TIMOTHY DALRYMPLE, The Olympics Are About Failure
“I’ve asked numerous Olympic athletes about their experiences. One thing they agree on was that it was never really about the Olympic Games themselves. It was about the people they became in striving for excellence. It was, in large measure, about what failure made them. Victory, when it came at all, was treacherous. It threatened to unmake what failure had made. Victory is more dangerous for the soul, defeat more instructive.
“In retrospect, I can see it. Failure—the failures I endured all along the way as well as the failure to make the Olympic team due to injury—has shaped me so profoundly that I hardly know who I would be apart from it. It showed me the end of myself. It taught me compassion. It showed me my many sins and flaws. It showed me my need for a strength beyond my own. It illuminated the grace of God.”