Silver Medal Syndrome

Debra St. John

Debra St. John has been reading and writing romance since high school. She always dreamed about publishing a romance novel some day. Her dream came true when she started writing sultry contemporary romance with sexy heroes and spunky heroines for The Wild Rose Press. Although she’s a country girl at heart, she lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband, who is her real life hero.

I’m an avid Olympics watcher, although the Winter Olympics are a bit harder for me to keep up with, just because of my schedule in February. One of my favorite parts is the Medal Ceremony. I love seeing the emotion in the eyes of the recipients as their flag is raised and their anthem plays. For 2014, much of the actual medal receiving went on behind-the-scenes, instead of on the air. Which has been a bit of a bummer. So I’ve turned to highlight reels and the Internet to get my fix. Tears of joy were seen in the eyes of the athletes, no matter whether it was a gold, silver, or bronze disc placed around their necks.

I can’t even begin what it would be like to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Being fairly nonathletic other than using my elliptical, hand weights, and stairs to work out along with a weekly Yogaloties class, winning at any type of sporting event is way outside of my personal experience. However, as a writer, I’m used to living vicariously through my characters, so it’s not much of a stretch for me to put myself in the shoes of the athletes and cry right along with them.

Somewhere along the line I’ve read that athletes who receive a gold medal are the happiest later on in life (for obvious reasons), bronze medalists come after that in happiness rankings, but the silver medalists are often disappointed, becoming the saddest of medal recipients. The theory going that a gold means you’re the best, a bronze means you beat out more than your fair share of competition and made it to the podium, but a silver medalist will often wonder if there was just one thing they could have done better, faster, stronger to get to that top spot.

This I’m not sure I can relate to. I mean, a silver medal in the Olympics is no small thing. Could it really be a source for disappointment later on in life? I guess it would be like an author making it to number two on the New York Times Bestseller List. You still get to say you’re a NYT Bestseller, but you don’t get to add that #1 to the tag. More than likely, this is something I’ll never need to worry about, obsess over, or contemplate. Although, I guess I have a better shot at being on the List than I do of standing on an Olympic podium. If I ever make it to that number two spot, I’ll be sure to let you know how I feel!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


4 Responses to “Silver Medal Syndrome”

  • Quilt Lady [ 24Feb14]

    You really don’t know where life is going to take you. Just hang in there and you may make it to #1. I think a medal would be great to have no matter what the color.

  • Debra St. Johm [ 24Feb14]

    Hi Quilt Lady,

    I’d take a medal of any color too! And you never know about that Bestseller list!

  • Mary Preston [ 26Feb14]

    It’s sad to win a medal & not rejoice in it. Think of all the athletes who are thrilled just to make it to the Olympics. “Just” – it’s a phenomenal effort.

    If I won a medal I’d be wearing mine all the time I think. Not going to happen, so nothing for my family to be concerned over.

  • Debra St. Johm [ 26Feb14]

    Mary, I’m sure your family would be proud to see that medal hanging around your neck all of the time! :)

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