BEIJING — With zero medals to its name heading into Thursday’s competition at the 2008 Olympic Games, Denmark is hoping its bronze-medal showing in the equestrian team dressage event wasn’t some sort of sympathy thing where other nations “let them win” something.
“The older kids in my neighborhood would pull shit like that on me when we’d play [soccer],” said Denmark resident Jenna Loov as she watched the Danish team stand on the lowest of the medal stand’s three tiers. “They’d all just stand there and encourage me to kick the ball into the goal, all the while not playing any defense.
“I want to believe our team dressage bronze was earned,” Loov continued. “These are the Olympic Games, not some kid’s birthday party where you let the birthday girl win the game of musical chairs. I know all about that, and the scars that go with an empty accomplishment.”
The team from the United States, which as of this posting led all nations in overall medals with 43, finished fourth in the team dressage event. When asked about the possibility that the Americans figured one fewer tally in the bronze column was no big deal, the team members responded in unison, “USA! USA! USA!”
“We try to dominate on the world stage, whether it’s men’s basketball, that Phelps guy, or team dressage,” said American equestrian fan Jayson Tedford, who has been to six consecutive Olympiads to cheer on the American horsemen and -women. “Still, it was kinda neat to see Denmark’s flag finally get raised. Although someone should have ironed it — you could totally see the creases from how long it had been folded up.”