Sunday, August 5, 2012

Split-Second Decisions

Michael Phelps – as experienced and legendary as he was – lost by a tap in his pet race. Nicola Surig of Switzerland won yesterday’s Women’s Triathlon at Hyde Park through a nail-biting, finish-sprint and photo-finish. She beat Sweden’s Lisa Norden for gold by a hair’s breadth; Norden did lunge forwards like a sprinter at the tape although, sadly, officials decided that Surig won. Mo Farah’s and Galen Rupp’s gallant sprint to the end of the 10,000m yesterday made for exciting television. They were separated by 0.48 seconds for the gold and silver.

Our decisions decide our fate. From the simple to the complex of decisions, we make them so as to take action. Inaction is a choice, and it leads to consequences and, sometimes, regret. National Sports Associations (NSAs) and their best choice of athletes for medal prospects may make mistakes. Pre-selections and time-trials can only account for so much. Other variables come into play during fair and unfair play.

A losing basketball team may bounce back from near-defeat to equalize in the last game, and win it during the extra-time of play. A table-tennis player may decide to contest the point, reinstate her point, and recover to win a few more points in the same game. Win or lose – every point counts, and matters.

Injury from a slippery fall may lead to dropping out from a cycling race, yet staying on to complete the race, painfully, reflects signs of a true athlete: faster, stronger and higher.

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