14 September 2006

Anyone Can Luge

The modern pentathlon ain't no two-man luge.

ESPN is paying Kathryn Bertine to try to make it onto the '08 Olympic team.

For the next two years, Bertine will chronicle her Olympic quest for E-ticket. While finding a spot on the 2008 U.S. team is the ultimate goal, Bertine will take every opportunity along the way to stop and smell the sweat socks ... and to share the smell, taste, sound and feel of the experience with you.

A former competitive skater, she's been making her living as a professional triathlete (and part-time writer, babysitter, substitute teacher) for a few years now. She'll be trying to make whatever team she can, but insanely tried for modern pentathlon first.

For those who aren't familiar with the pentathlon, it's a five- (obviously) event trial of endurance: shooting; fencing; swimming; show jumping; and cross-country. The most famous American pentathlete, finishing 5th in 1912 due to his poor shooting ability? George S. Patton.

Bertine is off to try out for team handball next...but that sport's tough, too. With a breezy, self-deprecating style, I hope she catches on somewhere.