Not everyone gets the feel-good story during the Olympic Games.
Behind every winner basking in triumph is an athlete who fell short on the grand stage after devoting four years of his or her life to earning the gold.
Human interest stories drive Olympic coverage, but watching athletes—many of whom are just kids—suffer the agony of defeat is often heartbreaking to endure.
How can you not feel bad for Jordyn Wieber after missing the opportunity to fight for gold on a head-scratching rule?
As phenomenal as Team USA's gold-medal women's soccer run was, it's hard not to feel a bit bad for Canada—who fell just short after a questionable call fueled the U.S.' comeback.
Sorry for making your day so bleak, but here's a look at some of the most excruciating shortcomings of the London Games.
Not qualifying in the all-around competition finals was no fault of her own, and that's what makes her story even crueler.
Watching from the sidelines as teammates Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman competed for gold probably would have been easier to swallow if she was to blame on a mishap.
Not the case. Wieber finished well enough to qualify for further play, but Olympic rules state that only two people can represent each country in the individual all-arounds.
Was there a more awkward, confusing and devastating sight than witnessing Wieber cry as her teammate Raisman earned a spot to live her dream, but at Wieber's expense? How does a teenager reasonably handle such a bizarre situation?
Not everything is dark and desolate though. Wieber wore gold around her neck when Team USA won the team all-around event.
Canada's Soccer Team
Should Canada have defeated Team USA to advance to the gold-medal game? Maybe. Would they have defeated Japan in the final match behind a potent offensive attack? Perhaps.
Unfortunately for them, they'll never know. With a 3-2 lead late in their semifinals match against the U.S soccer team, Canada was called on a rare foul. The officials claimed that goalkeeper Erin McLeod held the ball too long before clearing it following a U.S. corner kick. The seldom-implemented rule states they have no longer than six seconds to pass it.
Canadian captain Christine Sinclair, who scored a hat-trick in an incredible performance, did not pull any punches after the match. Sam Borden of The New York Times reported the blunt statement.
“We feel like it was taken from us. We feel cheated.”
Adding insult to injury, Alex Morgan netted the game-winning goal during the 123rd minute of a marathon match. They were about a minute away from deciding the contest by penalty kicks.
Even U.S. citizens had to feel a little guilty about the way Team USA advanced to win the gold. Not that they have any reason to apologize or feel bad, but it's tough watching the little sibling get the short stick yet again.
Canada achieved some redemption by defeating France to escape with the bronze medal. At least that's something.
Okay, so Novak Djokovic is unlikely to lose any sleep over falling short in London. Quite frankly, most people probably already forgot that tennis was part of the Summer Games.
But in a sport constantly dominated by the same guys, any loss has to sting a little for a star, right?
An Olympic victory apparently does not merit the same worth as one of the four majors, but he couldn't have been pleased to lose while representing Serbia.
Djokovic lost to Great Britain's Andy Murray, who later triumphed over Roger Federer in front of an appreciative crowd. Maybe Murray just needed the victory much more than the top guns in order to finally emerge victorious on his home court.
Any blemish is a major letdown for the top tennis player in the world—especially with Rafael Nadal absent from the event. Losing to someone outside of the big three in men's tennis pokes a hole in his supposedly bulletproof armor.
Or maybe he'll just set everything back to normal by winning his next major championship, but it sure would be a pleasant change to see some parity in the sport.
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