Allon Sinai's Beijing Diary: A comeback which can inspire us all

Despite their failure to claim a medal, there's an important lesson to be learned from the story of Nike Kornicki and Vered Buskila.

allon sinai Olympics 88 (photo credit:)
allon sinai Olympics 88
(photo credit: )
Despite their failure to claim a medal on Monday, there's an important lesson to be learned from the story of Nike Kornicki and Vered Buskila. Entering the 2004 Athens Games, the 470 Class duo was widely expected to return home with a medal. Kornicki and Buskila had won a bronze at that year's World Championships and seemed to be peaking in perfect timing for the Olympics. However, nothing went their way in Greece. The duo cracked under the pressure and finished in a very disappointing 18th position. The following year they won a silver medal at the European Championships and finished fifth at the World Championships, but Kornicki nevertheless decided to call it a day. She'd had enough of the strained relationship with Buskila and the backbreaking training required from an Olympic level sailor. With no other option Buskila tried her luck with another partner, Adi Gilboa, but that didn't work and she was left high and dry. But at the end of 2006 Kornicki realized she had made a mistake and Buskila agreed to leave the past behind and team-up once more with her former partner. Despite all their differences the two trained harder than ever and remained focused on their joint goal of Olympic success. They finished this year's worlds in 17th place and booked their place at the Games by coming eighth at the Europeans. Their up-and-down friendship and the failures of the past were overcome, teaching us all that success is often only a matter of willpower. Kornicki and Buskila may have come up short in their hunt of a medal, but their perseverance over the last two years should be an inspiration to any aspiring Olympic athlete. Monday's result could seem like a failure to some, but Kornicki and Buskila should be remembered as winners and they will deservedly go down in history as two of Israel's greatest sailors.