LONDON Davidson student Caroline Queen didnt get very far in her Olympic competition, as she was eliminated in the first round of womens whitewater kayaking.
But you should still be proud of the way Queen finished her race.
On the next-to-last gate of her last run, Queen messed up. She missed the gate entirely. At that point, she was too far behind in time to advance to the next round, and she knew it.
But rather than coasting on to the finish, Queen struggled until she got her kayak turned around and headed upstream. As spectators cheered, she fought with the paddle until pushing herself up past the gate so she could come through it correctly.
Time-wise, it made no difference Queen didnt qualify. She was 17th out of 21 competitors. But to Queen, it made a big difference.
I didnt see Queen race since Duke diver Nick McCrory was winning a bronze medal at the same time, but I talked to her later on the phone and asked why she circled back to the gate.
A lot of people would have kept going because there was no way to salvage the run at that point, Queen said. But I went back at it and completed the rest of the course that was for my own mental purposes. Thats the way you should finish. For me, sports are a lot about heart. That was a heart moment.
• I dont like U.S. womens goalie Hope Solo blasting NBC soccer announcer Brandi Chastain on Twitter because she doesnt like what Chastain, a former star player herself, has been saying about the team.
Chastain is doing her job, and Solo should do hers, too be the best goalkeeper in the world and leave the announcing alone. It doesnt make either Solo or the U.S. womens team as a whole look good.
• Every Olympics I go to a few new events its literally impossible to see everything. Monday was the first time I had seen synchronized diving in person, and I had to hand it to the event organizers.
Some Olympic events take six hours. Some take a couple of days to get through preliminaries, semifinals and then a final (a lot of swimming events are like that).
This took a single hour. Only the top eight teams in the world qualified, so there was no need for preliminaries. Perfect.