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Ode to a fast guy

Like many people in this world, I am interested in track and field events once every four years.

Which is five thousand times more frequently than I’m interested in the Twilight Saga.

And today I was watching the finals of the 10,000 meters

For the metrically disinclined, 10,000 meters converts roughly to the amount of distance you’d be able to travel at normal walking speed in the years between George R.R. Martin releasing a new novel in his Song of Ice and Fire Series… (just over six miles)

…and everyone was caught up in the excitement of the moment because a British runner finished first…

Mo Farah, Olympic gold medalist, little teapot.

…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.

Let’s just say she can’t remember it happening before.

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.

Mykola Labovskyy. A more talented runner than you’ll ever be.

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).

I like to think these three men were too caught up with all the sex taking place in the Olympic Village and couldn’t be bothered to show up for the race.

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.

Unlike this guy who runs around Milan calling himself “Uber Man” and daring people to make fun of his cape. It’s on backwards, dude.

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.”

That’s right. Labovskyy is the Ukrainian equivalent of the Road Runner.

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.

Look at how down my cat is just thinking about it.

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.

But promise me you’ll never wear that shirt again. Thanks.





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