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Ralph Waldo Emerson noted, “Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.” He’s right, you know. Common sense writes the script and plain dealing performs it. The audience looks on and knows the truest heart of the story.

With this in mind, am I outside of the boundaries of common sense by believing that anyone seeking to compete in the Olympics should only be allowed to do so as a representative of their country of origin? I mean, doesn’t it seem as though the truest heart of the Olympics is for each individual nation to showcase its own pure-blooded, natural-born talent in various competitions, all seeking to be the homeland that can claim domination in any particular event? Watching the “Parade of Nations” during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, I learned that this isn’t so for a good number of the competitors.

For example, I learned that the three members of the Nigerian bobsled team were all born and raised in the United States. I heard the commentator say that Sarah Schleper, the downhill skier representing Mexico was born in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and raised by her father, Buzz Schleper, who owns a ski shop in Vail. I was rather shocked to learn that the lightning fast speed skater, Ahn Hyun-soo, won three gold medals in 2006 in service to his native land of South Korea, but now he goes by the name of Viktor Ahn and competes for Russia.

Apparently all of this is perfectly acceptable because the official Olympic charter only asks that competitors be nationals of the individual countries they represent. Funny thing is, each country defines the term “national” for itself. Equally odd, if the competitors decide they want to switch countries and compete for a different team, they only need to wait for three years following their last competition before doing so. Sure, that sounds like a long time, but it sure seems awfully convenient seeing as the particular seasonal Olympic Games come around every four years.

To all of this, there’s only one thing I can think to say, and it’s, “What the—? Hasn’t anyone on the Olympic Committee seen ‘Rocky IV’?! Does anyone remember the thrill of seeing a best-of-the-best boxer going head to head with a pure-blooded counterpart?”

I guess not. And it’s enough to leave me disinterested in the Olympics altogether. When I’m beholding such an international spectacle, I want to see the true rendering of its heart. I want to witness the champion DNA of a nation as it has been cultivated by its own regimens and ethos. I want to be found in awe of the almost superhuman abilities that one country may have that another may not. I want to be found cheering for a competitor who puts his or herself into a battlefront of sorts, not necessarily striving for “self,” but rather for a homeland, a place that is dear, a nation of communities and culture which, in that moment, deserves to be recognized because in the competition, it produced the best.

But now it just sort of seems like we have people (and I’m not saying they aren’t good at their sport) skipping town to compete somewhere else because maybe they didn’t make the cut back home; or we have nations actually buying athletes from other countries just so they can have a showing or to shore up holes in their teams. I don’t like this about the Olympics. But at least I’m consistent, because I’m not fond of it in the whiskey industry, either. It’s somewhat off-putting.

Ah, this is true. Plenty of whiskey brands touting a genuine dram from a certain locale actually purchase their product from unnamed distilleries in a land far away. I can’t say for sure if the bottle of Breckenridge Straight Bourbon before me is such a culprit, although I’ve read that they will take what they’ve made on the premises and blend it with bourbons from other sources.

Still, as I parenthetically noted above, that doesn’t mean the competitor isn’t good. Indeed, this is a perfectly sippable Coloradan edition worthy of your applause.

The nose is distinctly graceful, giving over a performance of caramel apples, buttered toast, and oak barrel char. A little while in the glass and it takes a twirl toward citrus.

It’s just as gentle for the mouth as it is for the nose, setting before its judges a routine of vanilla cake with butter cream frosting, a dusting of cinnamon, and a sipper of mulled apple cider.

The finish is a spin from what I just described into an abrupt stop on the spice still hanging from the roof of my mouth. It left my tongue dried and expecting something more.

Nevertheless, it was quite enjoyable, and whether a national or actual citizen of Colorado, it represented the state quite well. And for Breckenridge’s sake, I hope this competitor decides to stay put.