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The Olympic Spirit: Jason’s Smile

Joined: 2/28/2014
Posts: 1
Jason Brown and his coach of nearly fifteen years sat awaiting the score that would determine the Olympic bronze in the constantly high-strung men’s figure skating competition. Jason, always a captivating skater, had just completed his popular long program with about ninety percent of his usual moxie as the last skater in the final flight. Everyone, whether they were in the arena or at home, as I was, sat eagerly and nervously waiting for the monotone announcer to declare Jason’s score. Could a nineteen-year-old skater making his Olympic debut with no quadruple jump really medal? Turns out, to the dismay of the US skating fan base, no. He didn’t get the bronze, and his score was about thirty points below his season’s best, sending him into ninth place. If another skater had been sitting in his place, devastation would have taken him over. But it wasn’t another skater. It was Jason Brown. And in that moment, Jason Brown smiled the most extravagant smile one will ever see. Some people would blame it on his age, his naïve nature or even ignorance. However, they are painfully wrong. He smiled with Olympic spirit.
When the words “Olympic spirit” are spoken, most would think of the joy of the podium or the glory of a perfect performance. This may very well be a part of Olympic spirit; there is nothing wrong with winning and basking in it. The fact is that there are thousands of Olympians but only so many medals to hand out at the end of the day. Most athletes walk out with seemingly nothing.
Everyone needs to realize what so many of the athletes have already put together. If someone can recognize how wonderful it is that she has made it to the games, then she is a winner- medal or no medal. If an athlete can relish the fact that he is among the best in his sport then he has succeeded. There is no doubt in that.
Jason Brown said at his first international competition in October of 2013 that he could not just focus on skating perfectly. He had to be contemplative and look back as he skated. He had been dreaming of that moment for years, and for him not to feel and reflect on the time and effort that he put into skating would be a waste. The Olympic commentators latched onto this, saying that if that was his mentality at a generally unknown competition then the amplification of the Olympics must be exceedingly strong. It was. He did skate with his life on his mind. He did soak in the fact that he was at the Olympics. He wasn’t a robot counting points as he skated. He wasn’t skating for the medal. He was skating for the moment.
Doing it for the moment. Forgetting about the medal. Relishing in the intangible success. Smiling even with a fall to ninth place. That is the Olympic spirit.
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