Last weekend I was able to watch the Academy Award winning documentary Icarus. Bryan Fogel’s filmic journey into the world of international athletic doping, from experimenting amateur cyclist all the way through to playing midwife to the exposé that led to Russian athletes being (conditionally) banned from the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, is either shocking or business as usual, depending upon your level of sports cynicism going into the viewing.Embed from Getty Images
Jasmin Bambur of United States during the Alpine Skiing – Men’s Super-G, Sitting at PyeongChang: an antidote to Icarus?
It so happened that, after finishing the movie and turning back over from Netflix to regular broadcast programming, I stumbled upon NBCSN’s coverage of the Winter Paralympics, also coming to you from PyeongChang, South Korea. I caught a showing of the men’s Super-G competitions, both standing and seated, and if it wasn’t quite as spectacular a show as the regular Olympics alpine events, it was at least athletes in competition and striving towards being the best.
The juxtaposition of those two programs I watched, the scandals of Icarus and the Paralympic competition, coming one right after the other, suggested a bigger picture, and perhaps the possibility that the one event provided the correct answer to the other.