Honoring the Invisible Olympians: Alexandra Camenscic and Jun-Ho-Hwang

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Featured in this installment are two more skiers who finished last in their respective events on Sunday but deserve recognition.

Alexandra Camenscic

Maldova’s Alexandra Camenscic finished 84th (last) in Sunday’s Biathlon.  Hailing from Criuleni near the Black Sea, she left as a youth to attend a State sponsored high school for gifted athletes in the Capital City of Chesinau. From there, she went on to attend Maldova University of Physical Education and Sports.  Alexandra began her career as a competitive skier on the World level in 2009 and represented Maldova in the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. She has been competing in World Cup events ever since.  While never placing highly in any event, she has never quit and always represents herself and her native Maldova with determination and grace.  One might write her off as a failure were it not for the fact that she comes from Maldova, the poorest Country in Europe, independent as a nation only since 1991.  This tiny, struggling Nation has scant resources for Olympic development and fields a team of only four, Alexandra being the only female.  In a Country with a less than stellar record of equal rights for women, Alexandra’s hard work and determination make her a model for young females to emulate.  At 25, she more than likely has a third Winter Games in her future and, a chance to coach other talented females from her Country.  Being the only female Winter Olympian in your whole Country is a major accomplishment and Alexandra needs recognition for that.

Jun-Ho-Hwang

Korean skier, Jun-Ho-Hwang at 20 came to Sochi with limited experience on the World stage.  Hailing from a nation better known for its speed-skating prowess, there was no expectation for a competitive finish,  Hwang will no doubt fare better next time; however, his last place finish in Sunday’s 30k Cross Country was marred by a rather sad turn when his time was not even officially recorded,  Officially, his finish will be recorded only as LAP.  Poor kid deserves better for all his work in making the Olympic Team for Korea.

James Dator of SB Nation did cover his finish and wrote the following on their News Site:

“If you’re not first, you’re last — and if you’re last you still deserve a time, darn it.

Athletes work for years perfecting their craft to compete at the Winter Olympics. The hard work and effort is rewarded with a chance at gold, but if that’s out of reach at least you will always have your name and time/score showing you were there. Unless you’re Korean Jun-Ho Hwang.

When you finish in the top three your name is in lights. A medal and podium, lightbulbs flashing — you even get a special spot on the Sochi website with your headshot for all to see.

YOU DON’T EVEN GET AN OFFICIAL TIME!

Please dear readers, don’t let the 41:22.6 fool you, that’s just the time prior to the pit stop. There’s still the “free” portion to be added in order to get a total picture. Poor Jun-Ho Hwang didn’t get a time. No way to know if it was a personal best, no chance to say “Hey, I was there.” Hwang didn’t even get simply receive a “DNF.”

YOU WERE LAPPED, SIR. NOW THE WORLD KNOWS IT

Make no mistake, this isn’t a regular thing. Hwang was the only skier lapped on Sunday. We checked the Olympic charter, there’s nothing about open and public mockery. It’s a shame really, because poor Jun-Ho deserves better. The man skied across Russia for 30 km, he should be recognized. You’re telling us someone couldn’t have stood there an extra few minutes to record his time?

We salute you Jun-Ho Hwang. You were there. It’s more than any of us can ever say and darn it you did it, lapped or not. This is your time in the sun.”

I certainly second that sentiment.

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About Phil

Hi, my name is Phil. I’ve managed to escape the corporate world, rid myself of excess belongings, travel the country extensively in my old Winnebago, and find a new home on a beautiful barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. I define myself as: a free spirit, a writer, a philosophical anarchist, a poet; a lover of nature, a lover of art, a protector of animals, as well as a devoted friend and partner
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