22 February 2018

Success at Our Fingertips: We Need to Give Purpose to More Than Just Medals

Jeffrey jr. and coach, 1998
As the girls Team Pursuit Speedskating took advantage of their 4th lady and succeeded, so could the men have used a 4th man in preparation and potentially in the races to have succeeded as well. The event has been for the US, an historically miscalculated race, resulting in more strategic failures than athlete failures. Just saying...

Luck is where opportunity and preparation meet. Was the men’s team fully prepared? The team was more than capable but a full team may have made the difference. Play the odds here...to be able to select from 4 for a team of 3 or to select from 3 (with no options). Enough said.

Before you say I’m belaboring the point, mark my words...as they have always  taken a 4th man in the past, this being the first time they did not, they will now ALWAYS take a prepared 4th man in the future. It WILL happen.

And then the entire mentality of medals being the driving force of the USOC in the future...that will change as the pundits are already saying. There is an unusual precedent recognized from the past 3 Olympics. It is a precedent not only talked about in the press, but amongst the athletes that the fall-off of medals is a direct consequence of the lack of attention and resources (by the USOC and the sport organizations) to the athletes just under the medal spots. Ask those who just missed the medals and beyond. They arguably are as good as gold. It was just the day...as are those further down.

If they are given the attention given the “top” athletes, more athletes can be that top athlete–self fulfilling prophecy. It needs to be recognized when you are getting closer to the top, it’s a matter of being able to stay in the game to develop...that is the game changer. To increase the odds, you need to have the numbers from which to choose. Enough of the elitism and the belief that fewer spots will make the athletes work that much harder. The mentality is not working. 

Stop banging the head expecting a different outcome. The athletes are there. They just aren’t treated as such. And it starts at the top the USOC.

- Nancy Sr.

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