So the big Olympic Trials 100 meter run-off between Jeneba Tarmoh and Alysson Felix was cancelled after Tarmoh chose to concede the third place spot to Felix monday. Tarmoh says she wasn't really ever comfortable with USATF's decision to do the run-off in the first place, that she felt she had already earned the position fair and square.
Now I get that. She had done her qualifying victory lap, done the media and then hours later is told actually, it was a tie and we need to figure out what to do next. I'd be PISSED, no doubt about it. To make matters worse, it takes the USATF a week and a day to decide ok let's do a run-off. RIDICULOUS! USATF definitely earned an "F" for their failure to handle a situation that was not overly complicated to deal with, regardless rarity. Tarmoh and Alysson Felix have every reason to be bitter about how this whole thing was handled.
But a decision was finally made, and it was the correct one.... A run-off that was supposed to be a prime time event. But something else happened, Jeneba Tarmoh decided not to participate in the run-off and conceded her third place finish to Felix. Now I am even more ticked!!!!
Young lady, you said running in the Olympics was a dream of yours, here you are on the cusp and you decide to walk away instead of letting your speed do the talking.
As a former track and field kid the Olympics were indeed the ultimate goal, but alas, I simply didn't have the talent to get me there. I set some goals for myself in college, said if I reached them, I would continue on. I did not and so all I can do is sit and cheer on our greatest athletes with the rest of the country.... but I digress....
There is a term that we hear regularly when it comes to the Olympic Games.... it's the "Olympic Spirit". It describes the courage, the strength, the desire that an athlete has and displays in representing their country in one of the most pressure packed environments on earth. This, Miss Tarmoh, is not an example of your "Olympic Spirit".
Again, I can understand feeling that you've already qualified and shouldn't have to prove it again, but honey, that is called life. Proving yourself NEVER EVER goes away. Your decision to just concede because you were uncomfortable with the situation tells me more about your spirit in a negative fashion than in a competitive one. And now you've done another flip.... after agreeing to do an interview on CNN this morning (Wednesday, July 4th) on what was behind your decision, you decide right before the interview to back out.... You are presenting a trend that no one wants to get saddled with Miss Tarmoh.
If I were the head coach, I have to look at your actions and determine, is this what the heart of a champion looks like?
What if you were to have beaten Miss Felix Monday night and qualified? If a similar situation had happened in London (Yes, I understand I am reaching here, I am just trying to make a point), would you have decided no, I qualified for the Finals and since you want me to do a run-off, I simply will give up my opportunity to run for gold, out of what..... a misguided principle?
Are you injured? Is something going on personally that has taken precedence and needs your attention? If that is the case, no one on earth would fault you for that, but that is not what you are presenting right now and my disappointment is at an all time high.
Your discomfort to compete, gives me no comfort if you end up as an alternate for our relay team.