July 25, 2009

This Day Always Makes Me Sad

As I mentioned in a post at the beginning of June, I'm a big fan of the Tour de France ... and as of today the race is virtually over. There is tomorrow's race into Paris, but they usually don't challenge the standings on the last day.

So symbolically, my summer is over. Ah, sigh.

The Tour is 3 weeks long and so when I settle in to 3+ hours of riders racing through the beautiful countryside every night for most of July, it feels like a big indulgent summertime chill-out.

By the way, wouldn't that be a great name for a band?

Soooo, anyway, what does this have to do with skating? I'm getting there, I'm getting there. Thanks for asking.

I mentioned in June that Lance was a longshot for the Tour and I was right - and wrong. He rode an incredible Tour for being out of competition for three years. He came back to get on the podium in 3rd place and by all accounts, happy to be there. Would Michelle be happy to just get back on the podium? Would Sasha? Probably not.

To me, Lance's ride felt more like Katrina Witt's return. She was lucky to even qualify to get back into the 19994 Lillihamer Olympics. Yet, she did a program that was harder than the one she won with in Calgary in 1988. I had a lot more respect for her at that point because she dedicated her long program to the people of Sarajevo, who had suffered in a war, and where Katarina had won her first Olympic medal. It was much like what Lance did for raising awareness for cancer this year.

Luckily for Lance, he doesn't have to wait four years for the next ride. I predict he'll race next year with his sights set higher than third.

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