February 11, 2006

Better to Finish Last, Than Not At All

Posted in Excellence, Life at 5:46 pm by mj

Dave Winer points to DFL, which highlights the last-place finishers in Olympic events. Apparently it was mildly popular during the Athens games. My only wish is he could conduct interviews with the last-place finishers, and provide some sense of what kind of chance they had in the first place.

This appeals to me in the same way that my former pseudo-hobby of collecting memorabilia for sports stars who never were–or who were, then weren’t–appeals to me. There’s a story behind every star who didn’t excel. No matter how promsing you are, you still have to close the deal with a lot of hard work. Some take to drugs. Others let the fame get to them. Still others get injured, or have family problems. Some even find that the game changes beneath their feet. And still others–well, they end up simply outclassed.

Usually, of course, even the ones who never fulfilled their promise are still better than 99% of the detractors who wish they’d had the same chance.

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