Athletics: The Fairy Tale Ending?


Analysing the standard “fairy tale” structure there is a general trend if we follow the fortunes of the protagonist, lets use the epic tale of Cinderella as an example (spoiler alert: the following contains spoilers for the story of Cinderella if you’ve never read or watched it and intend to do so):

Things start good

Cinderella lives happily with father and mother

Things go bad

Mother dies, Father re-marries, Cinderella now has two wicked step-sisters. Father dies, Cinderella basically becomes their slave.

Things get better

All the women in the kingdom get invited to a ball for the prince to find a wife, Cinderella has no dress but gets help from some birds to make one

Things go bad

Wicked step-sisters rip this dress apart so she can no longer go again

Things get better

Fairy godmother turns up, magics her a dress and carriage so she can go to the ball. She goes and makes the prince fall in love with her

Things go bad

Midnight strikes and spell wears off, she has to leave before getting the princes’ digits

Things get better

Prince finds the glass slipper and tries it on ever girl in the land and eventually finds cinderella, they live happily ever after

Now putting aside the logical fallacies of all of Cinderella’s clothes turning back to normal EXCEPT the slipper than came off her foot, AND the fact that even though the Prince proclaims to have found the love of his life he can’t actually remember what she looks like and judges it based on foot size. This a bit of an emotional roller coaster to go on as a small child.

Relate this to an athlete, the ups and downs, sb’s, no-heights, pb’s, dq’s, medals at championships and injuries. Each recent success becomes greater than the last, but after each greater success comes a deeper trench of low. The successes building to a pinnacle and if you were to walk away at that point that would be your fairy tale ending.

But who walks away at that point? There’s always hope that you can build to another, greater peak and that’s the problem, there’s always hope.

I don’t feel like I’ve met my prince charming just yet, the Commonwealth Games were amazing but just not quite husband material, so I will continue with my fairy tale for now.

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