Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Why a Silver Medal is Better Than a Gold

Ever since I was a little kid I have had a weird fascination with winning an Olympic Silver Medal.  It's not like I didn't dream of winning gold too, but silver always seemed more appealing to me.  I never gave it much thought until tonight when I was watching the men's Olympic 1500-meter final.  While seemingly beaten, Leo Manzano blazed down the home stretch, passing four runners in the final 50 meters, to take the silver.

I think the reason for my infatuation with silver is that sometimes, talent is just too much to overcome.  In the 2008 Olympics, it was almost a given that in any race he entered, Michael Phelps was going to win the gold.  The real race was for silver.  The favorite, in any event, has a huge advantage over their adversaries.  Compared to Phelps, the rest of the field was not only talent deficient, but I can't imagine the amount of intimidation they felt as they stood ready to jump in the pool to face the world record holder.  So as Phelp's breezed to another gold medal winning performance, it was the one's who could blot out the intimidation, ignore the critics, quell the pain in their lungs and transcend what they thought were their limits; it is Leo Manzano's of the world of the world who are my heroes.


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