We can watch and rejoice over the Olympics but the truth is there are far more losers than winners. This is what has been eating away at me the last few days. So many people end their careers, seasons, and tournaments with losses. I’m mistified as to how I handled losses my entire basketball career.
Undoubtedly, my experience here with Rio 2016 has been unique. I served a role where I essentially became a part of the team, Team Canada. No, I wasn’t biased at all and my whole goal was to make them stress free and successful in navigating the village and events. After the pool games, I truly expected Team Canada to make it to the medal stand.
When the final buzzer versus France sounded I was crushed. [The Loss] Crushed for the girls, the fans and the coaches. So much so that I forgot what my post game duties were. It was hard to see their tears and their veteran players walk away knowing this was their last shot.
Teamwork is one of my core values, but my initial reaction was to point fingers. It’s so easy to point fingers right now, was my first thought. But as a believer in teamwork, I knew this was wrong. You win together and you lose together. What a hard lesson.
It stings because with four years in between, anything can happen. So to feel as if you didn’t maximize on your opportunity this time is the ultimate rush of regret and devastation. No, I don’t understand how I coped with the losses over the years, but I do understand the opposite feeling of joy and elation. I remember every championship I won and the pure euphoria and dancing with my teammates. All players expect losses at some point, it’s a part of the game and growth. We learn to celebrate the small wins along the way and realize our success is not defined by one performance.
There is hope. That is what the Olympics [and life] is about, the process.