You will notice on our website that I changed the picture of a certain swimmer to a picture of two volleyball players; April Ross & Kerri Walsh Jennings. I will not begin to expound on the issues of the swimmer, but please indulge me a few thoughts on the volleyball players.
In case you missed it April & Kerri are Beach Volleyball players, April owns a silver medal (2012) and was picked by Kerri to help her win a 4th Gold Medal (2004, 2008, 2012). The two were cruising until they ran into a Brazilian team that hit all the right shots while Jennings played arguably her worst match in an Olympic outing. So why write about these two players? Because I happen to watch the semi-final loss and Bronze Medal win (staying up well past my bedtime for both) and all I can say is those two deserve gold medals for spirit and sportsmanship, respect for and love of the game, and playing every match as if it was their last.
When they lost the semi-final there was all of the emotion that comes when losing a gold medal dream. Yet, never was there anger or disrespect to their opponents, officials nor themselves. In the semi-final they started slow (against the number one ranked team in the world) but rose above to win the second and third sets through sheer determination. To translate this to swimming, imagine you missed the A final in the biggest meet of your life by .01. If you are Ross or Jennings, A - you own the mistakes you made in your race, B - you show up and swim that B Final as if your life depended on it and C - when you crush that race you celebrate the victory because you know there are thousands (millions?) of swimmers out there that will never have the opportunity to compete at the level you have achieved.
Of course there are plenty of swimmers that I could have used as an example, but today the volleyball players have it.