Quit Crying About Your Silver Medal

10,500 athletes from 204 countries are participating in the Olympic games this year. There are 302 events in 26 sports. That means there will be 906 medal winners, give a few people for teams, etc., maybe 1,300 people total. In other words, about 12% of athletes competing will win medals. 8% will win silver or gold. 4% will win gold. (Yes, I realize the math is a little fuzzy since people can win multiple gold medals, or multiple medals, and this is not a rare occurrence (see Phelps, Raisman, etc.), so assume these numbers are extra friendly.

I am so sick and tired of watching people give their all to a race or a competition and then bitch about getting a silver medal. Do you realize you’re the second best competitor in your sport in the world and in the top 8% of people in any sport in the world? Seriously. SERIOUSLY. Stop whining.

Sure, it’s disappointing to work very hard and, if your goal is a gold medal, not to win that. I get it. You’re a competitor and you want to be the best. But don’t sulk. I’ve seen so many people sulking at this Olympic games that it blows my mind. I watched nearly every girl on the Russian gymnastics team crying through the entire competition because they weren’t in first place. I’ve seen runners crying at the finish line because they didn’t cross it first. I’ve seen Mckayla Maroney with her arms crossed on the podium because she didn’t win gold in her signature event.

But I’ve also seen men congratulating their competitors on high bar who blew their own performances out of the water to push them to second place. I’ve seen Jamaican countrymen embrace each other after winning gold and silver in the 100m dash, their smiles lighting up the entire stadium. And then I saw this:

And to all the athletes who stand on the podium with a silver medal and are disappointed, you could take a lot of lessons from this young woman. It’s okay to be disappointed that you didn’t win the gold, but don’t cry about it. You are on the medal stand. Think about how many people who trained just as hard as you and who may not possess your natural aptitude for your sport, or not to the degree you have it, and are sitting in 4th, 5th, or 10th place. If you gave it 100% and you’re in second place, that’s okay. That’s still pretty damn good. If you made a mistake and you’re still on the podium, that’s even more amazing. It means you’re so good that even on your off days, you’re number two in the world. And sure, it’s okay to wish that you had done something different, stuck a better landing, run a little more evenly, made your turn in the pool a little bit smoother, but that’s nothing to cry about. It’s called motivation.

NBC, you’re sucking up the Olympics like your primetime schedule.

There are lots of things I like about NBC. Brian Williams is awesome. Richard Engel is super badass. They hired Howard freaking Stern as a judge on America’s Got Talent. Bob Costas pretty much got Jerry Sandusky to confess on the air. Those are pretty awesome things.

HOWEVER. They are sucking up their coverage of the Olympics.

  • Why did I never get to see ANY footage of American men or anyone else on the rings for the men’s gymnastics events?

    Apparently, this wasn’t worth showing.

  • Why did they completely cut Gabby Douglas’s and Aly Raisman’s routines on the balance beam (purportedly Raisman’s best event after the floor routine) in primetime coverage? Yet they showed the two Russians and the Chinese woman in their rotation…
  • Every single interview goes essentially thusly: How is it winning [insert level medal here]? How does that make you feel? To which everyone responds in some variation of “It’s overwhelming; I can’t put it into words.” And if I hear the Today show hosts ask one more kid if they slept with their medal under their pillow last night, I will strangle all of them, even though I kind of love Savannah Guthrie.
  • Only showing major events in primetime kind of sucks because it’s too easy to spoil it for yourself… *frowns at Twitter.*
  • NBC can’t even keep their own spoilers under control: see Missy Franklin’s first gold medal:
  • Moments before airing Missy Franklin’s tape-delayed Olympic victory in the 100-meter backstroke, NBC ran a promo for Tuesday’s edition of “Today” that said this:

They’re waiting for NBC to show the missing balance beam routines, too.

“When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with.”
The network had yet to show Franklin’s win when it ran the “Today” teaser that included this photograph of the teen sensation standing on the medal stand with the gold draped around her neck.

  • Local coverage of the Olympics is nonsense. It’s like a giant masturbation fest for local news sportscasters who are all running amuck in London. I feel awful for Londoners; I felt particularly awful when our local sportscaster thought it’d be hilarious to ask everyone in the vicinity of Big Ben what time it was in an effort to get them to look at the giant clock. That’s worth a fork in my eye.
  • NBC decided it made more sense to cut a tribute to the victims of London’s 2005 terrorist bombings. They showed a clip of Ryan Seacrest’s interview with ass kissing of Michael Phelps instead.
  • Ryan Seacrest. Enough said.

    NBC: sucking up the Olympics since 1964.