It’s all the talk, and rightfully so: Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dove across the finish line to secure the Olympic gold medal in the women’s 400-meter finals. Of course, I have an opinion.
It’s the pageant/modeling equivalent of “accidentally” stepping on the girl’s train in front of you during the flood walk. While it won’t necessarily disqualify you from competition, I’d say it’s frowned upon.
After all, as an Olympian, haven’t you chosen to compete at the highest level to prove to yourself (and the rest of the world) that you truly are the best? Attempting to prove that fact by forcing an unfair advantage seems to negate the premise of being the most elite, all together.
Maybe I’m biased or judging too harshly; after training for years—maybe decades—perhaps even I might go to the greatest lengths possible to succeed. But I doubt it. As a leader and example for many, I was taught early on that my integrity is paramount. As a result, I follow through on commitments—no matter how small. However, I’ve been burned in life time and time again expecting others to do the same; maybe I’m the fool to think integrity is a universally important character trait…
Or perchance I’m being too hard on Miller, altogether. Competitors often go to extremes to win; while diving on a polyurethane track is way too risky for me to consider, it’s not against the rules. There’s a limited history of track competitors who have adopted diving across the finish line as a winning strategy (Joao Vitor de Oliveira). Maybe I’m just mad that the one time I dove face-first into a track (after tripping on a hurdle) it caused me to lose the race and walk away with sizable wounds on my arms and legs?
Ultimately, the IOC has spoken and Miller remains the gold medalist. My verdict? Felix, “you the real MVP!”
What are your thoughts?