When Ester Ledecka won the gold medal in alpine skiing at the 2018 Winter Olympics, sportscasters were embarrassed. Why? With almost an hour left in the competition, Anna Veith was assumed to be the winner. Live coverage shifted to another Olympic venue while Veith’s fans celebrated. One commentator declared, “Baring something exceptional, Anna Veith has defended her gold.”
But something exceptional did happen. Ledecka, who ranked 43rd in World Cup standing for alpine skiing, defeated Veith—without the world watching. Ledecka also made Olympic history by winning two golds at the same Olympics using different equipment.
It was fun to watch the after-the-fact Olympic coverage. However, it wasn’t fun when my friends and I called the race too soon with our children.
We became complacent, assuming the best about our children who excelled— according to our standards. We become anxious, assuming the worst about our children who struggled. Both early calls prevented my friends and me from successfully parenting to the finish line of adulthood.
Our unexpected “wins” were sweet, but our unexpected “losses” were more bitter than slipping into second place or even off an Olympic podium.
Staying until the end of the race?