About the lack of sportsmanship…
These past few days, there has been a lot of talk about sportsmanship and the proper way to act even when things don’t go your way.
Mckayla Maroney was considered a lock for the Olympic gold on vault. She fell and ended up with silver. She was obviously disappointed at her performance and wasn’t able to hide it afterwards when the results were shown, or at the podium.
Many people were quick to start accusing her of bad sportsmanship and I am not here to judge her actions or to say what is right or wrong. I would just like to remind everyone about the fact that these girls (and now I am talking about any gymnast who might have not behaved the “correct way”), who are so young, just might be overwhelmed with all the emotions that go through their minds after not being able to accomplish what they have trained so hard for.
And it is not like they have the time to 1) get the bad news; 2) be disappointed; 3) recompose themselves 4) act well in front of a billion cameras. Everything happens in one moment and sometimes they don’t yet have the maturity to deal with all that.
I am not saying that I think making faces or crying and ignoring everyone else is the best way to handle things. Personally, I don’t like to see any hint of bad attitude on competition, no matter what the excuse is. I do admire very much any athlete who can overcome disappointment and be positive with everyone, showing appreciation for just having the opportunity of competing. I think it shows a lot of class and respect for the others.
I also think that maybe these teenagers are simply not aware of how their actions might come across. They don’t mean to be disrespectful or rude and with time and experience, they just might learn how to handle things better. The thing is, even if I see a gymnast acting in a way I don’t necessarily like, it is not up to me to judge her entire character and say whether she is good person or not.