Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gymnastics update and Olympic gripe

Shawn Johnson finally won gold, on the balance beam, after collecting a bunch of silvers. Good for her. She may only be 4'9" but she looks tougher than many bouncers I've seen. I wouldn't wanna run into her in a dark alley. Unless she was there protecting me.

Anyway, my gripe. Maybe it's just with the Olympic commentators, and anybody who knows me knows I have issues with sports commentators in general (just stop saying inane, stupid things! Silence can be golden!)...the things they say when someone who maybe was the favorite to win gold, "only" wins silver. Or anybody who fails to capture a gold, but "only" comes in second or third. They make it sound like that athlete was a complete failure. Like everything they worked for their whole lives and especially the last four years broke down at the last second and was all for naught.

Really? Sure, maybe Shawn Johnson wasn't the absolute best in the all-around gymnastics competition. Maybe Dara Torres came up a little short to beat everybody else in swimming. But being second best in your particular sport out of everybody in the entire world (that's a lot of people, in case you didn't know)? Not too shabby.

Instead of focusing on how "disappointing" it must be to have gold elude an athlete, why not congratulate them on their achievement of coming out on top (while we're at it, how about congratulating all the Olympic athletes, even the non-medal contenders/winners, for their HUGE accomplishment on making their respective Olympic teams in the first place)? It's not about giving props to everybody for any slight thing in order to make them feel good about themselves. It's about recognizing and celebrating real achievement. As someone who probably falls into the bottom half of the human population when it comes to athletic prowess, coming in 2 our of 6.6 billion isn't the end of the world.

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