If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don't think it necessarily means you're a hard worker.
It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance.
Grandma Luge is a fellow Red Hatter and this made our newsletter.
BERARDINO: Early exit for an injured Grandma Luge
Published February 14, 2006
CESANA, Italy · This wasn't the way Grandma Luge wanted to go out.
Not after almost a quarter century in the sled and six trips to the Winter Olympics. Not after becoming the oldest woman to compete on this stage four years ago in Salt Lake City.
Not after coming here at age 52, hoping to represent the U.S. Virgin Islands one more time and planning to inspire a whole new collection of fans also on life's back nine.
"I'm hurting right now," Anne Abernathy says in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. "Hurting physically, yes, but emotionally as well. You can't spend this many years doing something and have it not hurt."
The first day of the women's luge competition was getting under way with 30 of the world's best sliders. Instead of taking her place in the starting blocks, as she has done in every Winter Olympics since the 1988 Calgary Games, Abernathy was miles away in her mountain dorm room.
She was sporting a cast on her broken right wrist. Her right shoulder was aching even worse, although X-rays were negative. Both injuries were the result of a nasty crash during a Sunday morning training run.
Getting banged up is nothing new for Grandma Luge, who earned her nickname from German competitor Susi Erdmann in 1994. Over the years Abernathy has broken and bent just about every body part imaginable.
She has raced with two broken feet. She has undergone 12 knee surgeries. She has beaten lymphatic cancer. She has overcome a closed head injury from five years ago that was supposed to leave her permanently debilitated.
Even after crashing, the native Floridian -- she was born at Eglin Air Force Base but spent much of her formative years in the Virginia/Maryland area -- had every intention of taking her place Monday.
She offered to do the mandatory weigh-in and even requested an additional training run on the fast and treacherous new course. Broken wrist and all, Grandma Luge would be there, extending her record.
Unfortunately, race director Marie-Louise Rainer of Italy had other ideas.
At the captains meeting Sunday night, Rainer called out the draw but skipped Abernathy's name. A former World Cup luge champion, Rainer announced one other slider (Abernathy) had been injured and would be disqualified per the race doctor's report.
Dr. Melita Glanville, a New Zealand osteopath who has worked with Abernathy for six years, was at that meeting and could hardly believe her ears. When Glanville relayed the news, Grandma Luge was understandably aghast.
How could they knock her out of the race without even consulting with her and her doctors? What was the rush to set the field nearly 24 hours before the first run?
At the luge World Cup, Abernathy says it's customary to list the injured slider on the start list with a designation of DNS: Did Not Start. Even though she had no chance to medal, this was no small matter.
If she didn't appear on the start list, would that call into question whether she truly was a six-time Olympian? Would that mean her record as the oldest female participant at the Winter Games would remain at 48 years old?
And what would that mean for the funding status of the Virgin Islands' sole winter sport and Abernathy's limited but vital sponsorship agreements?
She made a round of late-night phone calls trying to get back on the start list but got nowhere. By 1 p.m. Monday the final word came down: Grandma Luge had struck out.
"The decision was taken out of my hands," she says. "I'm not at all pleased with that. They preempted us, and I don't know why."
Abernathy doesn't even remember seeing the race doctor who supposedly made the recommendation to drop her from the event. She describes a chaotic scene in the medical area.
"It was like being treated by a Boy Scout troop," she says. "Nobody spoke English. It was crazy and nobody knew who was in charge."
Despite her frustration, Abernathy intends to stick around for the rest of the Olympics. She served as the flag bearer in the Opening Ceremonies and will walk in the Closing Ceremonies as well.
She will carry her red luge helmet in a show of support for the Red Hat Society, an international group that encourages 50-plussers to stay active.
After that, who knows? She could write a book. She could go on the speaking circuit. She could help the organizers of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. She could expand her Web site (www.grandmaluge.com).
But her days of lying flat on her back and speeding 80 mph down a winding, icy track are over.
"It's time for me to take what I've learned and help other people," she says. "This is really hard, but I've got to move on. I have to bounce back from this."
Nobody keeps Grandma Luge down for long.
