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August 08, 2012



Well written and good points raised here - first piece I've seen that directs criticism at Ms. Maroney and yet tempers it with wisdom.

Ms. Maroney is only 16, but, at 16, she has already been on the world stage multiple times. The blame for her lack of grace in her moment of "defeat" lies squarely with the lessons she's learned from her coaches, her parents, her teammates, and the commentators - she went into that competition with voices in her ears saying she was a "lock," that she was going to "blow away the field," that "no one in the world could even come closer" to her. Did anyone in that cacophany of voices even remotely suggest to her that, in all things competitive, you must ALWAYS prepare yourself that something could go wrong, or that someone else might be better that day?

Michelle Kwan was the picture epitome of grace when she, the gold medal favorite at her first Olympics, "lost" it to a 14-year-old upstart named Tara Lipinski. She said publicly many times that she "didn't lose the gold, [she] won the silver."

The definition of a "great" athlete has been said to mean an athlete who "changes the face of his or her sport." In spite of never having won an Olympic gold, Ms. Kwan did just that. That is the "greatness" to which Ms. Maroney should aspire - not the color of the medal, but the color of her character.

Ron in Alexandria

Righto L.C., righto. She robbed only herself when she failed to absorb and appreciate her accomplishment as a silver medalist by her curious bad choice of being exasperated with her "failure" to receive the gold medal. It was an extraordinary case of self-diminishment on a world-wide stage. I hope she learns from this experience and grows from it, because regret is a potent toxin.

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