That is what they are. It is a test of one’s physical and mental strength. The lifter that jumps 16kg to break a record but fails, the tennis player that doubles over and expresses concern of death from heat exhaustion the triathlete that wins gold, pukes and is rolled out in wheelchair, the champion bike rider leading the race who falls in first lap but still finishes the race, not to win but to participate and ultimately to the gymnast that realizes tonight is not the night for me, I pass. All these are exhibitions of strength. Strength in the face of adversity. Strength and courage.
The games are tough. The individuals that engage do it for the love . The ones that engage to a point of desire to represent one’s country to the point of desiring to be recognized as the best in the world to tackle records and surmount them - It is a huge desire and with it comes untold unimaginable pressure.
But the pressure is inherent- nothing will change that.
Either it is internal pressures or it is the inability to deal with external pressures, social media has magnified this vilified and distorted worse that a funhouse mirror.
People are outraged because the expected winners are not winning?? That is the soul of the Olympics. The underdog. The triathlete from Bermuda , no team no coach wins gold first time. The introduction of new sports and seeing the home
Country dominate. The veteran volley baller making a 4th time look as easy as the first. That is the games. One thing we get to see this games is the athlete bare exposed, the fans are not there to jeer cheer cajole support argue uplift and more importantly provide distraction. The silence is deafening as the cicada lull in the heat. Oh don’t forget the heat. Same tennis player dying from it made a gesture inferring that him being subjected to it was because of the greedy. I do have to shake my head at that one. I might be wrong but I feel Japan and Tokyo are trying to do their best. And I think it is admirable and credit should be given.
The training is arduous and the rewards fleeting. There is a desire how ever it manifests and how ever it is fed.
I appreciate this but I don’t appreciate when a multi-medaled swimmer says that in his career no one ever turned to him and asked if he was ok…
He says he can recognize that an athlete was struggling- so what. we all could but the most important part of this is so could the athlete and in her professional wisdom she evaluated her situation and knew her team would do better without her, that courage and depth of self understanding is profound.