Time Essay: The Games: Winning Without Medals

As if the answer were easy, Themistocles, when asked whether he would prefer to have been Achilles or Homer, replied: "Which would you rather be, a conqueror in the Olympic Games or the crier that proclaims who are the conquerors?" A navy man, Themistocles saw no honor in being out of things. He would not have understood the U.S. role of spectator to this year's Olympic Games, or how a country whose national pride has so often been hoisted in those Games could settle for the bleachers.

Right now, the U.S. feels none of that...

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