If you’ve been following the Olympics I’m sure you’ve noticed that winning silver (or worse yet, bronze!) sounds like the worse thing that can happen to you. And yet, if you get a silver medal, you are the second best athlete at whatever your expertise is. In some disciplines being second might mean you are only an eight of a second slower than the first guy. Not bad, don’t you think?
But by the way the media and the coaches handle the situation it would have all of us believe that winning a silver medal at the Olympic games is worthless. Excuse me? If you make it to the Olympics I’d take my hat off to you! Granted, we all wished we could be the best at what we do and aiming for number one is a fabulous goal. But number two in the world is not that terrible either.
When I shared my concerns with a close friend of mine, she said: “In America, we don’t focus on winning silver, just in loosing gold”. But this emphasis in not “loosing gold” leaves a lot of hard working athletes out in the cold. It leaves them with a complete lack of recognition for their efforts, their enormous concentration, the lengthy preparation they endure, and the loss of a big chunk of their childhood during the pursuit of gold.
I believe both in sports and in life in general we should recognize the winners and also the people who put a big effort into what they do but who don’t finish first. Because it is about the gold, but it’s also about the competition and what you learn about yourself and others in your journey there.