Beating A Dead Horse

Guess what this post is going to be about?  If you guessed The Olympics, you would be right!  If you aren’t a fan of hearing what I have to say about this topic, I suggest you tune out for a couple of weeks.

Last night I was watching the US Women’s Gymnastic team win the gold when a PSA of sorts came on.  It wasn’t a commercial, there was no sponsor, it was just clips of Jordyn Weiber with a voice over from some guy and then Nastia Lukin.

It starts off asking what makes a gymnast and if it was seeing and being inspired by other gymnasts.

…the sacrifice and dream pushed you to become champion of America and then champion of the world.  …This could be real.  This could be me.  And then it all explodes in a most wrenching way.

There was some talk of teamwork and Jordyn needing her team and her team needing Jordyn.

…what would that say about Jordyn Weiber?

Insert Nastia Lukin

That her soul is richer than most.  And that champion can still be revealed.  And in gymnastics, she can still be remembered forever.

I don’t have a problem with the message.  Not in the slightest bit.  In fact, I’m sure Jordyn Weiber is very moved by these words, but why not just say them to Jordyn in person?  Why was it necessary for it to be broadcast to the entire country?  Are one of these messages being prepared for all athletes who don’t qualify for one of their events?  And why wasn’t their another message congratulating Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman?

I don’t know Jordyn Weiber, but just the fact that she has been competing in gymnastics for more than half her life, I’m willing to bet she has developed quite a thick skin.  Do I think she was upset about not making the all-around finals in the Olympics?  Absolutely – the pain was evident on her face in the hundreds of photos that have been plastered all over the TV, Internet and any other visual media.

In an interview with Jordyn’s mom, she says how upset both she and Jordyn were, but as the hours passed, Jordyn was sounding stronger and knew that she had to be there for her team.  Quite a mature and appropriate reaction to something that will no doubt stay with her for many years.

If you paid attention to this at all, it wasn’t that Jordyn screwed up in her routine, it was that her teammates were just that good that they basically outscored her this time.  Yeah – there are other gymnast competing besides her and they are really fucking good!

This is the part that irritates the hell out of me.  There are 529 American athletes competing in the London games and how many can you name?  Not including: Michael, Ryan, Jordyn, Missy, Misty, Kerri, and anyone on the “Dream Team”.

I’m not saying we should be able to name every athlete, but why are we focusing on just a few and then when something doesn’t go quite as planned we act like it’s the end of the world?  Michael Phelps didn’t medal in the first race he swam in and Ryan Lochte won the gold, can’t it end there?  Shouldn’t we just be happy about the gold instead of trying to weave some back story into it?

These people are the best athletes in the world.  I guarantee no one is harder on them than they are on themselves.  Why must we continue to discuss the what if’s, how come’s, given just a little bit more’s, etc?  Is there anyone out there that can or should be questioning Michael Phelp’s performance?  How can you criticize the most decorated Olympian in history?  I can’t even imagine the restraint these athletes exhibit when being interviewed.

5 thoughts on “Beating A Dead Horse

  1. I’m not trying to be mean, but if I had a dollar for everytime that one gymnast said “definitely” dirirheir interview with Bob Costas, I could pay off my car loan. I know she is young, but it was like, um verbal um, like static.

    I can also name one person who is probably harder on an athlete more than the athlete herself…Aly’s parents. Did you see that?! Good grief! It was like watching Toddlers and Tiaras.

    • Honestly, not many of the athletes give good interviews and they are all kind of uncomfortable to watch. Aly’s parents are a rare breed – I don’t know if I thought they were as bad as T&T moms, but her mom looked like she was tweaking!

  2. See, this goes back to what I said to my Dad… I honestly think there should be a limit on the size of the teams from each country… 529 athletes is a hell of a lot… and the smaller countries don’t stand a chance. Of course China and the US are going to be haulin’ home the gold… they both have the people, money and competitive spirit to achieve that. You take a smaller country with fewer people and less money and where do they stand in comparison?

    • I don’t have a problem with the number of athletes they allow per country (of course I don’t when my country has over 500) but they do have to qualify so I feel like all the athletes earn their spot. I think it would be extremely unfair that someone didn’t get to compete in the Olympics because there were already too many great athletes going from their country. One of the things I find unfair is that the host country doesn’t have to qualify in all of the preliminaries to compete in the medal competitions – they automatically get to participate because they are hosting.

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