The athletic feats in Rio 2016 Olympics is great for television viewing, and serve as concrete examples of hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship in competitive sports. It's also a wonderful teaching moment to talk about failure, and why it isn't a bad thing. And there is no better starting point than these Filipino divers who did NOT qualify for the Rio Olympics, but they are certainly winners in our book.
John Elmerson Fabriga, 21, and John David Pahoyo, 17, both scored a total of zero points at the Southeast Asian Games last year on their fourth dives at the men’s 3-m springboard event. Fabriga was up on the board first. He stepped up, bounced twice, and leapt into the air. Instead of landing gracefully in the water, he splashed awkwardly into the pool, feet first and on his back. Pahoyo didn’t fare any better as he, too, landed feet first.
Watch their dives below:
Everyone found it funny when their dives made the social media rounds, and soon enough, everyone started calling them embarrassments and failures.
Yet, as Upworthyreports, the pair did not sulk or wallow in their mishaps. In fact, they congratulated each other with high fives and found the situation funny, too. In the video, Pahoyo told Fabriga how his nervousness threw off his game. It was a failure, yes. But, there will be other opportunities to do better.
“I failed one dive and the rest of my dives were sh*ttier than what I did during the training. But at least it was a nice experience. Great crowd, great people. I can actually tell myself that I overcame the extraordinary,” Pahoyo posted on Facebook shortly after the event.
“This was not the first time I failed a dive, and I was not the first one who did so,” he said in another post. “I am still proud because not all of us has the privilege to represent our country in a big sporting event like this.”
Their video, posted on Youtube, now has over 23 million views counting, with many of the comments expressing bewilderment about how they got into the competition in the first place. Yet we are glad to note there were a fair few who gave them the benefit of the doubt.
One wrote that it could be that perhaps the athletes used a different diving board from the one in the games. “It almost looked like they were expecting more height than they got,” he wrote
Another pointed to the jitters. “I think they messed up. They're probably better than that, but had nerves and screwed up or something.”
True enough, with scores of over 100 each before the dive, Fabriga and Pahoyo aren't as mediocre as the video makes them out to be. They are actually experienced divers as this video of them competing in synchronized diving for the same event shows:
No matter what other people say, they’re the perfect role models to show our kids that when you try your best, there’s no shame in failing. And when we can laugh and learn from our mistakes, it makes it easier to pick ourselves up and try again.