When Shaun White Didn’t Win, He Taught Us Something Better

Shaun White

By Stephanie Broadhurst/The Mother List

Sometimes, not winning can prove more valuable than taking home the gold. American snowboarder Shaun White, favored to win the men’s halfpipe competition at the Olympics, finished fourth, just off the medal stand. But when he didn’t win, White set a great example that all kids can learn from. Here are several lessons we can take away from White’s fourth-place finish by Shannan Younger writer for ChicagoNow’s Tween Us:

  1. You don’t always win. Sometimes in life, you do your best and it just isn’t good enough. While it’s heartbreaking, it happens. Keep a broader perspective in mind: You tried your hardest, you accomplished something. That’s enough.
  2. Being a good sport matters. Right after his last run, which didn’t go well, White hugged Iouri Podladtchikov. In an interview later, he said, “I’m happy for the guys who did well.” He was gracious and sincere. As hard as it may be, kids can learn to rejoice in the success of others.
  3. He didn’t give up. White said, “It just wasn’t my day. I’ll live on to fight another one…. Next time.” One bad day doesn’t mean you’re not good at something. It simply means you had a bad day. Everyone, even Olympians, can have a bad day now and then.
  4. He asked for a hug. After the competition, White said to his friend, “Come here, man. I need a hug.” The agony of defeat is never easy, but having friends who support you no matter what makes it much easier. Plus, in a world where men are expected to be so tough, it’s nice to see him asking for a hug in his time of need.

Perhaps the icing on the cake came when White spontaneously leapt over a barricade to high-five Ben Hughes, a young boy and cancer survivor visiting the Olympics thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Before Ben had finished his treatments in 2012, he had found two new inspirations: snowboarding and Shaun White. He loved both. Meeting Shaun White was not part of the original plan, but the snowboarder made it possible after he heard about the boy – and changed the 10-year-old’s life forever. Read the full story by Mike Wise at WashingtonPost.com.

We think it’s fair to say that this famous sports star delivered an Olympic moment on the day he failed to win a medal.

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