Take this Nick Skelton cad from Britain, who at the tender show-jumping age of 54 missed out on medals Wednesday because his stallion Big Star finally missed a fence after being flawless for six rounds.
“He hasn’t touched a jump all week, and that was the worst time to hit one,” Skelton told the BBC Wednesday. “. . . He was unlucky. It wasn’t meant to be.”
Maybe Big Star got wise to the idea that Nick gets the gold and stallions gets stiffed — along with Ann Romney’s Rafalca and every other horse in the competition.
Giving medals to the riders instead of the horses is like giving medals to the ribbons instead of the rhythmic gymnasts.
We in the American media are trying to do our part to tear down the popular people and hoist up the nobodies.
Every day, for instance, the U.S. media gets around a table and draws straws, asking, “Who will make Lolo Jones cry today with their mean-spirited prose?” Every day my colleague Jere Longman of the New York Times somehow wins. Lolo cries, feels bad about her Olympic experience and we all get to sleep better.
We should also salute the Olympians who didn’t make it: those forlorn Frisbee golf players, lawn-dart throwers and bocce specialists left on the outside looking in while beach volleyball, badminton specialists and little ingrates on BMX bikes get to pretend to be Olympians.
Memo to women’s beach volleyball exec. committee: If both your three-peat gold medalists have been around long enough to carry both their maiden and married names, it’s probably not a legitimate competition.
Cameroon’s missing athletes also deserve more praise. Team officials are concerned they have defected and will claim asylum, which is serious business. But let’s not overlook the wonderful example they are setting. Did you notice five of the seven who disappeared from the Olympic Village the other day were boxers? Perhaps someone should keep an eye on the U.S. men boxers, who failed to medal for the first time at an Olympics.
I’d like to also take a minute to address the countries that haven’t yet medaled, which represent more than half of the Olympic teams. You tried your best. You held firm the beliefs of Baron de Coubertin , the Game’s modern founder, who believed not in winning but giving it your all.
You are still losers. Win something or get lost. These are Visa, Coca-Cola and Phil Knight’s Olympics, baby, where the motto is, “You don’t win silver; you lose gold.”
Or if you’re Argentina, you just take bronze and share that one measly medal with 40 million cattle farmers.
For previous Mike Wise columns, visit washingtonpost.com/wise.