Training for a lifetime, failing in a heartbeat


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Mikaela Shiffrin, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, fell on the first runs of her two events and was disqualified, exemplifying how failure is just another part of life.

Haley Meyer, Staff Writer

Imagine training in one sport your whole life, just to make it into the world’s biggest sports competition and lose. When we think of the Olympics, we only think of the sports that come with the bi-yearly competitions, but what we don’t think of is how the competitors feel when they win or, for most of the athletes to participate, lose. 

 Winning is something that can truly make you feel like you are on top of the world but what happens when you lose? Losing can make you feel like you found that perfect batch of strawberries but having that one patch of mold on it or it can make you feel like you’ve lost everything just because of a score or a result of something. Losing makes you wonder if all the effort was worth it.

American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who had been favored to win gold medals in her events at the Beijing Olympics, fell on her first runs of her two events and was disqualified. She later told reporters that “she questioned the last 15 years of her life.”

Sophomore softball player Raegan Vidad says she feels “defeated, but not stopped” when the team loses a game.

“I feel rewarded, but it also helps me to see what I can reflect on,” says Sophomore Tennis Player Kami Kurizaki

The Olympics are one of the biggest sporting events in the world and there is a lot of pressure from each of the competing nations. Depending on how well they do, these athletes face a range of reactions from their countrymen.

For some, the nation is extremely proud. For some, the nation is disappointed, even angry. One example from this Olympics involves skier Eileen Gu and figure skater Zhu Li. Both Eileen Gu and Zhu Li were born and raised in the USA but decided to compete for China in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Eileen Gu earned gold and silver in Women’s Freestyle skiing events. Zhu Li, on the other hand, fell down during the women’s short and long programs, and because of this, she received a lot of backlash on Chinese social media.

Although having a whole nation being disappointed in you is bad, being disappointed in yourself is worse. Imagine you’ve trained your entire life for this moment and after you finally have the opportunity to show the world your accomplishments, you fail. This happens to Olympic athletes all the time but they always come back stronger and ready to compete even better than last time. Although failing is disappointing, it’s part of life. It helps people to see where they need to get better and how to become a better version of themselves (or in some cases a better version of a team.) 

Losing is something that happens to everyone at least once in their lifetime, and everyone knows the bitter feeling that comes along with it. Losing after working so hard isn’t something that’s easy to work past, but with the right attitude, it can be less painful. Looking at a loss not as a failure but as a learning opportunity is a good start. If we learn to be better, faster, and smarter at what we do, we will eventually find that satisfying “win.” It might not be a medal, but it will be something we can point to with pride.