You may have heard the story of German diver Stephan Feck by now.
The 22-year old royally messed up his second dive in Monday’s preliminary rounds.
He landed on his back.
You can see the dive, which the judges generously scored a 0.0 here.
Initially, I felt horrible for young Stephan. He had one of the worst dives of his career on the biggest stage (board? pool?) he ever competed on.
Then I saw that he withdrew from the competition, presumably from pain associated from the flop.
I understand that you can get injured from hitting the water.
In the link above, there is a quote from a veteran diver who compared the feeling of a flop to hitting concrete.
In these games, which featured a double-amputee sprinter (who used to be a RUGBY PLAYER!), I find it hard to see the Olympic spirit in someone who withdrew from their competition.
This is the Olympics – higher, faster, stronger.
This is the stage where you drag yourself out of your pain, out of your failures and try and try and try again.
Case in point: Kerri Strug in 1996, winning the gold medal with an incredible vault. On one ankle.
It’s a shame that instead of a heroic rise, all we’ll remember about Feck, at this Olympics, at least, is his horrible fall.
By pulling out of the competition, he denied himself the chance for redemption.
And that just isn’t very Olympian.