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Pegasus rising: Snowboarder Watanabe a star wordsmith

February 10, 2010 | 11:25 pm

 The Olympics haven't even begun, but U.S. snowboarder Graham Watanabe already has a leg up on the quote of the Games.

He certainly gets the idea the Olympics have a mythos.

Watanabe, 28, was an alternate at the 2006 Winter Games but wound up competing in snowboarder cross.

He still considers the 2010 Games his first real Olympics, having assured himself a spot in the event.  Asked what that meant to him at the U.S. snowboard team's Wednesday press conference, Watanabe said:

"Try to imagine Pegasus mating with a unicorn and the creature that they birth. I somehow tame it and ride it into the sky in the clouds and sunshine and rainbows. That’s what it feels like.”


-- Philip Hersh in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Graham Watanabe at a December competition in Colorado. Credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images