As the world of sports often shows us - some rules, judges, officials etc., are just wrong. They make things completely unfair for a team or a person. Jordyn Wieber - a gymnast for the United States received the worst of this reality on Monday. While her score would have qualified her to compete for individual medals - the rule stated that only two from each country would have the opportunity. Now, I know she understands this is the rule. And she didn't come up with enough points to be her top to teammates. But only just barely. And she ranked third out of every other gymnast in the world. How can the third best gymnast in the world not be allowed to compete? Every one who commented on it on t.v., blogs or social networks, in the newspaper, everyone who knows something about the sport of gymnastics says it is a bad rule. A horrible rule. But thus it stands. Utterly and devastatingly unfair.
While I wish that after all the hoopla about it the Olympic Committee would say, "Oh your right. Bad rule. We will change it right now", I know that isn't going to happen. My point really centers around what Jordyn Wieber chose to do last night. Last night was the team finals and she had two choices: give her all for her team or pout, sulk, and remain upset about how unfair her situation had become. The first, would help her team win - including the two girls who beat her out for a spot in the individual competitions. The second, is what I would have trouble overcoming. Given the depth of the sadness it was obvious she was feeling, I can see where it would have been almost impossible to come out and give your best. She could have chosen to falter. To let her emotions get to her and not even be able to perform at a high level. Yet, from the very beginning of team competition, this young girl did just the opposite - she gave everything she had to be the best she could be. She excelled, she performed in such a way that inspired me - and I believe her teammates.
What a reaction. I pray that when I face things that are unfair - and they happen to us all the time - that I will have the grace and the courage and even the smile Jordyn showed. Most of the time you can't change what is unfair. It just is. So instead, we need to go out and make the best of what we have left. Give it our all. Do our very best at whatever lies ahead of us. Be happy with what we have instead of focusing on what we don't, or can't have. Forgive those people who wronged us or those who get what we think we deserve. And then work as hard as we can to shine through the circumstances.
She may not win an individual gold medal but in my mind she won a battle we so often face, with dignity and a beautiful smile.