Do You Thank Them When You Lose?

Saw this on Reddit, and found the side by side comparison amusing:

The first on the list is Allyson Felix, American gold medalist and Christian who thanked God for her gift and for being where she is.  On the right is Mo Farah.  Upon winning the 5k and 10k gold medals, he thanked his coaches, his wife, and everyone else who provided support to lead him to victory.

Then you have Om Yun Chol, in the middle … who attributed his win to the supernatural powers of the recently deceased Dear Leader Kim Jong Il:

“How can any man possibly lift 168kg? I believe the great Kim Jong Il looked over me,” Om was quoted as saying by the Olympic News Service. 

“I am very happy and give thanks to our Great Leader for giving me the strength to lift this weight,” Om said. “I believe Kim Jong Il gave me the record and all my achievements. It is all because of him.”

Right.  It was all because of a guy who demanded a cult of personality be built around him not only in life, but also in death, where his passing supposedly caused a frozen lake to crack in half and a red glow to form over the mountain where he was born.  Of course, given that this is North Korea we’re talking about, it’s pretty obvious why Chol said what he said.  I would be doing the exact same thing in his position if I wanted to see my family alive when I got back to the motherland.  If you’re a citizen of a government that has turned state worship into one of the most oppressively dogmatic religions in the world, you’d better attribute everything you are to the head lunatic … especially when his son is holding a knife to your throat.

As for the other two … normally I just ignore the thanks that people give after their victories.  It’s all the same.  Generally, the more religious thank God and then their coaches, families, etc., while the rest just thank everyone who helped them and tend to leave God out of it.  We live in a society where doing either one within moderation doesn’t get a lot of notice.  But to have these statements bookending a guy like Chol, grinning widely and thanking a dead poofy-haired communist dictator who ran his country into the ground for giving him the strength to lift a barbell only emphasizes exactly how ridiculous Allyson’s statements sound to nonbelievers like myself.

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