Is it me, or is America sucking at playing Olympics this year? Our Olympians are not winning, and they’re whining about it.
So let’s pick at that first point. Americans are not winning…our skiers aren’t the fastest down the hill, our skaters aren’t skating the fastest, and let’s not even start on the snowboarders. Well…the last time I looked, the U.S. was a huge, industrialized, powerful nation with a humongous, well-funded Olympic training machine. Our athletes have had no expense spared, and benefited from the best that science can offer.
So why aren’t they winning? I watched an American speed-skater fall further and further behind the pace in his 1000m race. He didn’t win. The reporter stuck a microphone in his face and asked THE question: “What went wrong?”
Well, the answer screamed itself in my head – “You were too slow.”
“I don’t know,” the skater said. (I do, you skated too slow!) “I gave it my best; I was pleased with my skate…” (how? You lost!) “…I guess it just wasn’t in me today.”
“I gave it my best?!” That sounds disturbingly like the reward we’ve reaped from the years of “everyone gets a ribbon for trying” child-rearing that our Millenials had. “I believed in myself and tried really hard.” Well, I guess that the days when that counted ended when you stopped riding a yellow bus and carrying a Scooby-Doo lunchpail. At the Olympics – THE OLYMPICS – believing and trying only count for something when they produce actual results that are better than the competition.
I know he can skate faster than I could ever dream of it. But he’s not skating against ME…he skated against the best that the world could offer – and all the believing and trying-hard weren’t good enough.
And Shaun White. Our red-haired juggernaut of a snowboarder was beaten by a 15-year-old. A kid who is two measly years older than my son…beat…Shaun…White. Shaun White blamed slush on the halfpipe.
More than that…Shaun White had a half-assed run on the halfpipe, fell down, threw small tricks, and slid across the finish line waving the “I’m number one” sign – proud of the mess that he’d just made. And he didn’t earn a medal. He didn’t win for just being Shaun White. Was there a halfpipe without the slush that the winners used, or something? No. A 15-year-old kid beat our “legend” on the same course that the “legend” said was unfit for use.
And that seems to be the case with all of our athletes. They compete, they lose, they blame their loss on the bad conditions of their course/run/ice/whatever, and they do it loudly, while looking into the camera.
What’s wrong with us? Are we so arrogant that we feel entitled to gold medals just because we come from a big, powerful country? It sure seems that way…and it’s not working. There are countries that are competing their eyes out, and they deserve to win. The only thing I hear them whining about…is us.