A little (boring) reflection on the Olympics


Sorry, until the Olympics games are over, this might be a recurring topic here.

Watching the Brazilian athletes playing drives me crazy, makes me nervous, sometimes angry and frustrated, sometimes proud. Yes, we played some really bad games and, in the heat of the moment, we tend to blame the athletes for not giving their best.

After watching several games – not only the ones Brazil is playing – here are some of my thoughts:

* Athletes are extremely capable people. They do things that normal people wouldn’t dream of doing. But they are not super heroes. They are human and humans do fail.

* Every competition has a winner and a loser – nobody likes to lose, but it has to happen. Unfortunately we lost quite a lot of games…

* Four years ago, when the Brazilian team won Gold for women’s volleyball, I read an interview with their coach saying that when he decided to move from men’s to women’s volleyball, the Russian coach told him “good luck, it’s going to the hardest work ever. Women are really hard to work with”. He was talking about all the mood swings, PSM, being so emotional, etc. Yes, our volleyball team is like that – very unstable. BUT if this is something to do with women’s team, all teams should be the same and have their bad moments, right? So why blame our team for being so unstable? I don’t have an explanation for why the team made so many mistakes against Korea yesterday. I don’t understand why we lost by 3 sets to 0. One thing nobody talks about: why can we just admit that Korea (and USA and whatever other team we play against) simply played better than us? It doesn’t mean we aren’t capable, but it justifies why we didn’t win and gives the credits to the winners. The Korean girls played beautifully! Well done them. And well done all other athletes we played against and lost to, and well done all our athletes that won – and those who got very close but didn’t get it. At least they try and they try hard.

* What about the gymnasts? The first time in I don’t know how many Olympics that our team doesn’t go to the finals. Daiane dos Santos, Danielle Hypolito, Diego Hipolito, where were you? If you followed the Olympics, you will agree that against the USA team (OMG, they are AMAZING!!!) and Russia and Romania is impossible to compete. They are fantastic, they deserve the medals. I thought our presentations were good, but quite conservative compared to the opponents. But the question that keeps buzzing my head is: why so many primary mistakes? They proved they are capable, because these guys have won medals in World Championships. They are good, they know that, we know that. So what the heck happens in the presentations? Honestly, I have no clue, but my guess is the nerves. There are people that simply panic in certain situations. World Championship seems to be no big deal, but the Olympics are. They panic, they freeze, they commit basic errors. I would do that. That’s why I don’t compete in the Olympics. But I don’t blame them for trying – it’s a little bit embarrassing to watch, but isn’t sports all about competing and good sports and all this? How about the errors of the other competitors? The Americans also had some errors. The Russians? The Chinese?? The Chinese were also out!

* Is it human “nature” to be so critical and tough with others? (well, it can’t be natural, but just wondering if this is across the board) Is this part of the Western culture? Or just the Brazilians (or maybe Latin people) are that mean? So, if we do something wrong at work, should we be “humiliated” by our bosses and colleagues? Do we deserve being called cowards?

* I’m watching Brazil vs USA on men’s volleyball. It’s an amazing match and Brazil is winning. I’m wondering if the Americans are calling their team “idiots”, “lazy”, “unstable”… I think both teams are playing very well.

* I do support my country unconditionally, but I also like to watch good and exciting matches. We don’t have a men’s team for handball but I really enjoy watching the games – some are just beautiful to watch.

* For the records: I still suffer like hell when Brazil doesn’t play well and loses a match.



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