When athletes fail we remember what the Olympics are really about

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The Olympics are a television program. Tape-delayed events shown in prime time hours after the results have been known. Award ceremonies delayed. Live events scheduled so as to be available to the greatest number of U.S. viewers. Popular events placed on NBC instead of NBCSN, or Bravo or USA.

While the Olympics are supposed to be about peace, development and international cooperation, they’re not. And it’s not why we watch. We watch because of nationalism. We want to see Americans perform well. We want to see Americans win. It’s why we keep track of medal counts.

But besides the winners we remember those who fail. Not that they failed, but how they failed. A father helps his injured son across the finish line.A gymnast takes a horrific fall only to get back up and compete. Runners collide and fall and help each other across the line. One with a torn ACL.

We will remember when Michael Phelps finally said goodbye and when Usain Bolt made more history. But we will also remember those who failed because in their failing they showed us the true Olympic spirit.

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