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.
Have you watched the Olympics this past couple of weeks?
What is your favorite discipline?
Winter or summer games?
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