It may come as a surprise to a few of you, but this coming summer I will not be racing in the Tour de France. However, that does not mean that I will not win the race. In fact, I already have won. Following the lead of master delusionist and Russian figure skater, Evgeni Plushenko, I am preemptively awarding myself the Platinum Jersey, which, needless to say, is better than the coveted Yellow Jersey worn by those mere mortals who actually win the race. After stomping around like a small child, and disparaging the man who (according to the highly subjective judgment of an international panel of ninnies) beat him in that flowery Olympic contest, Plushenko awarded himself the fictional Platinum Medal. In other words, “this one goes to eleven.”
And so, not only I am awarding myself the Platinum Jersey for the yet to take place 2010 Tour de France, but I am also giving myself the little known, but very valuable, Crystal Chalice for my performance in the 1988 World Series, the Bronze Adonis Trophy for my incredible physique, and for my equally fictional performance in the 2010 men’s figure skating competition, the Really Platinum Medal. That’s right, Plushenko, I just out did your Platinum, with my Really Platinum. How’s it feel to win only the second best pretend prize?
One cannot ignore the fantastic precedent that this sets. Floyd Landis can re-award himself his stripped Tour de France Jersey. Ben Johnson can reclaim his Gold Medal, Michael Jackson can make himself undead, and That poor Lindsey Jacobellis can create a new Olympic Medal for the best crash at the finish line. You and I can now boast victories in any race or competition we want, and there is nothing anyone can do or say that will invalidate them, no matter how outlandish, how ridiculous and how utterly made up they are. The possibilities are endless. Which reminds me: I call dibs on first place at the upcoming Desert Rampage XC race.
Now, one can certainly understand Plushenko’s frustration. In a sport that relies on a shifting and subjective scoring system which is highly susceptible to bribes and other forms of blackmail and deceit, it’s a miracle and wonder that all of the feather-laden athletes did not storm angrily out of the building after they were “awarded” their scores. But I think his anger and dissastifaction is rooted in something much more personal and far more devastating than being a Silver Medalist in a sport that has no relevance or audience outside of the Olympics (which, honestly describes about 95% of the events…). No, being runner-up in his audition for Disney on Ice is not the source of his chagrin and delusional outbursts. Instead, it is welling up from a suppressed memory and episode that occurred right here in Utah, during the 2002 Games wherein he missed out on a prize much more sought after, valuable, and elusive than any precious medal: my sister.
Indeed, not even the quadruple axel of pick-up lines (“tell that girl to meet me at the hotel”) could convince her to indulge him. However, it would seem, given his recent braggatory nonsense, that perhaps he told his skating pals a different story, and awarded himself the girl anyway – a prize as fictional as his platinum medal.