WHILE the hard work and discipline of our athletes in the lead-up to and during the Olympics is something to be admired, I am uncomfortable with the “win-at-all-costs” mentality reflected in much of the public and media reaction to results so far.
Anything less than a gold medal-winning performance is often portrayed as an inexcusable failure, but athletes are humans, not robots, and as such are susceptible to the pressure of performing on the biggest of stages and at an exact given moment.
The personal disappointment must be immense and a rampant and demanding public and media that settle for nothing less than ruthlessly perfect performances would only exacerbate this.
There is a burden that this unrealistic standard places upon our young athletes at all levels of competition.
It’s not always about winning – trying one’s best and playing in the right spirit are just as important.