1980 US team.
“…a few years later, the US began using professional athletes at the Games: Dream Teams. I always found that term ironic because now that we have Dream Teams, we seldom ever get to dream.”
Coach Brooks is right. Instead we squash other nations’ dreams. We resented rightly the sports imperialism of the Eastern bloc – so why is it right when we do it? The 1980 Soviet team beat
one of the Olympic rivals, Japan, 16-0. How do you think they felt? About like Nigeria did after than obscene basketball game
this year! People in other nations will resent it too. It does not have my support. Hear me good: Not one dime for the USOC. EVER. Until the pros are gone. Support curling or some other sport you love.
Another reason to vote for Mitt Romney: Maybe he’ll be open to urging the USOC and the IOC into getting rid of the pro athletes once and for all from the Games. Then the second half of the Eruzione claim will come true: President Mitt Romney will have restored the ideals and stood for the athletes in the Games!
Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written seven scholarly legal articles and was an adjunct at T. C. Williams School of Law. (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)
Elwood "Sandy" Sanders