To some third place is the same thing as losing, a waste of time, a result that makes that person wonder if all the effort was worth it, whether they should just quit and stop trying to be first place because third place is just not fulfilling.
Third place gets you a Bronze Medal. Bronze medals are darker and less shiny than Gold Medals. There is some tinge of night-time in finishing third whereas first place is brilliant.
Coming in third just doesn’t cut it.
Except for one guy. Cody Miller is his name.
The Las Vegas native who attends Indiana University won the Bronze Medal in the 100 meter breaststroke this week at the 2016 Olympics.
Of all the reactions by American swimmers who have won medals this week, no one has reacted with more appreciation, exuberance, and excitement than Miller.
Not expected to finish as high as third based on previous times, he overachieved in the biggest 100 meters of breaststroke of his life.
I believe Olympic medals are meant to be worn and touched by people. Not locked up in cases.
I remember the first time I held an Olympians medal… I was 10 years old… USA Olympic team caption Josh Davis put it around my neck and said “Dream Big! You can win one of these some day”
It was refreshing to see how much he appreciated third place. Winning a Bronze Medal was a victory of enormous importance to him. By his excitement you could tell it felt as great to him as had he captured Gold.