I think one of the curiosities about the Olympics is the interrelationships among athletes. I enjoy witnessing the camaraderie and encouragement and empathy. Tonight, gold medal skater Hanyu dispossessed from his achievement expressed kindness toward the fourth place skater who was bumped from the bronze position. Snowboard cross women exchanged hugs at the bottom in spite of competitive ire and national difference. A cross country ski coach in Sochi aided an opposing nation’s skier with substitute equipment during an on course equipment crisis.
However; sometimes the heat of a competitive moment can supersede the spirit of the occasion thereby tainting judgment. Unfortunately, this was the case when Rachel Homan decided to eliminate a Danish stone after a broom knick burning the rock just as it came to rest in the house. It was within her rights via the rules, but curling decorum and good sportsmanship dictates that best judgment is utilized in the spirit of fair play. Curlers overwhelmingly in such a situation defer to the option of placing the rock as it would have rested in absence of the incidental and accidental foul.
With a Homan rink rough start to the 2018 Olympic tournament, CBC commentator Mike Harris aptly remarked that to date performance could have impacted her decision. I suggest that her youth may have also played a role in her hasty decision. She is a talented curler who has virtuously battled her way to the top and appreciably upon arrival that instinct is not easily dismissed in delicate spots. I’ll cut her some slack and I’m certain the experience will groom her for better decision making going forward. It’s not the black mark on the Canadian flag which some pundits postulate.