I’m going to tell you about two Olympic women I admire and it’s for reasons most won’t accept. The two women I’m talking about are Hannah Kearney and McKayla Maroney. The reason I admire each of them is they both know, “Second place is the first loser!”
Here’s how Wikipedia describes Hannah Kearney: Hannah Kearney is an American mogul skier who won a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. This blog post was triggered from an interview I just viewed of Hannah with legendary broadcaster Al Michaels. More on that to come.
McKayla Maroney: She was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was the 2012 Olympic vault silver medalist. She defended her World title and won the gold medal on vault at the 2013 World Championships, becoming the first US female gymnast to defend a World Championships Vault title. Maroney is also known for her “not impressed” face, which became an internet meme during the 2012 Olympics
This image should sum up the “not impressed” response with her silver medal in the 2012 vault. Maroney was the odds on favorite to win Gold in 2012, but faltered in her last vault yielding the gold medal to another competitor. She was NOT happy about it and I LOVE IT! She was the best and expected to win. When she didn’t her competitive side got the best of her emotions.
Each of these two women competed at the highest level and delivered what they believed was not their best effort during competition. For this reason they were unsatisfied in their medal efforts. Many will dream of competing in the Olympics, much less medaling in an event. Even so, Hannah andMcKayla remain unsatisfied.
I mentioned the interview with Hannah and Al Michaels prompting this post. Al asked Hannah if she had time to let the bronze finish settle in over the last 18 hours and if she now appreciated the medal finish. She did the right thing and said she was happy to win the medal for her country.
The best part, she was still angry and I LOVE IT! Her body language and feelings of discontent were palpable. She’s a competitor at the highest level and was still furious with her lackluster effort. She excepted nothing less than 1st place and a 2nd gold medal in Sochi.
Others will tell you these women got what they deserved with their effort and they’re probably right. It doesn’t mean however they were going to settle for 2nd or 3rd place. Their fire burns too hot to settle for anything but first place and that’s why I admire each of them. Winning is the only option in their minds.
I stated in my bio about my obsession with winning and the acceptance for nothing else. Most “normal” people will tell you to relax or to let it go. Accept your outcome and be thankful for 2nd or 3rd place. What these people will never understand is we can’t. Even if we could, we would rather finish in dead last.
ACTION ITEM: Don’t be afraid to compete and not to accept 2nd place. Keep your fire burning hot and continue to get better. It makes the feeling of winning all the better!