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Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

Something I don't understand

Why is it that the Olympians seem most interested in gaining more attention for their sport? Almost to a person, all of the U.S. medalists have said that at least one aspect of their fulfillment as a champion is that they can help bring more attention to their sport. You know, maybe get some of the kids interested in it (not that they aren't past being kids themselves). It's an interesting phenomenon. What does an athlete get out of it? Is it a form of validation? If the sport in which you excel becomes more popular, do you become more popular? Do your achievements become more valid by proxy?

I'm not against it, and I can empathize with the feeling. I played soccer in college and every time I see a Sportscenter highlight of a soccer game that is little more than laughed off by the anchors, I immediately become defensive. Why is that, though. I want it to be more than a subconscious form of self-affirmation.
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