Alan Abrahamson: Vidmar's resignation as U.S. Olympic team leader disappoints

By Alan Abrahamson


Published: Tuesday, May 10 2011 6:00 p.m. MDT

This is also a fact — Proposition 8 is the law of the state in which Peter and I both live. It passed in the November 2008 election, with about 7 million votes, 52.2 percent of the ballots.

It's absolutely the case that the Olympic movement stands against discrimination. It's one of the "fundamental principles" of the Olympic charter.

I'm not here to defend Prop. 8. I voted against it. Peter knows that, just as he knows that I respect his position and the basis of his stance. As a matter of logic, though, isn't it worth asking the question: is it really discriminatory to hold a position in line with some 7 million other registered voters? More — is such a position "disgraceful?" Truly?

It's also fact that the Olympic charter doesn't say word one about marriage being between a man and a woman.

The Olympics is not per se about equality.

It's about striving for the best of who we, as humanity, are — or can be.

The open question is what that all means. The answer: different things to different people.

One expression of that is, of course, equality. But "equality" is susceptible to an incredible variety of interpretations.

Reasonable people have to be able to disagree about big ideas, and to have dialogue without the dialogue immediately becoming what it did in this instance — inflammatory.

Peter Vidmar has led an exemplary personal and professional life. He would have made an extraordinary team leader. He was an athlete, a double gold medalist; he has led a life of service; he knows the Olympics; he loves the movement.

It's a shame he got bit by sound bites. As a journalist, I totally understand it. But as his friend and as a fellow American — that doesn't mean I have to like it, and I don't.

Alan Abrahamson is an award-winning sportswriter, best-selling author and expert on the Olympic movement. He writes on the Olympic movement at 3wiresports.com.

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