Sunday, January 15, 2012

US Olympic Team Trials

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you haven't heard the results of the Olympic Team Trials and you do not want to know then do NOT continue reading.

Yesterday were the US Olympic Team Trials in Houston.  I really wanted to go since it was so close, but it didn't work out for me.  So, I did the next best thing and DVRed the trials and watched it today.

I am in AWE!  These people are absolutely incredible athletes.  Of course I wanted Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher to be among the top three finishers, therefore advancing to the Olympic games, and I was NOT disappointed.

Shalane Flanagan earned the top spot, followed by Desiree Davila, with Kara Goucher rounding out the third spot.  It was amazing to see all three women come across the finish line with such emotion.  I think sometimes when we see elite athletes, such as these ladies, we almost forget they are human.  And why wouldn't we?  They are out there pushing beyond human limits maintaing a pace for 26.2 miles that I might have a hard time maintaining on a bicycle.  

However, today I remembered they are human, they do feel just as you or I would, as they crossed the finish line.  As Shalane crossed the mat I could read every emotion on her face.  Elation, relief, anguish, and accomplishment.

It was no different when Davila crossed or Goucher.

The hardest part for me was watching the 4th place finishers cross the line fighting back tears of defeat and frustration.  Imagine putting EVERYTHING you have into something and then missing it by seconds.  That was true for the men's 4th place finisher Dathan Ritzenhein who missed scoring a spot in the Olympic games by 8 seconds.  Furthermore, he was only 47 seconds off the top finisher Meb Keflezighi (Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively).

Maybe if you're not a runner (or even if you are) you don't want to watch the trails, but for me it's a reminder.  Despite being elite athletes, these are human beings out there tackling the huge feat of running 26.2 miles.  Sure they might do it faster (um a lot, lot faster) than I, but they still feel the physical pain and occasionally the emotional defeat.  They still have to push their bodies to what seems like the breaking point and they still just want a hug when it's all said and done.

Well done ladies and gentlemen, well done!  And hey, tanks for reminding me, we're really not that different after all.  Well, except for that whole you run a marathon in HALF the time it take me thing.


Jill Ellingson said...

It's so awesome to watch the elites! I always think the same thing...they run a marathon in the time I run a half. They run 2 miles in the time I run 1. Wow...amazing.

robringer said...

cool post susan, a nice deviation from the norm. good stuff.

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