Olympic Triathlete Finishes Last Place
One of our Canadian Olympic athletes really impressed me during these London Olympics. Paula Findlay, one of our Canadian triathletes, was a top contender after winning World Cups and a medal hopeful for Canada. However, a hip injury during her training prevented her from performing at her best at the Olympics.
During the games, she was not able to perform at her potential as her legs were giving out on her and was about to pull out of her race. This of course is a real letdown for both the athlete as well as her many supporters.
However, she decided that she would at least push on to finish the race since she would feel even worse if she didn’t. Continuing in pain and upset that these Olympic games will not turn out the way she and team Canada had hoped, Findlay crossed the finish line in dead last place knowing that the entire world was watching.
In tears and apologizing for her performance to everyone as she finally finished the course, she showed the world just how much pressure was put on her to win. Of course, Findlay did not have to apologize to anyone.
There is speculation that her former coaches totally mismanaged her training after her injury which resulted in her hip flaring up at the Olympics. This is a story which we won’t get into here.
Paula Findlay showed true character and heart when she decided that she would continue to finish the race knowing that as a contender, she will come in last place this time with everyone watching. But she knew that she just had to finish the course no matter what even if in total humiliation.
Inspired By True Character
I’m pretty sure that people watching were inspired by her true character and bravery as she hobbled to the finish line in pain as well as tears. Her example reminded me of Joanne Rochette from the last winter Olympics when she choose to continue skating even just days of her mother’s passing – see my article at the link.
This is why I just love the Olympic games so much. There are always real life stories of courage and character that come out from athletes who give everything they got at the games. Not all of these athletes will end up winning a medal either but their cases still inspire us.
Although I’ve been a winner at many karate tournaments (overview of my martial arts competition career), I’ve also placed last before but those were only in front of a small number of people compared to the world watching the Olympics. I know what it’s like to finish last.
In this case, we should all admire Paula Findlay for finishing the race like that even though she really didn’t have to, at least not from our point of view. I just hope that coaches will learn to not put so much pressure on athletes like Findlay to perform, especially after an injury.
To read more about Paula Findlay, see the article in the National Post.