When I heard Jeneba Tarmoh forfeited the runoff, I wondered if she had been pressured to do so. It sounds like inadvertently/intentionally she was.
The dead heat happened at the beginning of the trials and the athletes were to decide how they wanted to handle it. They could have a run off or flip a coin. Officials and higher-ups wanted them to flip a coin. The athletes involved and any other athlete asked what would you do wanted the run off. There is no control in a coin toss. If you call heads and it comes up tails I’d be wondering what would have happened if we had run. If we ran, I’d know I had done my best and could live with the outcome. I would have lost or won on my own.
Then the runoff was postponed. It was supposed to happen later. Then it just had to be done before the end of their Olympic trials. Then it was happening the Monday after (so I don’t know (obviously) if they meant Olympic trials in all). It’s exciting. There’s a build up. I really rooting for Jeneba because Felix is a returning Olympian and already in an event. Then we get word, nope. Not going to happen.
The man who interviewed Jeneba for NBC was great. He was searching and checking her face, “Are you sure? Is everything okay?” he was trying to get it out of her. She had great, classy answers. She said she was at peace with her decision.
I guess I like the article I found, “Jeneba Tarmoh a Victim of USATF Bungling” by Greg Couch, because it validates what I was thinking. The powers that be postponed it, let everything build up, so she backed out. Jeneba isn’t weak. She got there and competed. Just sometimes politics in a sport are too strong. She was the unknown. I didn’t realize she had been declared the third place winner. She got the flag and the press conference. Then (all of a sudden) they look at the pictures and have questions. Politics in sports do sound like bitter grapes and conspiracy theories, but if you have ever felt them you know how powerful and heavy they are. You can do everything in your power ( be the best, get the highest scores, and win your event) but then a glass ceiling appears and you’re in the Twilight Zone.
This article also says they looked at Jeneba’s times and she came in .001 faster than Felix. A fraction of a fraction but still a fraction and that’s what the Olympics are all about. How many times did we hear how Dara Torres lost by a one hundredth of a second? It stinks. It’s minute. But it’s how things are decided. If the times are correct, I think Jeneba should be in the event. She is going to the Olympics on the relay team but I think she should have been awarded the 100 meters.
It’s Fox, but…: