Despite what I’ve been posting here, there is more to the Olympics than guy candy, Speedos, & bulges. For me, the most enjoyable part of the whole thing is when good sportsmanship is in evidence. These are athletes who have devoted their whole lives to being the best that they can be – and they all seem to understand that the other athletes have done the same thing. There is a competitive camaraderie that’s tangible, and though they each want to win the gold, for the most part they are not sore losers if they don’t. This is the sort of thing missing from the professional organized sports I usually hear about in this country – football, baseball, & basketball – to say nothing of the parents of Pee Wee baseball kids.
I am continuously moved to see people from different countries coming together, embracing at their triumphs and setbacks, but through it all united as one body of supremely-talented athletes. Apart from the thrilling spectacle of a perfect routine or game, it is the picture of two athletes supporting each other in their success, no matter the outcome. Yes, there are probably just as many icy stares and non-hugs when you’re at that level and the dreams of a medal don’t pan out, but Mr. Mikulak was a gracious reminder of the very best of these Olympic games. It’s not just about talent, it’s also about attitude. On that night he may not have won a medal, but his heart was pure gold.