When silver Olympic medal is not enough.

The Winter Olympics of 2018 have come to an end. I have to admit that I did not watch a single event this time around. Somehow, I just did not have enough time. WordPress and blogging have clouded my reality the past couple of weeks. Also, Summer Olympics are somewhat more interesting to me, normally, anyway.

Have you ever wanted to make it to the Olympics? As a participant? Or a viewer? Have you ever had the chance to cheer on your team right there, in the middle of the action?

Even though I have been enjoying sports from an early age, I never put much thought into becoming a professional. Growing up, I did not think it was an option. My focus was on school, so everything else was secondary. However, like with some other dreams (like winning a lottery without playing), I longed to qualify for the Olympics without actually putting in the work. When I would watch the medal ceremony, I always imagined how great it must feel to be so good at something. So good that you had to beat the rest of the world to get to that podium. I could only imagine how proud those people must be. I was proud of them. People I did not know, but people who represented my country. People who made us proud. They would raise our flag and play our Anthem. It made me feel important. As if I was a part of their journey.

Often times, the competition was real tight. Someone lost by a second or a point. Such a small difference, but such a huge difference. Any minute detail could cost you the gold. Or silver. And the most dramatic for me, was always the fourth place. So close to the podium. But not quite there. Whenever I heard Olympians being interviewed, they would always speak of what an honor participation at the Olympics had been. No small feat to qualify, let alone to win a medal.

By now, you should figure out that I was stunned, when I read that a member of the female Canadian hockey team took off her silver medal right after it was bestowed upon her. She was not proud. She was upset they did not win gold. As I was reading the article, I expected to read that she chucked it away or something. It had not gone that far. However, to me, it might as well had.

The US female hockey team beat the Canadian one in a shootout 3-2. At the “coronation”, you could see that the facial expression of the female in question was an angry one. She took her medal off in disgust as soon as it was placed on her neck. A silver medal. At the Olympics and she does THAT? Now, I understand disappointment. You always strive for the best. Would it be better if she got the gold? Of course. But she did not. She got the next best thing. Silver. It is not like those medals are handed out on the street to anyone who asks.

The lack of gratitude was astounding. Her action was disrespectful towards the gold winners – the USA team. As the saying goes “May the best win”. And so they did. Not everything in sports is fair (human error, steroids, etc.). But losing fair and square should be taken with honor. She was ill-mannered in her actions. You can go and have a temper tantrum in the locker room, but do not throw a hissy fit at the medal ceremony. When the eyes of millions are on you. When the ceremony is being televised across the world. When the press is shooting a million pictures. When the eyes of aspiring, young athletes are on you.

This also might have made the bronze medalists inadequate. If silver is not satisfying, then they definitely should not be happy with their bronze. Very poor sportsmanship. Teams shake hands for a reason at the end of the game. To congratulate the winner. To show respect. Her action of taking the medal off trampled any respect her opponents should have been given.

Looking at her actions, a young, impressionable mind might think that it is OK to be a spoiled brat. That it is OK to not be humble. Moreover, she acted selfishly. Yes, it is a personal achievement, but also a team effort and a win for their country. Like it or not, she was representing her country – Canada. The medal was not just for her, but for her team, and for her country. After that incident, she said that they had worked so hard and deserved “better”. Why is that exactly? Did the winning team not work hard? If you lose, be a grownup and say: “We have put our heart and soul into it, but in the end, they just bested us”.

Competing is a lot about winning. But first, you need to learn how to lose gracefully.

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Have you watched the Olympics this past couple of weeks?

What is your favorite discipline?

Winter or summer games?

Stay golden,

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48 thoughts on “When silver Olympic medal is not enough.

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  1. I worked with someone who missed out on qualifying by 1/1000 of a second and he was really bitter about it. I think when you invest so much of yoursekf the impact would be enormous

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the Olympics!!! I love the sports that aren’t seen every day so winter ones are great, and the day i can flip and spin three times and land one foot on a tiny little blade it will be amazing.
    I’d love to participate at the Olympics but a) my sport isn’t at the Olympics and B) the men’s version isn’t even seen as semi-professional and the fact the womens only became mostly professional in the last 10 years its a long way off.
    I play mens netball.

