Olympic Sized Results v. Small Time Expectations

If you didn’t see the USA men win the 4X100 freestyle relay last night, you’ve got to watch the clip.  It was absolutely amazing.  Just what you want to see from the Olympics!   Click here to see the video.

Seconds before Jason Lezak catches the lead, I started YELLING but not for the team.  I was yelling for Rowdy Gaines (the gold medal Olympic swimmer “expert commentator”) to SHUT UP!   He almost managed to ruin the race for me.   Literally 3 seconds before Lezak breaks, Rowdy says the US is swimming for silver at this point!   Less that 20 seconds later and the USA has won it and Rowdy is screaming like it’s an unexpected Christmas!

I guess he forgot that he spent a good bit of the entire set up before the race talking about how it’s not going to happen . . . each swimmer has to swim the perfect race, etc.  Evan as Lezak dives into the pool for the final leg of the race Rowdy said “I just don’t think he can do it.”  WOW.  Actually, I think he said that twice as the guy is swimming his heart out!

As an Olympic swimmer himself, you would think he would know a little something about hope and faith and expectation!  The reason we watch these games is to see the little guy beat the big guy and this race wasn’t anywhere near that!   This was #2 USA trying to beat trash talking #1 France.  I think there was reasonable expectation that there could be an upset.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt that he’s not just a monumentally unhappy person,  possibly he felt he was obligated to manage our expctations?  You know, didn’t want the US viewers to get our hopes up. 

Maybe it’s just me but I’m watching the Olympics to get my hopes up!  I’m expecting olympic sized results!  Why do we spend all that money and some of these kids childhoods, if we don’t expect them to BRING IT?! I want them to do something memorable that will last them their whole lives – even if it’s not getting a gold.

All of those competitors have put as much on the line as they are capable of giving.  Every country doesn’t have access to the same resources so it’s not an even playing field for sure but shouldn’t we be rooting for all of them to do amazing things?  Why expect failure? Why expect 2nd?  I don’t get it! 

For the entire race at least 3 or 4 teams were swimming ahead of World Record time . . .  why did it continue to seem such an unlikely outcome to HIM – the expert?    5 teams in that race finished ahead of the previous World Record time which was set the night before by the US team! 

A few minutes after the race Rowdy says “I just cannot believe he did that” of Lezak’s 46:03 sec split time.  Now that, I can believe. 

I suppose there is a lesson there. . .  if we get so entrenched in our negative view point, we can’t see the possible even as it’s happening right in front of our eyes!

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