August 14, 2012
PASSION: Is a Silver Medal Really Losing?

McKayla Maroney, Qin Kai and Daria Smitrieva are just a few of the amazing Olympians who won silver medals in the 2012 Summer Olympics. McKayla Maroney earned silver in Women’s Gymnastics for her vault performance, Daria Smitrieva is the silver medalist in All Around Women’s Gymnastics and Qin Kai won silver in Men’s Individual Diving. Maroney is from the United States, Kai from China and Smitrieva from Russia. All three are amazing athletes, who like every other Olympian, have had their share of highs and lows.

Their passion for their respective sports has driven them to come in every day to train. But all three of these Olympians were “not impressed” with their Olympic performance. Maroney said “I didn’t deserve to win gold if I landed on my butt. I’m not disappointed about the silver; I’m disappointed about my performance.” And Qin Kai wept uncontrollably after he was announced the silver medalist.

But the question is, when you win a silver medal do you really lose? Is placing second worse than fourth?  These athletes are upset about their performance that landed them silver medals but they are still among the best in the world. Should silver medalists be heartbroken that they did not win gold medals or should they be ecstatic that they are second-best in the world? Has their passion for winning gold made them miss the bigger picture?

To read more on McKayla Maroney, click here and to read more on Qin Kai, click here.

In many cases passion is a very desirable characteristic. People need passion to get up in the morning and do what they love. But is there such a thing as too much passion? 


In July and August, Indiana Humanities is exploring the topic of “passion,” as part of its Spirit of Competition theme.

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