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The 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Is for Everyday Heroes

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Say what you will about Pierre de Coubertin—the French aristocrat who founded the modern Olympics—but the guy had a talent for branding. He came up with those five interlocking rings back in 1913, creating one of the more ubiquitous logos of the 20th century. De Coubertin is also credited with the aspirational “Olympic Creed” which reminds us that: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”
Of course, the taking-part-is-everything ethos extends beyond the Olympics itself. Just ask any of the hundreds of amateur athletes who are competing in this Saturday’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the marathon, which are being held in Atlanta. These men and women represent the cream of their local running communities, but have no realistic shot at contending for one of the six spots—three for men, three for women—on the Olympic team. While they may be grateful just to be in Atlanta, they are unlikely to treat the race as a 26.2-mile victory lap. Because to do so would be at odds with whatever it was that got them there in the first place. 

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