The agony of defeat is real, especially in sports. While athletic competition at the highest level is always expected to produce gut-wrenching and emotional moments for athletes and spectators alike, these Olympic Games in Beijing have already delivered their fair share of some of the most incredibly heartbreaking ones in recent memory.
Mikaela Shiffrin skis out of both of her first two races in Beijing
It was a rough start for the three-time medalist who skied out of the giant slalom and the slalom races in her first events of these Winter Games. But in true Olympic fashion, an outpouring of support soon followed from the likes of Simone Biles, Lindsey Vonn and others.
Vincent Zhou tests positive for COVID, keeping him out of the men's figure skating singles event
After the high of winning a silver medal in the Team Event for USA, Zhou tested positive for COVID-19. A second test confirmed the result just before the start of the men's individual event. Zhou, a native of Palo Alto, Calif., shared his emotional reaction on Instagram saying, "I've already lost count the number of times I've cried." He also went on to say that "this does not define me" and he's proud to be an Olympic silver medalist.
Alpine skier Nina O'Brien suffers broken leg in devastating crash during women's giant slalom
San Francisco native Nina O'Brien suffered an open fracture to her tibia when her skis parted out from under her near the finish of the women's giant slalom event. Less than 24 hours later she was having surgery to repair her fractured leg. “I’m a little heartbroken, but also feeling so much love,” O’Brien wrote on Instagram. “Thank you to everyone who’s reached out. My phone is flooded with messages, and waking up to your words means more than you know. The good news is that today is a new day - and I get to cheer on my teammates. Good luck to everyone competing and enjoy it.”
Flag-bearer Elana Meyers Taylor's COVID-positive test keeps her out of the Olympic opening ceremony
Four-time Olympic bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor, who was elected flag-bearer for Team USA, was unable to attend the opening ceremony after testing positive for COVID-19, and gave Brittany Bowe her spot to lead the Americans in the Parade of Nations.