08/15/12 After the Olympics: Where’s the Humility? – Jeff Jacoby
Humility, it is sometimes said, doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself. It means thinking of yourself less.
For Carli Lloyd I’d guess that’s a distinction without a difference. After Lloyd scored the goals that lifted the US Olympic women’s soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Japan in the gold medal match at London’s Wembley Stadium last week, thinking of herself less was decidedly not on her agenda.
“When someone tells me I can’t do something, I’m going to always prove them wrong,” Lloyd bragged to an NBC interviewer. “That’s what a champion is all about and that’s what I am — a champion!”
Once upon a time it was considered low-class for athletes to be so smug and self-adoring. Winners of championships and gold medals were expected to be gracious, to show a little modesty — to enjoy the acclaim their splendid achievements had earned, without becoming boastful jerks in the process. At times the taboo extended even to the impression of arrogance: For merely failing to tip his cap to fans at Fenway Park, Ted Williams was thought by many to be haughty and too full of himself.
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