Canada skiing and their sportsmanhip in Sochi

Peruse the Internet, the library or magazines, and you’ll find countless articles about how athletic participation encourages the positive aspects of sportsmanship. If you have kids, that’s probably one of the many reasons why you teach them to ski. Unfortunately, some of that goodwill toward humanity often disappears on the slopes, as people fail to observe the basic rules of the Skier Responsibility Code.

Sometimes, the insanity of air travel causes inadvertent rudeness, as people smack you on the head with their skis when they rush toward the check-in line. The stress then carries over to the slopes, and chaos ensues.  This is one of the many reasons you should use

Begin your trip without the hassle of checking in your skis, and take the anxiety out of your ski vacation. But we digress. This week, a Canadian cross country ski coach went above and beyond the call of duty at the Sochi Olympics. In doing so, he displayed the true spirit of the Olympics, and of sportsmanship as well.

The Russian and the Canadian

Thanks to the early elimination of his own team, Canadian cross-country ski coach Justin Wadsworth was not in a particularly good mood.  Still, he wanted to watch the end of the semifinal in the men’s free sprint. This is what good coaches do. They watch the best, and analyze what their own skiers lack.

Sometimes, however, even the best will fail. As Wadsworth watched in horror, he noticed  Russian skier  Anton Gafarov coming over a rise. Gafarov, a projected medal winner, was having an exceptionally hard time.  After crashing on a downhill corner, he broke a ski. Then, he crashed again, thereby skinning a long layer of P-Tex off his ski. It was now wrapped around his foot like a snake.

Still, Gafarov wanted to finish the race, even if it meant that he would stumble across the finish line. Wadsworth looked around and noticed that nobody was doing anything to help; not even the Russian cross-country ski coaches. He later told the news media, “It was like watching an animal stuck in a trap. You can’t just sit there and do nothing about it.”

That’s when he decided to help. Wadsworth ran onto the slope with a spare ski, fastened it to Gafarov’s boot, and drew thundering applause from the crowd. Even Gafarov finished the race three minutes behind his competitors, thanks to Wadsworth he still finished, and that’s what counts.

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