    I can understand the disappointment to work so hard and miss out on the Gold, but you are right when you lose you need to be humble and congratulate the winner. Yes you worked hard but unfortunately the other team was better on the day, you shouldn’t disrespect their hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately I don’t think netball will get into to the Olympics until more nations outside of the commonwealth participate tho American have started playing it so who knows.

        Anytime I really enjoy your posts

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Very well said.
    I’m not a sports person really. Although I like to play badminton but I don’t watch matches. But the award ceremonies are always good to watch. It makes me so happy to see joyful faces and their speeches inspire you and make you want to work harder

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah! “How to lose gracefully ” i liked that. I don’t think they’ve lost leaving with a silver. It’s good , it’s A LOT. Many would have dreamed to fit in the second place. That was not right to take of the medal

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I didn’t bother this time around either. However, London 2012 I watched Bradley Wiggins and co. cycle (I think it was the time trials) at Hampton Court Palace – I was ticketless, so I was in the crowd with my hubby and son. And then we went to Hyde Park for the triathlon but again without tickets so we were in the park watching on big screens. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My boyfriend wanted to become a hockey since he was little. It’s not big in the Netherlands, so he only plays for fun once a week.
    But each time we go to a hockey game or watch it on TV, i see this look in his eyes : “that should have been me” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know how to play chance, but just the basics. I once had a book on it and was going to train myself to be a champion, but… it didn’t happen. There are some major chess competitions, though!

        Like

    1. That last line breaks my heart. That’s too bad. You raise a good point, you have better chance of becoming a pro in different countries. The amount of competition also differs. He should create his own team!

      Like

        1. Thanks for sharing the link. I left a comment.
          I think when it comes to my dreams, they are still there. Not necessarily the same, but “evolved”. Adjusted to the real world.
          Having your type of people at work is HUGE. Otherwise your work day sucks even more than it should. But yes, the reality of having to pay bills often outweighs being unemployed and just writing blogs.

          Like

  7. Exactly. Loved the post.
    Everyone aims to win. A lot of people work hard, really hard, to win but still lose. At this point, I think, it’s more about respecting the fact that even after all the hard work you put in, there’s someone better than you.
    Medals are just something that tell you what rank you secured. It’s the guts to try that really matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Like you I prefer summer olympics, but I appreciate most sports these days. I was an athlete myself so watching the top athletes compete does leave me in awe. They must put 400% that I have ever put in my training. So I do understand the sourness of 2nd place. The example you mentioned is far and between the normal reaction, but I a graceful defeat is more difficult than actually getting gold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the self-discipline they must have, and the dedication is amazing. I completely understand the sourness, right after the game. I would stomp, and pout, and scream. But the medal ceremony is a different story.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s a well known psychological tenet that silver medalists are far less satisfied than bronze medalists. The former lost the gold for an unfortunate little bit, while the latter won the podium for a fortunate one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was going to mention that. Bronze winners are just happy for a medal. I think most people who get a silver hoped for or expected gold. They should be grateful but I can understand being a bit emotional after coming so close too. I’d like to think I’d save that part for a more private moment but not everyone is so self controlled.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I prefer summer Olympics because of volleyball. Ice skating is fun to watch too, since I really enjoyed it as a kid.

    Definitely agree about the need to be a good sport though. Imagine the humiliation of her teammates? There they are, standing before the world, and suddenly they have to account for the actions of the poor sport on their team. As a team, they rise or fall together, so in a way, I’m amazed that someone who can be that sore of a loser would make it as far as the Olympics.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very good point. That was also something I was wondering about. I imagined they are taught humility through harsh training, etc. And another valid point in regards to the other team members. She did reflect negatively on all of them in a way. And I bet those that actually were happy with being on the podium were bummed out by her actions.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Just a heads up that I linked back to this post because our conversation inspired some of my recent writings!

        Seems like it would be one of those bipolar moments. They’re happy they made it that far. Sad they barely missed getting gold. With the possibiliy of the negative emotions being enhanced thanks to a sour teammate. I’m so glad I’m not a professional athlete!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. So true! Especially being on the big stage and having people all over the world watching. It was a huge upset but appreciation for where you are should always come first! I always think how the team or individual coming 4th must feel to just miss out receiving a medal

    Liked by 1 person

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Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

Emotion Doodles

Children's book illustrator & writer

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