Farewell, Adios, Adieu, and Lebewohl to the Olympics

Shots in the Darke

I see that the closing ceremonies of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics were held today and according to ratings of NBC’s telecasts not many people will be sorry to see them end!  Viewership was down 47% from the ‘18 Games as various factors contributed to the failure to capture the public’s interest. Regardless, congratulations to all winners and participants—a lot of dedication and hard work went in to their journeys to perform at the Olympic level. 

You had to feel sorry for the travails of Russian (or should I say Russian Olympic Committee)  figure skater Kamila Valieva, the 15 year-old who was allowed to perform under suspicion of  illegal drug usage. An overwhelming favorite to take gold, the pressure got to her as she fell multiple times during her performance, leading to a cold-hearted response and rebuke from her coach. Talk about a lack of empathy!! 

And Mikaela Shiffrin, one of history’s greatest skiers, had one of those weeks when nothing went right, failing to medal in any of the five events in which she was entered. We’ve all experienced those moments in life when it all goes wrong at the wrong time haven’t we?  Tough to watch, easy to understand if you’re being honest. 

Anyhow, the Games are over for another four years—can you name the country which took home the most medals this year? Answer to follow! 

Hats off to GHS junior swimmer Caden Lecklider who’s having a standout season for the Green and White. He currently ranks in the top six in multiple events in MVL action, including fourth in the 100 Butterfly and 500 Freestyle. Good luck to Caden and other Wave swimmers in upcoming postseason meets! 

High school girls basketball continues this week with DIV district finals on tap. Tri-Village’s  Lady Patriots have outscored three opponents 248-63 in advancing to Saturday’s contest  versus the winner of Fayetteville-Perry and Cedarville at Troy while the Lady ‘Roaders of  Bradford, after three wins, have the unenviable task of facing state number one ranked Fort Loramie, also Saturday at Troy. Unfortunately, Arcanum’s Lady Trojans fell to Preble Shawnee by a 70-62 count in the sectional finals and ended a fine season with a 21-3 record. 

Well, here we go again as Major League Baseball faces another delay in opening the season due to labor negotiations. After having a pandemic shortened campaign in 2020, fan interest was high as the Braves beat the Astros in the World Series last fall. Once again the powers that be are on the verge of losing whatever goodwill was generated last year. Billionaire owners versus millionaire players—neither could spell logic even with being spotted the first four letters! 

Speaking of money, THE’s football coaching staff is rolling in it! In keeping up with other big-time programs, the Bucks new defensive coordinator signed on for a cool $1.9 million while  the offensive line coach came on board for $800,000. Head Coach Ryan Day ranks 9th in the country, 3rd in the Big Ten, being compensated to the tune of $6.6 million, not including various bonuses. I can’t remember the exact figure but in many cases the highest paid public employee in many states is the head coach of the football and/or basketball program of the flagship university. Can you name the Big Ten coaches earning more than Day? 

Continuing with college football at the highest level, the NCAA and the almighty Playoff Selection Committee have decided to stand pat with a four team format through the 2025 season. Nothing like being stubborn and shortsighted (see MLB above!). Get ready for a few more years of “Bama, Georgia, Clemson, THE, and maybe two or three others! Dream on PAC-12, Big 12, and non-Power Five conferences; thank you to Cincinnati for appearing in this year’s playoffs and bringing some hope (evidently short-lived) to the non-elites! 

 Finally, Norway (must be cold up there!) took home 35 medals from Beijing, followed by Russia, Canada eh!, Germany, and the US. Also, Mel Tucker of Michigan State, James Franklin of Penn State, and possibly Jim Harbaugh of the School Up North (final details of a contract extension aren’t known) earn more than THE’s Ryan Day. Lots of pressure on those four to win and fund the rest of their school’s athletic programs! Have a great week, stay healthy and active!

Dr. Alex Warner | Correspondent for Darke County Now

Dr. Alex Warner / Correspondent

Alex Warner is a retired Greenville chiropractor as well as a former educator and high school coach. He has over 30 years experience in broadcasting high school sports on both radio and public access television in addition to producing over 50 episodes of the local television series “Our Town”. A man of many interests, he is naturally curious with a “gift of gab”. He currently writes the weekly sports column “Shots in the Darke” and hosts “Talk of the Town” featuring people, places, and events that make Darke County the place we choose to reside.

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