Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What does this mean...

What does this mean for American distance running? Every time an American has success in an important race that is seemingly always the first question asked. Personally I am sick of this saying and get annoyed every time that I hear Dwight Stone fire it off. Lets face some pretty amazing facts. We are in fact as Americans one of the strongest distance running nations in the world. Every year our international teams perform better and our athletes run faster and place higher. With the success of our women middle runners last year, and the fantastic accomplishments we had in the 5000-meters I think it is time to put this question to bed for good.

For one reason or another so many distance runners seem to have this entitlement complex that makes us think that we are so important and pure. That somehow the simplicity of our pursuit makes us better than our counterparts in other sports. Just where and when this complex was formed is a mystery but it is absolutely mind numbing if you are around it enough.

What really brought this issue to a head for me was our nations nordic combined teams success at the Olympics. Nordic skiing and the combined event have been around since the eighteenth century and are a true test of fearlessness and endurance. Our team has clearly lived and trained in obscurity knowing that one day they would have the chance to medal at an Olympics. These brothers in arms have been launching themselves off remote ski jumps and putting in countless hours of training to hone their strength and form. When Johnny Spillane made his mad dash for home from over a k out he was living in the moment while simultaneously living his dream. Thankfully for all of us the first question he was asked post race was not what his performance meant for American nordic combined athletes.


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