It's no secret I adore Ohno...and, altho he did touch the one guy...eh, maybe a gentle nudge...but the Canadian guy did the same and he medalled - Apolo should have as well. Or, at the very least, they both should have been disqualified.
But I digress.
Today (Saturday) my daughter also was in an Olympiad competition: the Alabama Science Olympiad. If you don't know what that is, no problem...I'll enlighten you.
Kids from various schools study their butts off to take tests and build contraptions on their "off time" and trudge on up to venues in the wee hours of the morning; this time at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and compete for gold, silver and bronze...and the added glory of having their school place 1st, 2nd or 3rd overall.
All in all, it's an epic event and any child who participates, regardless of whether they win a medal or not...should be very, very proud indeed.
Oh, did I mention that their teachers expend countless hours of their own time and so do coaches? And parents quizzing their kids and helping their kids in between homework and regular tests and quizzes? Well, that, too.
The determination and the stamina of these kids really should be applauded. I went to the sprawling campus and watched as children (mostly of the high school variety) ran clear across campus in order to make it to the next event. Cell phones were employed to shuttle alternates to buildings which housed competitions which shut their doors to competitors who showed up after the designated hour. Scurrying around to get the proper paperwork (you can't get in to participate without your form) from students who were still shut in - in a prior event...because it was running late...knowing they were, in essence, forfeiting their own chance of medalling...all in the aspiration of teamwork and the overall good of their school.
No one wants to go home empty-handed...but everyone can't win. Even with 20-plus events, and three medals each...there's many more participants than places on the podium.
And I have to think back to the "real" Olympics. There are literally dozens upon dozens...I have no clue how many...countries which participate...and most walk away...empty-handed; but that doesn't stop them. I don't think I've seen anyone from Syria ever win anything (not saying they haven't)...or Vietnam...or Portugal. The top medal count always seems to have USA and Russia in it...but then again, they send like 200 athletes each - poor little Trinidad & Tobago probably have three.
Just like at the competition today...some schools had dozens and some had a couple...but that didn't deter their spirit. The cheers were just as loud...the glory just as great...and the defeat just as heart-breaking - and the perseverance just as prevalent.
And, no, in case you were wondering...my daughter didn't medal in her two events (she has, in the past, walked away with at least one in all the previous years she'd competed) - but I'm just as proud of her.
Sure, I would have been beaming from ear-to-ear had she whooped Montgomery's LAMP School Team 1 and Team 2 (geez...those kids were awesome...seriously awesome) - but, you know what...she shone, in my eyes, just as bright as any gold medal would have.
All the students did.
Apolo's got nothing on these kids. Ohno...yep...I said it. ;)