Israeli judoka Alice Schlesinger 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
For every Olympic medalist’s smile, there are thousands of tears
For every second of elation at the Games, there are hours of
For Alice Schlesinger there were tears and anguish to last a
lifetime on Tuesday.
This was supposed to be her day.
This was her
But it simply wasn’t to be.
Schlesinger will live to fight
another day and is confident of taking part in her third Olympics in Rio in four
However, overcoming Tuesday’s dejection could take a while if
not an eternity.
Schlesinger’s face after her final fight told you all
you needed to know about how she was feeling.
She eventually also found
the words to describe her emotions but there was no need.
Eyes red from
crying and a face peppered with purple bruises told the story of what she was
enduring far better.
There should be no doubt regarding the absolute
effort invested by Schlesinger and there should be no question of the courage
She knows that.
But that would have been of scant
consolation on Tuesday night as she tried to fall asleep at the Olympic
An Olympic medal is such an elusive accomplishment and
Schlesinger had as good a chance as she could have hoped for in
But eventual gold-medalist Urska Zolnir proved to be too strong
in the quarterfinals and Schlesinger was always going to struggle against World
and European champion Gevrise Emane in the repechage after injuring her elbow in
the previous fight.
The nature of the Olympics means that the public will
quickly forget about Schlesinger’s heartbreak, with other athletes to make new
headlines starting today.
But for Schlesinger there is little
While her conquerors rejoice in their Olympic glory, she is left
to mull over what might have been.
Sports is not a matter of life or
death and is also not “much more important than that” as Liverpool’s legendary
coach Bill Shankly once said.
However, for Schlesinger it was everything
And now the dream is over – at least for four more years.