Okay, normally we’d just “let it go” at end of a Tour de France, but hey, 2012 London, next stop. So now is the time — America!!! — to improve our nation’s image in the eyes of the world.
We are going to just tell the truth in love, okay?
The Tour De France is the most popular sporting competition televised. It’s watch by more people in the world than any other sport, every year. Only World Cup soccer and the Olympics get somewhat close viewership stats and they only happen every 4 years! So Tour de France? Important!!
When a rider wins a title at the Tour, be it King of the Mountains, Best Sprinter, Best Young Rider, or Tour Winner, it’s important. So important that typically some high-up personage, such as an ambassador from the winning rider’s country, shows up to give that rider his award.
The above picture is rider Tejay van Garderen being given Best Young Rider (aka white jersey) of the tour. And our nation’s representative who is bottom left on the podium and has just given Tejay his crowning achievement? Yeah, that guy in the trainers, baggy shorts and awful t-shirt.
It’s absolutely an insult to the Tour, to Tejay, to the sport of cycling, to France, that this representative of America showed up on the podium as if he was going to a backyard birthday party for his 3 year old.
Every other person on that platform showed up in a manner as befitted the occasion (if not the climate) and that showed respect for the rider. Full make up, jewelry, high heels even! Every other presenter representing a winner’s nation (Wiggins) Britain, (Sagan) Slovakia, (Voeckler) France, wore a suit and tie. America’s representative? OMG?!
Please, please, at the Olympics, for the sake of any American athletes that do perchance win, if you are asked to hand out a medal or pose on a podium don’t insult your athletes victory, or the Games, or the host country, or (further) decrease the world’s opinion of Americans by dressing like “that guy.”
(And “That Guy” is probably an incredibly sweet guy who meant well, but when the rider who just pedaled 120k in 90 degree heat looks better pulled together? Come on.)