I’m not sure if this is what young curler Jason Gunnlaugson grew up dreaming about. But now that the Manitoba native has been recruited by the Russian federation to be a full-time curler and train to be the country’s entry in the next Olympics, it creates a very interesting dilemma. Could he possibly pass up the chance to be paid handsomely ($100k a year) to curl professionally and compete in the next games, even if it meant vying for a medal with another country?
It’s a tough question to be sure.
Columnist Gary Engstrom probably said it best with this observation:
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t misunderstand, the target of my venom here is not Gunnlaugson, Richter, and Forrest for making the deal. In truth, most of us would have been hard-pressed to refuse such a lucrative offer to trade nation for personal gain.
No, the real jerks are Russian Olympic officials for stooping to such lengths and using loopholes in International Olympic Committee rules to hire mercenaries. Their goal is to win medals at any cost and maybe, just maybe, trick the Russian population into thinking they know what theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re doing.
What do you think? What would you do if you were in his shoes? An how do you feel about the sanctity of the Olympic Games when countries stoop to these antics to try and buy medals?
I’d be interested in your thoughts in the comments below.