Davies, Purchase and Hunter

In Summer 2008, I was twelve and I really didn’t care about the Olympics. I didn’t care at all, until I saw these pictures of David Davies in the newspaper. The long distance swimmer had been in Gold medal position for nearly two hours before drifting off course and finishing second. He had to be lifted from the water, and then missed his own medal ceremony to be immediately treated for extreme exhaustion.

I don’t know why I still have the newspaper clipping, but it just impressed me so much.

The Olympics has always had this aspect; the flipside of victory, and despite the anguish and dissapointment that the athletes, and, vicariously, the nation, experience, I really think that it is a truer representation of the Olympic spirit. I am learning that in order to succeed, you first need to want things. You need to want things more that you want to sleep, or buy clothes, or do any other things at all. Any position, medal or not, is deserved if you have worked hard enough, and wanted it enough, that you would swim to the point of exhaustion.

Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter won the silver medal in the men’s lightweight double sculls this week, and they were absolutely distraught to have missed out on the Gold. It really was heartbreaking and even the commentator John Inverdale was trying not to cry.

Anyhow, here are some pictures of Steve Redgrave lifting Zac and Mark out of the boat. This is a really depressing way to celebrate the Olympics, but I think it’s important.

full coverage here

It’s important to want things.