Celebrating last-place finishes at the Olympics. Because they're there, and you're not.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Alexander Penna in 2002

Matt posted a great link in the comments to this essay by a volunteer at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games describing the last-place run of Brazil's Alexander Penna in the 50-km classic cross-country ski competition. (Brazilian skier. Insert favourite joke here.) It's an absolutely riveting read and well worth your attention. I mentioned before that if there is a spirit of the games, it exists closer to the back of the pack than the front, and this is more evidence for it. Is it there only for the hopeless causes, or does it also exist for those who want to win, or even those who might have a fighting chance at it? Maybe our hearts are warmed by the fact that they're simply there, with no expectations to be crushed.

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