What To Do When You Miss Out On Gold.

Lessons from Rio Olympics.

Image: www.digiday.com

The official Rio Olympics website confirms that 2,102 was the total number of gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to athletes who competed in the Olympic Games. For the record, I didn’t get to experience the exhilarating feeling of winning the Olympic Gold; my country of birth only won Bronze in the Men’s Football category, whereas the top 10 athletes in Rio had 32 Gold medals shared between them. Only one country (The United States of America) had more gold medals than that count.

In fact, some of these top athletes at the just concluded Olympics seem to have had competition. The likes of Michael Phelps (US Swimmer), Ledecky Katie (US Swimmer), Simone Biles (US Gymnast), and veteran athlete Usain Bolt of Jamaica did not just win Gold. They won it over and over again until I started feeling that getting the gold medal in their respective categories was a sort of birth right. Are these guys even human?

Image: www.rio2016.com

At some point, I kept wondering whether other athletes did prepare (enough) to compete with them in Rio. It doesn’t seem so, right?

Now, talking about competing for Gold (and losing out), I once was in a competition (not the Olympics) where I thought I had a good chance of winning, but came out bruised. Painful? No. Very painful would be more appropriate. I felt a wide range of emotions at the time, but then the cloud of disgust eventually cleared out, and I learnt a few things I needed to do to bounce back as a champion. So I would like to share them here to help you move on from your ‘horrible’ miss, whatever that means to you.

Blame Yourself…a little.

Okay, so you were an athlete at the Olympics and the likes of Bolt and Phelps left you trailing in their wake. The least you feel like doing is blaming yourself for not putting in enough effort into winning. And you know what? I think it is okay to think there was something you could have done better to have had a better result. Take a little time to ask a few persons for their candid opinion on what you didn’t quite do right, and you are out on the right footing towards winning eventually.

Don’t Blame Phelps or the Weather

There is something about crying foul that just never sounds right. Crying foul feels good when you miss out on the Gold Medal, but all it does is make you look like a loser the more. While you may allow your fans make the noise, be the first to congratulate the winner or say nothing, except of course you have evidence of misconduct. If your aim is getting back on your feet to win Gold, just focus on WHAT you can do better, rather than how flawed you were or how unfair the weather was.

Take a cue from the Winner

If you must win gold, you must have a little extra oil in your jar. After all, there is nothing wrong with being creative in beating competition, so long it doesn’t break the law.

For instance, when Shaunne Miller of the Bahamas dived across the finish line in the 400m Women’s Final, United States’ Allyson Felix, who for one second thought she came in first, must have wondered what happened. Miller claimed it wasn’t intentional, and you have the right to believe her, but my gut feeling is that she literarily did what she had to do (all that was legally possible) to win. That’s one thing to learn from the winner and add up to what you already know. It always takes a little extra something to win Gold!

Start again, right away!

It is said that winners never quit (except when their ageing bones can no longer carry them back to the Olympics). So chances are that you have another opportunity to return to the drawing board and get better at competing for gold. Why not take it? Get a better coach if you have to; work on your weak points because you need to. But in the end, come back with the readiness to break your own records and go for gold while you still can.

There is nothing wrong with being creative in beating competition, so long it doesn’t break the law.

The bottom line is, I want you to win Gold, and it all starts with you getting past blaming yourself to learning what you need to know, doing what you have to do and getting back in the ring until you knock out every opposition there is. When all that is done and you get the Gold Medal, you may then send me 5% of your winning bonus to thank me for this piece. Would that be too much to ask?

Originally published on http://www.cerebrallemon.com/