PLATTSBURGH — The Olympic Winter Games are all about overcoming difficulties in order to achieve greatness.
For Jerry Abrams, the most captivating moment in those contests is when an athlete’s life work pays off.
“I always like the way they push themselves,” he said. “These guys are finely trained machines. They spent their entire lives gearing for one moment in time.”
That moment? When athletes manage to get their hands on the medal that has haunted their dreams for years.
Sometimes the leader on the betting odds does prevail. But other times, history is made.
“The agony and the ecstasy, we’ve seen it all,” said Abrams, who owns the Music Shop on Margaret Street in Plattsburgh.
“We’ve seen some guy rise to the moment and capture a gold medal when maybe he wasn’t supposed to.
“And then we’ve seen the guy who has been the favorite, going to capture the gold medal, fall on his can and not even finish the race.”
Those human stories are what make the games so exciting for Abrams. He will spend the whole day in front of the TV watching the Olympics if given the chance.
He has seen his share of Winter Olympics, and he has always rooted for the U.S. teams, no matter the discipline.
But there are times when the athletes wearing red, white and blue do not have a realistic shot at winning a gold medal.
Then, Abrams looks back to articles he has read and searches for human-interest stories. Stories about people who overcame several obstacles in order to get to where they are.
Some people just love witnessing upsets. Watching giants fall and underdogs rise, that’s what captures Dax Lorry as the Olympics unfold.
“I like to cheer for the underdogs; I always want to see the underdog win,” Lorry said from his eatery, Del’s Subs, on Margaret Street in Plattsburgh.
“Other than that, just cheer for a good match.”
A sports fan, in general, the Plattsburgh man, 28, says there’s one discipline that’s not on his list.
“I can’t stand the ice-dancing figure-skating nonsense,” Lorry said. “People love it, though.”
There are some occasions, though, when he will power through and watch a figure-skating competition.
“Usually, when I’m with the opposite sex, I can sit down and watch it because they love it.”
‘ALL ABOUT HOCKEY’
For Rachael Chrestler, the Olympics are just a distraction.
She said it’s a great opportunity for people to compete, but she doesn’t care much for the games.
“There are so many important things in the world,” Chrestler said. “I’m not going to lose sleep over it.”
Randy Dillon isn’t a fan of figure skating, either, though he’ll be tuning in other ice sports, including bobsledding and curling.
What tops it off for him is a sport he once played.
“Hockey is what the Olympics are all about,” the Plattsburgh man said. “It just goes back so many years.”
— Contributing Writer Bailey Heinzerling added to this report.