Blog Post #244 – I missed getting a medal at the Olympics by 0.05 of a second

Blog post #244 – I missed getting a medal by 0.05 of a second.

Some athletes have trained for years (see yesterday’s blog on being a Olympic Team Member) – and the comments about 10,000 hours, time, money, commitment).

Then you get to the Olympics.  Yes, you have completed on the international level for years, yes, you have won your event a few times, and gotten second or third a few times.   The hype is that you are ready this year – your times leading up to the Olympic games are going up; your body is leaner and stronger; and your brain and maturity are at their peak.

But … you missed out by 0.05 of a second.  Instead of the interviews asking “How did it feel to win” (which is a fairly weak question in my opinion); the interviews are “How did it feel to lose out by 0.05 of a second?”

You are branded as a ‘loser’ – you were expected to win, but you didn’t.  You are a loser.  It’s not fair to find something to blame – you can’t say that the wind was behind the winner, but by the time you completed your run / event, the wind had shifted to be in your face.  You can’t say that the snow (or ice) was ideal in the morning, but by the time you went, the sun had made it rough and a bit sloggy.  You can’t say something I ate last night didn’t agree with me and I was a bit nauseous today.  Instead you smile and say “I just wasn’t fast enough”.

Your Olympic Committee gets you on a plane and sends you home. (Common practice, your event is over, no need for the United States or whichever country to continue to pay for your lodging and meals when you are no longer a competitor – unless you are playing for your own lodging).  

You missed by a very small margin.  Maybe the timing was off just a fraction – and now you are labelled a ‘loser’.  

It can be that way with goals.  You can’t control how judges judge or how you compete with others.  You can only change you.  Competing at the Olympics involves you and others.  You can change yourself, you cannot change them (well without unethical things like poison!!)

In reality, you met (and exceeded) your goal of being one of the bests in your sport.  You are a winner, not a loser.  

When you compete against yourself, you win; when you compete against others you might not always win.  At some point, you retire  – knowing that YOU did it; you DID reach your goal.

What do you think?  Let me know at:

Thank you!!!


Posted by Bruce White

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