Monday, August 11, 2008

Is a Silver Medal Really Something to Cry About?

The Olympics are in full swing and I'm enjoying the chance to watch this lively competition!

Swimming has been getting a ton of attention right now and boy, does the U.S. have some winners!

I watched the women’s 4 X 100m freestyle relay swim the other night and it was fantastic. There were so many amazing athletes involved with this swim and they were fast and fabulous. What caught my attention was that the American women’s relay team were not favored to win this competition, but on the last leg the amazing 41 year old, Dara Torres swam like a shark and swam past many to grab the silver medal in this race. But instead of celebrating for winning silver in a race they weren’t expected to win, the women looked disappointed.

They weren’t jumping up and down. They weren’t smiling. They were looking like they were discouraged because they had missed the gold by a close margin.

This bothered me. I thought they should be celebrating. There were hundreds of swimmers who didn’t qualify for the race and didn’t come close to getting silver. I think it’s a huge accomplishment that they finished in the medal round.
Natalie Coughlin, Lacey Nymeyer, Kara Lyn Joyce, and Dara Torres performed very well and I am proud of their success in the relay.

I understand that we should always strive to be the best, to win—but a silver medal is still winning in my book. Yes, strive for the best. Go for the gold! But if you get the silver and the bronze, celebrate and smile for everyone watching and cheering you on.

Tonight, Matt Grevers in the 100m Men’s backstroke just won a silver medal, right behind Aaron Piersol with a gold medal—both U.S. swimmers. When interviewed, he said he was excited, “That silver looks beautiful. One, two, it’s what we wanted.” He is happy with his silver medal and he should be.

I love the saying, "It is better to shoot for the stars and miss than aim at the gutter and hit it."
- Anonymous

And the next saying explains why all Olympians should be happy and proud to wear any medal:

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."
- Les Brown


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