Like many people in this world, I am interested in track and field events once every four years.
And today I was watching the finals of the 10,000 meters…
…and everyone was caught up in the excitement of the moment because a British runner finished first…
…and an American took silver, just the third Yankee to take a medal in the event in… I forget how long. A really long time.
But for me, as an average overweight person watching, the story wasn’t about Farah or Galen Rupp (the American). It was about the guys they were lapping like they were standing still in the last 400 meters. I’m talking about Mykola Labovskyy.
Labovskyy finished 26th in the 10,000 meters in London, with the slowest time recorded by a competitor who finished the race, finishing ahead of only three men who got DNFs (did not finish).
So, you know, no one is going to write a story of triumph about Labovskyy. He doesn’t get to drape his flag over his shoulders and race around like he’s a super hero.
But you know what? Labovskyy is really, really fast. In fact, he’s faster than the fastest person you’ve ever known. His entire country looks on in admiration as he runs by and thinks to themselves: “That guy is fast.”
But all the rest of the world is going to know is that he was two minutes slower than the fastest men in the world on the one day that mattered. And that’s a little sad.
But I refuse to be sad about it. I choose to celebrate Mykola Labovskyy’s excellence instead. After all, there are almost seven billion people on this planet. To finish 26th in the world in anything is pretty damned amazing. So be proud, Mykola.