Jewish World Review Feb. 13, 2002 / 2 Adar, 5762
Tom Bergen, the expelled skier, was not raised by a single mother, never had a career-threatening injury, and did not overcome a personal tragedy of any kind before making the Olympic ski team, U.S. Olympic officials revealed today.
"Had Tom been involved in an organ donation, as either a donor or a recipient, that would have been acceptable to us," ski team spokesman Sandy Harrell told reporters. "However, he was not."
According to sources close to the ski team, Bergen had concealed the fact that he comes from an intact middle class family who never lost their home to a flood, tornado, or typhoon.
But what may have sealed Bergen's doom, sources said, was his utter lack of a gravely ill family member to win a medal for.
"Tom did his best to hide his background from team officials," one source said. "But when the truth came out, he was finished."
Speaking to reporters in Salt Lake City, NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol was even less charitable, terming Bergen's actions "a reprehensible betrayal."
"We do our best to check out all of the athletes to make sure that their backgrounds
are full of compelling human drama, but we can't catch everything," Ebersol said.
"This is a case of one really bad guy exploiting the
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