‘Agony of defeat’ very much a part of U.S. Olympic trials | PostIndependent.com

‘Agony of defeat’ very much a part of U.S. Olympic trials

Tracking the TrialsBlake RisnerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

Hello from Eugene, Oregon – “Track Town, USA.”Years ago, ABC Sports promised to bring to its viewers “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”Yesterday, I highlighted celebrations that were brought on by victory at the 2008 U.S. Olympic track and field trials. On Saturday, we were all reminded that there is another side to that victory commemoration. Every day, athletes who have worked harder than most of us can comprehend are halted in their tracks toward the goal of Olympic glory.Most visibly there was sprinter Tyson Gay. Just last weekend, Gay electrified the capacity crowd at Hayward Field with the fastest-ever 100-meter run. On Saturday, we could only gasp with the other 20,000 spectators as the defending world champion crumpled to the track with an apparent hamstring pull during the quarterfinal round of the men’s 200. It was later announced that Gay suffered a “severe cramp.” Nonetheless, he will not represent his country in Beijing in that event, and we’ll have to wait to see if he can run at all.Two other American record holders failed to advance in their individual events this weekend. Eight-time national champion in the men’s javelin, Breaux Greer, had only one legal throw in the preliminary round, and it was not far enough to move into the finals.The men’s quarterfinal round of the 110 hurdles saw current American record holder Dominique Arnold be disqualified for a false start. These moments practically make your heart stop.They are truly experiencing the “agony” of not being able fulfill their dreams, to reach the place that they have worked many, many years for.Former CU Buff Steve Slattery experienced real agony in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase finals. Slattery came into the meet with the top time in the nation but fell in the water hazard on the fourth lap Saturday. That forced him out of the race and shattered the former Lafayette resident’s chances at this year’s Olympics.Hopefully, these athletes will have an opportunity for redemption in the future, maybe another shot at making the Olympic team. They can take comfort in the fact that as Americans and fans of the sport, we share those moments with them and support them in their quest for victory.For complete results and information on the 2008 U.S. Olympic track and field Trials, log on to http://www.eugene08. com.Bryce and Bailey: As you read this, I am on my way home and your mom and dad look forward to seeing you tonight.Blake Risner is the Glenwood Springs High School track and field coach.

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