from Oh, That’s Tiana
As a professional track and field athlete, of COURSE it is my duty to watch the 2015 IAAF World Championships transpiring in Beijing (while crying on the inside that I’m not there and eating a tub of ice cream in my mind). Of COURSE it is my duty to watch and evaluate my competition, other fierce female hurdlers (which might I add showed up and showed OUT at the World Championship!). And of COURSEEEE, it is only right that I comment on the games upon its conclusion.
I thought for sure that this year the American team had this particular event (the 100m hurdles) sewn up. Everyone else did as well, predicting a sweep for the first time in this particular event by Americans. As luck would have it, a string of unfortunate events knocked out two of our hurdlers in the semifinals (in the same heat ironically enough), and only one of our woman even came close to medal contingency, former World Champion Brianna Rollins.
I was shocked in the turn of events for Team USA. Not just in the hurdles, but in many of the events that we were supposed to be a clear cut winner in, like the 4×400. I learned a slew of invaluable lessons from watching these championships, including:
- It is not how you handle your successes in life, but more importantly, your failures. I have indeed reached a new level of respect for Miss Dawn Harper-Nelson after watching her post-race interview. She fell coming off of the second hurdle (down goes Frazier), and just like that, there went her dreams and contention for a medal. In the interview, did she talk about how hard she’s worked and how unfair and unfortunate it is that she fell? Don’t be silly, of course she did. I would question her sanity if she didn’t. But she also did something else; she was able to smile and joke through her agony and show great sportsmanship and her clear undoubted love for her event. I can only hope that I handle such a travesty with the same humility and passion and spirit when and if it happens to me next season. Dawn taught me that even in the most dire of situations, it is okay to acknowledge your mistakes, but also, to not let them consume you. Have your pity party in your woe-is-me Olympics (thanks for that term Professor Cellini), then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry on. She also shows you what it means to be a true Professional Athlete who loves her job. Right on, Dawn.
2. America may not be the dominant force that it so often is going into this next Olympics in 2016. Let’s face it, the Americans and Jamaicans have been in a long tug-o-war struggle of who is the best in the world of Track and Field for ages. And usually America has claimed that top spot (if we are looking from a medal count vantage point). But lately, at least in the track and field arena, other countries are now also stepping up to the plate and wanting a piece of the pie that is the ever-elusive gold, silver, and bronze medals. Jamaica answered their rivals by unequivocally shutting them DOWN (and by them, I mean mostly U.S., all pun intended). I quite frankly am fiercely interested in next season and seeing how my competitors (including my fellow American counterparts) answer the call when it is time to deliver.
3. Allyson Felix really is just a freak of nature. A wonderfully, at times enviously perfect, unstoppable specimen. How can you pretty much win a gold medal at 90% of the races you run in, INCLUDING the 400, and that’s not even your main event?! Haven’t you been running since you were like 16 Allyson?! I need to know who her nutritionist, massage therapist, physical therapist, athletic trainer, strength and conditioning coach, acupuncturist, manicurist, hair stylist, and coach are. Seriously.
4. Ashton Eaton is equally a freak of nature. And I love him for that. Truly. How do you break YOUR OWN world record?! Unbelievably amazing.
5. Usain Bolt might actually be in trouble next year. Justin Gatlin only lost by one-hundreth of a second, and in my opinion, it was because he leaned a bit too soon. I know this devastating loss will only add more fuel to his ever-burning fire to be the best in the world. He may not be able to catch Bolt in the 200 (I mean the guy frickin’ jogged the race and still blew the field away), but I think he will be a serious contender for the Gold medal come next August in the 100 meters. As long as Bolt doesn’t get plowed (oops) by anymore camera men lol. Justin, too, handled his loss very well, and that is one thing that I can say for many of the athletes in my sport. We show great respect for one another and unparalleled sportsmanship, with a few exceptions (such as this disrespectful German here). But more on that topic in a later piece.
6. Team USA has got some SERIOUS restructuring to do. Seriously. Who chose the women for the 4×100 and 4×400 teams?! How is it that some people that didn’t even make it out of the semifinals at USAs were on the team in the finals at Worlds, but the 100 meter U.S. champion Torie Bowie, Long Jump Gold Medalist Tiana Bartoletta, and other trackletes that EARNED their spot on the team somehow didn’t make the cut? And more importantly, how you gon’ let Allyson Felix make up the stagger to put you in the lead with a blistering 47.7 split and then let Jamaica dominate you in the last 10 meters Francis McCorory?! I don’t care if you gave it your all YOU DID NOT EVEN MAKE IT OUT OF USAs EITHER. I was in shock. Disbelief. The 4×400 is Team USA’s baby. The men held it down. The women did not. I am extremely disappointed in the coaching staff, the agents, USATF, the USOC, damnit I’m disappointed in everybody. This CANNOT happen next year in Rio. If it does, Team USA is about to get a SERIOUS wakeup call letting us know that our reign of domination is over and Jamaica’s is just beginning (which I have no issues with. I love Jamaicans.) I hope that the USATF has a plan to not only help America get back on top, but to keep the infamous number 1 spot that we have had for decades.
All in all, it’s been a very exciting World Championships, and I cannot WAIT to share the stage with these amazing athletes next season, starting with the 2016 USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships in Portland, Oregon.
It’s time to put my money where my spikes are and make my first World Team.
‘Til next time my bloggers, bloggettes, and trackletes!