Sunday, February 23, 2014

Musings on the 2014 Olympics

The 2014 Winter Games are winding down.  No security breaches, thank goodness.  No serious accidents (How do those extreme athletes survive?).  Plenty of disappointments, most handled with grace.  Except for Hannah Kearney whose interview after winning a bronze medal instead of the gold she expected was an exercise in sour grapes.   

Home with a bronchial infection and no voice, I got to watch the games all day every day.  And I'm wondering what happens next to those young people who've spent thousands of hours, sacrificed young lives they'll never get back, and often watched their dreams buried in snow in thirty seconds.  Some of the gold medalists will become household names, rake in big money from endorsements, live off those golden moments for years.  But what about the others?  Does anyone remember the poor saps who "just" got bronze?  And what about the unknowns who labored for years for an ignominious sixth place?  Was it worth it?  What kind of post-Olympic careers are available for people who turn flips in the air over a half-pipe?  What would define success?  Is it all downhill (excuse the pun) from here?  You've hit your peak (sorry, another pun) at 23 and have little else to accomplish.  I wish someone would follow up on these athletes 20 years later and see what they've done with their lives.  What  do you think?

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