STARFISH at the Sochi Olympics!

It’s not always about winning and summer to summer we teach that as a part of the Timber Lake West STARFISH program. When an Olympic athletes’ character shines through their desire to win a medal, we all learn something.  There were some truly remarkable examples of good sportsmanship at the Sochi Olympics.

  • Gilmore Junio (left) gave up his spot in Sochi to Denny Morrison (right), a three-time Olympian who did not qualify in his 1,000-meter speed-skating event during the trials in Calgary last month. “How Denny is skating now, I believe it’s in the best interest of the team if he races,” Junio said. “To represent Canada at the Olympics is a huge honour and privilege but I believe that as Canadians, we’re not just here to compete; we are here to win. Denny has proven to be a consistent medal threat in the distance.” Denny Morrison went on to win the silver.
  • Russian athlete Anton Gafarov crashed during his run, breaking his left ski. After stumbling to finish the course, Canadian cross-country coach Justin Wadsworth ran onto the slope and replaced the broken ski. “I wanted him to have dignity as he crossed the finish line,” said Wadsworth.

We thought Shaun White not medaling in Sochi says more about winning than the stories of every gold medalist combined. Although, Shaun White was the favorite to take home the gold, he did not win and in fact did not medal. He placed fourth. There are some important lessons that one can take away from his placing off of the medal stand.

  • You don’t always win. In our culture often everybody is a winner and trophies and ribbons are given simply for participating, it can be a tough realization that you do not always win.
  • Being a good sport is important. If you watched Shaun White’s last run, it did not go well. In the post-run interview, one of the first things he said was “I am happy for the guys who did well” He was gracious; he was sincere and it sounded real. It was not this is what I should say, because the cameras are on.
  • Everyone has a bad day now and then. This is an important lesson. Sometime it is just not your day. Everyone has a bad day now and then. The message is that one bad day does not mean you are not good at something. It teaches us not to give up.

Defeat is not easy to accept and having friends who support you no matter what, makes it much easier to accept. This is what the first ‘S’ in STARFISH is all about and why we think the STARFISH Program is so important.