Copyright © 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Still crazy, after all these shears
"lambikins, put the crack pipe down and back away from the keyboard." Unklescott
"lambikins... I have come to the conclusion that you are the Jedi Master of the Kitchen on FORT!" SuperBrat
Oh NO! GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A RAINER :oh noUnfortunately, race director Marie-Louise Rainer of Italy had other ideas....At the captains meeting Sunday night, Rainer called out the draw but skipped Abernathy's name. A former World Cup luge champion, Rainer announced one other slider (Abernathy) had been injured and would be disqualified per the race doctor's report
Sorry, Could not resist that one! So awfully sad for an amazing career. From what I know, rules and reports are not up for discussion no matter what emotional consequence or desire is there to compete. The Games are extremely strict and all that could have taken place was for her coach to lodge a complaint, which wouldn't give her the chance to compete anyway.
On a brighter note, Becky Scott and Sara Renner won the SILVER medal for Canada in the cross-country team spring event. They are both from ALBERTA Hooray for our home-town girls!Canadians Beckie Scott and Sara Renner Win Silver. Renner actually broke a pole in the second lap, that dropped her from the lead to fourth place. Scott put them back in the lead on the ensuing lap and they raced among the leaders the rest of the way. A Norwegian (coach) had given her a pole. Thank you Norway!
Last edited by misskitty; 02-14-2006 at 12:58 PM.
Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly
Olympic champion Cheek donates prize money to Darfur.
TURIN, Italy (AFP) - US speedskater Joey Cheek credited his decision to donate any prize money from a Winter Olympic gold medal to a Sudanese relief project with helping him capture the 500m title Monday.
Cheek will donate the 25,000 dollars he will receive from the US Olympic Committee for his victory to "Right to Play", an athlete-driven charity organization, with the money earmarked for the battle-ravaged Darfur region.
"I knew if I ever did something like this, I wanted to be able to give something back," Cheek said. "The best way I can say thanks is to donate my money to help somebody else."
Cheek, who will ask each of his handful of sponsors to donate money as well, skated the two best 500m races of his career to win gold in a combined time of 1:09.76, beating runner-up Dmitry Dorofeyev by .65 of a second.
"I don't know how I skated that fast," Cheek said. "At some level, it's empowering to think about someone other than yourself. It's right that I help some people get the chance that I have had.
"We athletes are superstitious, goofy people," Cheek said. "It's kind of absurd. I've trained my whole life for this but I am skating around in a skintight suit. It's a little ridiculous.
"I can take the time to sit up here and gush or I can do something worthwhile."
The humanitarian crisis in Darfur has claimed between 180,000 and 300,000 lives, and displaced more than two million people.
Cheek's role model is former Norwegian speedskater Johan-Olaf Koss, who made a similar contribution in 1994 when the program was called Olympic Aid.
"The things he has done for other people have been an inspiration for me," Cheek said. "It's my hope that I can assist some people and walk in his large shoes."
Cheek had the plan in mind after meeting with Right to Play leaders in the Olympic Village this week.
"I have been kind of plotting this in my head. I wanted to be prepared if the stars aligned," Cheek said. "They have got a great program and they have done a lot of good."
Cheek said he plans to visit Darfur in a couple of months and might petition the US State Department to allow more US funds for relief work.
But his plan to see the region where 60,000 children are among the homeless might have to wait.
"I heard today the situation has destabilized and it might not be safe for aid workers to go into villages," he said.
Cheek, 26, will skate the 1,000m but retire after the Olympics and attend college. He applied to Harvard but was rejected.
"I've been out of school for 10 years so they were a little concerned I wouldn't be able to read a sentence." Cheek joked.
I thought Joey Cheek was kind of cute when I watched him win. Now that I've read fluff's article, I'm feeling all fangirly.
"I miss Darva Conger." - Phonegrrrl
Women's curling was on USA channel this morning. I have seen cross-country skiing and biathlon events on CNBC and/or MSNBC.
Among these four networks, you can pretty much see most of what you want.
Hope this helps people find the coverage they are looking for.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
-- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
Please let Evgeni Plushenko win the gold medal this time so he can retire and I don't have to look at that stupid Prince Valiant haircut anymore. Please?
Anyone looks butch next to Johnny Weir, including half of the female skaters, but that 'do Plushenko sports is too much.
Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov
I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"
I am watching the men's short program. They make it all look so easy. It makes me want to go try ice skating myself. Then the real world slaps me in the face as I realize I would kill myself within the first minute.