Idol Chatter

JonathanHortonpic.jpgI can forgive NBC’s commentators at the Olympic gymnastics competition, Tim Daggett and Elfi Schlegel, their complaints about the judging, and nagging negativity; they are, after a fashion, journalists and they have to call it like they see it. But if they are journalists, why couldn’t they tell us what U.S. gymnast Jonathan Horton was doing when he knelt by the chalk basin and bowed his head as he prepared for what turned out to be a silver-medal performance on the high bar?
It’s no secret, after all, that Horton, a Texan who attends the University of Oklahoma, is a prayerful Christian. In their report of his medal win, the Houston Chronicle wrote, “He began, as always, with a prayer.” Not only that, the Chronicle wrote in the run-up to the Games that Horton “wears a necklace reading “Thanks be to God that gives me victory” and, away from the gym floor, a bracelet inscribed with the same Bible verse from Philippians that diver Laura Wilkinson recites before she competes.”

“It’s a sort of ‘don’t let me die kind of thing,'” Horton told the paper, laughing. “Today, it was ‘just give me strength, give me endurance.’ I pray for safety and the strength I need and the precision I need to get through the routine.”
Why, then, did Schlegel only mumble as Horton said his bit to God, “Yeah, this is how he prepares”? Athletes commonly pray, cross themselves, and point to the sky (as Horton did when he finished his routine). Either let us know what he’s doing, or let us draw our own conclusions. As it was, Schlegel raised more questions than she answered.

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