Thursday, August 9, 2012

Allyson Felix, Lashinda Demus, and Ricky Bobby

Last night I had the opportunity to watch someone win and watch some "lose." The gal who won, Allyson Felix, had been a "loser" the last two Olympics. Now that is accurate you want to define "loser" in a traditional Ricky Bobby "If you ain't first, you're last," sort of way.

Lashinda Demus the 400 meter hurdler, lost just a bit before Felix won. She got the silver. If you had seen the look on her face-which maybe you did since a number of people actually watch the Olympics-you probably thought someone had just kidnapped her cat or something. As though she had stumbled on a hurdle while in the lead as Lolo Jones 4 did years ago in Bejing.

Maybe she listened to her inner Ricky Bobby?

Silver on the highest stage possible with her husband and boys cheering her on is not too bad of a gig. She belied a tiny bit of thankfulness in the post race interview, but vowed to keep vying for the gold. Only gold would seal her "legacy." Although I would have preferred she use more accurate terms like "personal worth," or "reason for living," because I think her kids are probably OK with a silver legacy. They probably just love their Mommy for who she is and want to spend time with her. But maybe I'm reading too much into her twin 4 or 5 year old boys.

The interview was quite sad. But I didn't feel sad for her loss, just sad for her. Sad for the idol she had put her hopes in: behind the gold was a real search for significance.

Allyson Felix didn't "lose." She got gold after 4 years of intense training with a somewhat unlikeable at times coach Bobby Kersee (husband of Jackie Joyner Kersee). She wanted that gold bad. She might have tried-and might still try-to get that gold in Rio. But from what it appears, I think the interview might have gone in a different direction.

I've always pulled for Felix. Now I know why. She grew up a preacher's kid and her father is now a professor at The Masters Seminary. Check out this great article about her. Here's but a snippet.

My faith is definitely the most important aspect of my life. My dad is a pastor and I grew up in a very strong Christian home. Our family was very involved in our church. I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal savior at a very young age. Ever since then, I have continually been striving to grow in my relationship with God.

She plans to be a school teacher some day. I can imagine the kids not in her class will be quite jealous of the lucky ones some day!

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