Posted by: rundadrun | August 2, 2012

2nd place…the new last.

I love the Olympics!  I will admit that I much prefer the Summer Games to the Winter, but I love the Olympics.  So, like most of the world with access to a TV, I have been watching and generally enjoying the Games.  One of the things I love about the Olympics is the fact that I get to see sports that are new to me.  I spent a few minutes this morning trying to figure out rules to Field Hockey.  I failed, but I enjoyed the experience.  I am always amazed at sports that I have never watched, with the exception of Curling.  I will never really get the draw of watching Shuffleboard on ice.  But that is just me, and I am not trying to upset any curling fans…expecially since they have access to large rocks and beer. 🙂

But one thing is really bothering me.  I remember as a kid, seeing Bruce Jenner (before he was a Kardashian), and dreaming of someday being an Olympic athlete.  I remember watching the athletes over many years, and seeing men and women who were proud to be at the Games, representing their countries.  What I don’t remember is having the commentators acting like anything but a gold medal was equal to a disappointing loss.  I am growing very weary of watching an athlete give everything they have got in a 2nd or 3rd place effort, and the first thing the reporter does is ask them how they will handle the disappointment of the loss. 

Is this what sport has come down to?  I get that we are ultra-competitive.  I am the king of competitive!  But to think that the difference between 1st and 2nd place is the same as between winning and losing is completely against what the Olympics is about.  I love seeing an athlete who was not supposed to even be in the race come through with a bronze or silver medal and break out in tears of joy.  THAT is what the Olympics are all about.

Don’t get me wrong, I want my country’s athletes to win as much as any one else.  I am amazed by the long domination that Michael Phelps has shown in swimming.  And I understand his being disappointed in not winning.  That is what makes an athlete the best they can be.  But for an announcer to shove a microphone in his face and ask him what he did wrong is an insult to everyone else in the race!  I wish for once one of these athletes would ask the reporter “why should I be ashamed of finishing 2nd against the best the world has to offer?”.  I would love to hear them ask the reporter how they felt that they aren’t the lead commentator in the booth instead of having to do on the spot interviews. 

We need to celebrate what the Olympics are.  It is fine to want our favorite athlete to win and to cheer them on and be disappointed if they don’t win.  But let’s not belittle those athletes who have worked their entire lives in some cases just to be there.  What an amazing accomplishment!  And any medal on top of that is just icing on the cake. 

Happy running,

Rundad

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Responses

  1. Very true … these people are the best of the best in the world, and honestly, just being gifted enough in a sport to make it to the Olympics is a win in my book!

    • Thanks Sarah! I obviously agree. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.


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