British man sending 4th-place medals
It's hard enough to make the Olympics, let alone win an event. But sometimes, the sting of losing can be offset by the satisfaction of at least taking home some kind of hardware in the form of a silver or even bronze medal.
Finishing in fourth place, however? That's where it gets a little tough to swallow.
Luckily, David Mitchell is going the extra mile to make sure those oh-so-close losers get some kind of recognition. The Derbyshire, England resident is mailing athletes fourth-place medals to honor their accomplishments and ensure that they go home with a little hardware along with some heartache.
"There used to be 84 countries in the Olympic Games, now there are 204," Mitchell told the BBC in an interview. "Performance levels have become so much higher that it is so hard now to get a medal. I thought, it's time this increase in the competitiveness and the standards was taken account of."
So Mitchell, a bookshop owner, went to a local trophy store and began buying medals to send to the unlucky athletes who would otherwise have nothing to show for their efforts. One side of the medals have the athlete's name and event, while the other side displays "In Recognition of your 4th Place Olympic Games 2012."
The first recipients of Mitchell's homemade hardware are scheduled to be British diver Tom Daley and his synchronized diving partner Peter Waterfield. The two messed up a key dive and were knocked off the podium, and although they might be a little upset at their fourth-place status, Mitchell hopes he can cheer them up.
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"I hope they don't find it insulting," Mitchell said, "because it's meant seriously and supportively."
It's not much, but if we've learned anything from playing sports ourselves, it never hurts to get a medal at the end of the day.