SKIING DOWN HILL---ON THE SLOPES AND IN THE WORLD
By Danny Schechter
Los Angeles: Olympics live for Heroes and Sheroes--the "amateur" athlete winners that TV sportscasters swoon over, and companies later reward with lucrative endorsement contracts that, in turn, push them in the celebrity elite, often with enough staying power to move effortlessly from competition to commentary.
This year, in Sochi, America's sweetheart is an 18 year old teenager with doting and photogenic parents who has won hearts as she slalomed to Olympic Gold.
It helps that Mikaela Shiffin is attractive and articulate, self-deprecating in an aw-shucks adolescent manner, and yet a model of iron discipline on the slopes.
It was clear from her fawning video profile that she was destined to be the "got it' girl on her way to the glory of a gold.
Shiffin has a way with words as well as skills. She was upbeat and catchy in conversation with reporters, who, then, couldn't say enough good things about her unaffected style.
"There I was, I'm like, 'Grrreat. I'm just going to go win my first medal," Mikaela enthused while the PR kept coming with non-stop florid descriptions and tributes to her "impressive balance and agilty," as she raced downhill.
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