Monday, February 26, 2018

Olympian Achievements

The Winter Olympics concluded yesterday, and I know some Americans are upset that the U.S. brought home the fewest medals in 20 years.

Personally, I'm still reveling in the great moments. That women's hockey final was one of the most dramatic games I've seen in any sport. And because I come from an area that produces many winter athletes, I was thrilled to see American women take cross-country gold for the first time, even as I know much of America thinks cross country is only slightly more exciting than ironing.

But the best part of the Games for me was the clear presence of gay Americans. Openly gay Olympians Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy both criticized our vice president for his homophobia. Rippon was honest and sassy in interviews; Kenworthy kissed his boyfriend on live TV, and the world saw it.

And then there was Johnny Weir, the figure skater turned commentator, whose dramatic outfits, make-up, ever-changing hairstyles and snark earned him a gold medal in meeting and surpassing a gay stereotype. His in-your-face fabulousness must've worked for NBC, since they assigned him not just the skating but the closing ceremonies as well.

The Pyeongchang Games are over, but the Rippon/Kenworthy/Weir effect will ripple on. Just ask Mike Pence.