Aug 06

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Who Loses the Sportsmanship Award

If you have not seen the August 6th telecast of the Olympics, or do not know the outcome of the women’s individual vault, STOP READING NOW.  You’ve been warned.  There is also probably a track and field spoiler in here somewhere, too.

I have hated NBCs coverage of the Olympics.  If you aren’t American or you haven’t screwed up to a “catastrophic” level, then pretty much you are dead to NBCs coverage.  Did you know Men’s Gymnastics includes an aparatus called the RINGS?  If you’re new to the Olympics, you’d never know.  One of my favorites has been decidedly absent.  If, however, you are Misty May-Treanor or Kerri Walsh we have every single dig or set from them, ad nauseum.  And Ryan Seacrest?  Really?  Ryan frackin’ Seacrest?  Get OFF MY TV!

Not only have I been disappointed with the coverage, the women’s Olympic team has let me down in a big way.  We cry when things don’t go our way…when in reality that means we didn’t do as good of a job as the other guy. I do understand what a big deal this is and I’m not heartless to the fact that losing hurts; but where is our Sportsmanship?

This brings me to my topic at hand.  McKayla Maroney.   Sunday night she was competing in the individual vault, a pretty big honor in and of itself.  Her first vault was pretty fantastic (don’t expect any technical terms from me).  She took a small hop on the landing, but other than that it seemed pretty flawless.  Her second vault, however, was not as good.  She sat down on the landing, literally landing it on her backside.  She had been the favorite to win, up until that point; it opened the door for the final vaulter from Romainia, Sandra Izbasa.  In the end, Sandra vaulted 2 vaults that put her ahead and won her the gold.  Congratulations to her.

Maroney threw what appeared to be a silent temper tantrum.  I get she was stunned, I understand a silver isn’t what she had her sights on, but IT IS A SILVER MEDAL in a competition with the WORLD.  She stared off into space, she was a foot and a half from the winner, presumably someone she knew; they compete together after all.  Not once did she acknowledge the winner, not once did she congratulate her, not once did she smile to her.  Finally the winner looked at her and hugged Maroney.  Moroney did not even hug back, she did not say anything to her competitor, nothing.  Where is the good sportsmanship?  Can you not dig deep and for 2 second acknowledge that someone did a good job?  YOU GOT A SILVER MEDAL.  Wanna know what she looked like when she accepted the SILVER MEDAL?  This:

I dunno, is it just me, or is that a crappy way to look in front of the whole world after you WIN THE SILVER MEDAL?!  Seriously folks, I’m disgusted.  She later, probably after being coached, said that it wasn’t the silver medal she was upset with, she’s actually honored (hmmmm), it was her poor performance.

“It’s more of shock,” she said as she wiped away mascara. “I’m not disappointed about the silver. I’m disappointed about my performance.”

– USA Today Sports

I’m not saying she can’t be disappointed, certainly she didn’t achieve her goal of gold, but what I am saying is that we can have a little class and good sportsmanship.  She didn’t come in last or anything.


Which brings me to my second point.  The classiest guy in the Olympics so far that I have seen.  This guy:

Oscar Pistorius from South Africa.  Born with a congenital disorder he had to have both legs amputated at 11 months old.  He fought just to be able to run the 400-meters along “able-bodied” athletes.  Oscar fought hard enough that he made it to the semi-finals Sunday night.  He ran hard, it was not his best run, he came in last.

This guy came in last, and this is what he had to say:

“It just felt really magical,” he said. “If I could predict what it would feel like or imagine beyond my wildest dreams, this was probably 10 times that.

“To step out in front of a crowd this massive, it’s a mind-blowing experience. I’ve had support in the last couple of days like I have never felt before.”


Oscar did not get mad, did not pout, did not shun the winner, in fact, in a telling gesture he traded bibs with the winner–Kirani James of Grenada–and embraced him. That? is class and good sportsmanship.  He may not have expected to win a gold, but a medal was not outside the realm of possibility; had he run at his best time he might have advanced to the final and been a contender.  He had a bad race, that was all and he was a class act.

Bravo Oscar Pistorius.  Seriously, you’re a class act.

“My mother said to us one morning, ‘Carl (his brother), you put on your shoes. And Oscar, you put on your legs, and that’s the last I want to hear about it,’ ” he said at a news conference last week. “I didn’t grow up thinking I had a disability; I grew up thinking I had different shoes.”


Permanent link to this article: http://cimblog.cimmy.com/?p=1293

1 comment

  1. Afton

    Romania won?! Hooray for them!!

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