Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Agony of Defeat

Ironically the title of this post has nothing to do with the fact that I didn’t win the RITA at this year’s RWA conference. That I was fine with and frankly rather relieved. And I got to wear my pretty sparkly shoes that I get to keep forever. (See below!)

No, I’m back in Olympic mode and of course loving every minute of it. And much like a good Molly O’Keefe novel (Can’t Hurry Love is out in stores now!) there are so many ups and down it makes the whole experience so amazing.

The other night for me it was the US women gymnasts. The girl coming into these Olympics considered as the best all around gymnast and a heavy favorite to win the gold, failed to qualify for the all around event. Why? Because only the top two gymnasts from each country can compete. Now I’m sure I understand why they changed this. They probably got tired of only a small handful of countries being represented each year when simply choosing the top scorers. But the result is the girl thought to be the best in the world will have to sit and watch other lesser gymnasts from other countries compete.

She’s heartbroken. She’s devastated. Pictures of her crying are everywhere as the cameras witness this. Bottom line, she just didn’t have her absolute “A” game that day. And another US gymnast did and beat her out.

And that’s the beauty of this story. One girl’s heartbreak and misery is another girl’s triumph.

The other girl came to play. She came to give it her all. She succeeded and now she gets a chance she didn’t think she was going to get. While one story is the worst I ever heard. The other is the best.

It’s why I love these games.

I watched on Tuesday night a girl who basically only does one thing – the vault – do something so amazing I had to rewind it like ten times. They told this girl to do one vault (they only get once chance in the team competition) and do it better than she’s ever done it before.

I thought it was perfect. The judges somehow found .297 in deductions – but still obviously thought it was pretty great. One event, one chance, in the Olympics with everyone watching, and make it your best. And she did it without hesitation.

These girls – these athletes – they are something else.


Anonymous said...

Love the sparkly vomit-free shoes!

It is quite awful to give it your all for so long and do so well to qualify for the Olympics and then it takes one 'oops' for it all to go away. One chance to prove how great you really are.

What do you think of the Badminton Scandal (as I'm calling it)? I'll lose now to have a better chance to win later? They get second chances but the gymnasts don't?


Stephanie Doyle said...

Marcie - I know it's probably wrong of me because I'm sure the competitors are very serious about their sport - but the fact that there is such a thing as a "badminton scandal" makes me chuckle.

Folks - it's badminton.

Eileen said...

And the swimmer who was disqualified last time due to a failed drug test that turned out to have been caused by something getting contaminated? OMG. I gasped when they were telling the story.

The shoes are indeed things of incredible beauty. Wear them often and in good health, Steph!

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean Stephanie. To me it's a game you play in your backyard barefoot.


Anonymous said...

Love, love the shoes.... and the olympics.... I think my favourite might be rowing, which is what Canada is pretty good at, but the pain on the rowers faces as they push past all limits of endurance to increase their speed in the last 500 metres, the sheer will power alone astounds me.

Molly O'Keefe said...

The best story and the worst story all at the same time - sums it up exactly. EXACTLY! And those shoes, ladies, even better in person...

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