Olympian Returns Home, Things Get Goofy
Sunday, April 27, 2014. The day was windy and cold, dreary and grey. Rain fell from the glum skies like the tears of a dejected wallflower at his first incredibly awkward high school dance. The Twin Cities were a morose Midwestern scene. Soggy skiers meandered through “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” looking for a ray of sunshine, for a spotlight of inspiration, for hope. They need look no further than the iconic beacon of light that boldly adorns my upper lip–my crumb catcher, my mouth brow, my ode to Tom Selleck (who is also my spirit animal)–the famed PaddyO mustache. In a completely unrelated story, Minnesota native and Olympic Champion Lindsey Vonn traveled back to her hometown to visit with media and fans alike.
Vonn, the Minnesnowta Maiden herself, returned to Minneapolis as part of her Vail Resorts ambassadorship in promotion of Afton Alps and the Epic Pass. Afton just finished its first epic season under the Vail Banner and what a season it was! Ten million dollars in improvements included ticket office redesign, a brand new park, massive snowmaking upgrades, and customer service improvements. The Blonde Bomber met with fans, graciously signing autographs and slapping 5 with young ski racers.
Linz (that’s what she likes me to call her) sat and answered benign questions from mundane news folk, questions she has been asked millions of times before and will surely be asked millions of times in the future. I could see in her eyes she yearned for another meaningful conversation with me. A conversation about tater tot casserole, Olympic Ski Racer leg wrestling and dance fighting, the Minnesnowta nasal dialect, and other subjects of consequence. I swooped in like a freedom hawk and rescued her as a knight saves a damsel, as Prince Eric saved Ariel.
As part of her physical training to rehab her recent knee injury, Vonn carried me a la “Officer and a Gentleman” over to the fireside setting that would serve as our interview locale. As the hearth warmed our souls and the mantle held our hearts, I got to the bottom of things. Once again two hearts became one, once again the deep connection was made, once again “the greatest interview to ever occur” occurred…but do not fret. When I win my Emmy or Grammy or whatever it is that journalists win, I won’t forget the public. PaddyO is a man of the people, for the people…a man of action!