Monday, February 20, 2006
TURIN, Italy - There has to be something in the air here.
The Winter Olympics opened with the best-known U.S. athlete, Michelle Kwan, withdrawing after being injured in her first practice session.
Then came skier Lindsey Kildow's frightening crash, snowboarder Jayson Hale's blown knee, the wipe out by lugers Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin.
Big names - Bode Miller, Jeremy Bloom, Johnny Weir - keep coming up small.
Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis turned a gold medal into silver by showing off a little too soon. To make matters worse, the U.S. women's ice hockey team endured a reverse Miracle On Ice at the hands of Sweden.
It's almost as if someone had cast a spell on the U.S. team, as if there were something more going on here than random events.
You can be practical and say that injuries are just part of the risk, or analytical and conclude some of the hyped stars simply caved in to the pressure of expectations.
Or you can blame it all on witchcraft, black magic and malevolent unseen forces. It turns out Turin is the perfect place for that. There is magic in the air here, even if you can't see it for all the smog...More