Maybe finishing second isn’t so bad after all?
Bobby Unser was a talented racing driver. In fact he was one of the greatest there ever was. He was best known for driving in the Indianapolis 500 in the 1960s and 70s. This is an American motor race where cars go round the same concrete oval bowl 200 times for almost four hours.
It is though, an enthralling race, in fact the Indy 500 is one of the world's iconic sporting events, and Bobby knew a thing or two about winning it. He was victorious on three occasions, and not only that, he won it in three different decades, which is undeniably quite cool. He gloriously wrote his name into the history books for a final time in 1981 at the age of 47.
Yep, Bobby Unser was a born winner, and during the course of his illustrious career, he came out with an observation that has become part of the sporting lexicon.
'Nobody remembers who finished second'.
The line is now so oft-quoted as to have become a sports truism, although over the years it has been shortened, and what Bobby actually said was:
"Nobody remembers who finished second but the guy who finished second."
It is a line that over the years has become a staple of the post-match interview.
But hang on a sec. Ol' Bobby had obviously never been to a tearful Winter Olympics awards ceremony. Because having marveled at the athleticism and skill of the participants over the last couple of weeks, unless I'm mistaken, those who came second were getting lovely shiny silver medals. And quite a lot of attention. . And I've a feeling they'll be remembered for quite a long time too for having excelled in their chosen field. Even if they didn't actually win, they'd worked for four years to achieve their dream of going to the Olympics, excelled, and had the experience of a lifetime inspiring many others in the process
So, perhaps we can rework Bobby's quote?
'Sometimes, people do remember who finished second. Finishing second isn't the end of the world, it's actually quite good, especially if you enjoy the journey and do the best you possibly can.'
(It's not quite as snappy, but I like it. What do you think? Let me know below)