It’s harrowing at times, watching athletes that have not won, talk about the event immediately afterwards in interview. I’ve seen them speechless, monosyllabic, apologising, and just grief struck.
The elation of the winner, we are used to seeing but this we don’t normally see. But the interesting part is not that losing, or missing a medal is distressing the athletes, it’s not that at all.
What really breaks them down, some of them despairing, knowing that the chance will not ever come again. – What really breaks them down, is when they think they didn’t do what they could have done. They didn’t do their best.
We all make mistakes in life. We say or do the wrong thing at the wrong time, but few of us are put in a position where our lives are set, after four years of preparation, by one mistake in a few seconds of an event.
It’s not the mistake, the misjudgement, it’s the timing, when they make it, that breaks their hearts.
Most of us deliver work at some point, and if it’s not quite right on the day, we can fix it. The Olympics athletes rarely get a second chance.
It’s hard on them. I hope their coaches, friends and supporters give them a break afterwards.