Friday, February 26, 2010

When coming in third is better than second

It would hardly be the first time I thought about this, but watching the medals get awarded for Women's Hockey, it struck me again.

Watching the American team last night, they were (with one notable exception) subdued to glum about winning a silver medal.

It's a SILVER medal in the Olympics.  I'd give my left kidney to have a reasonable shot at winning one for myself.  But, no... a few of those ladies were downright despondent.  Watching the medals be put around their necks and seeing their lips say "thank-you" while their eyes said "whatever" had me thinking that it's really unfortunate that the sheer numbers of olympians on the ice make putting off the medal ceremony to the official vicotry ceremony prohibitive.  Just a few hours of separation from the game would allow the silver winning team a bit of perspective.

Consistently at these ceremonies you have two teams who have won in order to get their medal, and one that has lost and lost only minutes earlier.  As a result, Silver is a losers medal.

The Finnish team were downright giddy getting their bronze.  The Canadians were also delighted - though considering some of them were getting their third gold medal in a row you can hardly blame the veterans a certain level of complacency.  The juxtaposition undermines the triumph of the moment.

It seems to me that if there were a day or even just a few hours between the game and the medal ceremony that the silver medalists would have time to re-frame their immediate loss as the overall win that it is.

For now I'm crossing my fingers that each of the Canadian Curling teams & the Men's Hockey team don't have to deal with the disappointment of winning the loser medal, and if they do that they see it as a victory.

No comments: