On being a champion: some thoughts on Elaine Thompson


I have been wanting to write this one for a few weeks. I really like Elaine Thompson. I have intereviewed her several times, my favorite being in Birmingham Muller Indoor GP last February. Elaine is delightful. She keeps it light, she has no time for BS and she is a champion.

Our sport is a sport, this is not professional wrestling, roller derby or boxing. Athletics is about putting the best athletes together and having them run, jump or throw their hearts out. Our job as media? Is to help the fans understand and appreciate that individuals in this sport and to protect the integrity of the sport.

Elaine Thompson did not win medals in London. She ran a race that was not her best. Was she frustrated? Of course! How did she respond? She won in Birmingham and Brussels, and ran against Shaunae Miller-Uibo in the 200 meters.

In the Zurich presser, she was pressed on her sub par race in London. Elaine Thompson smiled, and made no excuses. She was focused on the next race.

Afterwards, I spoke to Lance Brauman, coach of Tori Bowie, Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Noah Lyles, among others. I mentioned to Lance how classy Elaine Thompson had remained, even with a chance to make excuses. Coach Brauman looked me straight in the eye, with one of those "You're kidding me?" looks, and said, "That's what a champion does."

Enough said.

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