To Dive or Not To Dive
The internet was sent into a tizzy as Shaunae Miller beat Allyson Felix by diving for the win.
The fact that this actually helped Miller is amazing enough but many people are upset. For reasons I do not know, this had turned into a serious thing to the point where people are talking about diving's place in track.
If you do not believe me read this.
Quite frankly it is sour grapes. There are times when American sports fans can be ridiculous. I.e. when Americans started calling the National Japanese Women's soccer team derogatory slurs after their upset win over the Americans in the 2011 Women's World Cup.
Side note: it is nuts that we don't have to differentiate the Men's World Cup with using the title men's before mentioning it but for Women's World Cup, we use the title of "women's"? It makes it seem lesser in some way and that's not cool. It's a reach so I'll leave it alone but food for thought.
While the criticism for 'the dive' isn't as bad as that, it still is reminiscent of that. Reason why? Because Americans expect victories from their best and when Americans face international competition; American sports fans look for any reason to not blame their athletes for not being good enough. All countries do it but there is a sense of ridiculousness and serious with American international sports fans. Perhaps it is because the USA has the legitimate power to change a sports rule on a whim or the fact America usually is played up to be the bad guy; nevertheless, it always tends to get ridiculous when an elite American athlete gets bested.
Allyson Felix is a national treasure who was going to come into Rio, win her 5th gold medal and cement her legacy as perhaps the greatest female track athlete ever until some 22-year old named Shaunae Miller went nearly stride for stride with Felix and came from out of nowhere like a Randy Orton RKO to win.
That doesn't sit well with Americans who expected Felix to pull off a couple more gold medals this Olympics and that quite simply is not the case.
Fact is sometimes it's not the dive that costed Felix, it's Felix inability to prevent the dive from being detrimental to her that did. Felix blew it and that's all. Was the dive by Miller funny? Yes. Did the dive look silly? Absolutely; however it is not some cheat way around the rules, nor should it be taken seriously. Scratch that, it should be taken seriously but for the right reasons. It is someone wanting it more and maybe that is what the focus should be on. Shaunae Miller wanted it more and had the presence of mind to dive and congrats to her.