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Winning Isn't Everything

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“They look like umbrellas.” The words were said softly into her ear, but softly for Doug still meant that anyone standing near by could hear.

“Shut up.” she hissed.

“Or maybe bugs, get a look at those hats.”

She elbowed him as the audience in the rink applauded politely for the IOC official who would be presenting the medals.

Over the loudspeaker the gold medal winners were announced and she watched with a stab of longing as Smilkov and Brushkin skated their victory lap before stopping at the red carpet and ascending the podium.

“Here we go,” Doug step on to the ice behind her and placed his hand at her waist.

The lilting voice of the French announcer rang out again, followed quickly by the voice of the English announcer, “Médaille d'argent,” “Silver medal,”

They pushed off as the French announcer said, “Moseley et Dorsey”, but the rest of the introduction was drowned out as the crowd surged to its feet and roared.

Her head spun and Doug had to keep a firm grasp on her back as she stepped up onto the podium.

“I think they like you,” the IOC officer, an elderly Indian man, said with a twinkle in his eye, “But then, your performance was my favorite as well.”

Her hand went to the medal around her neck and she could see her reflection in the highly polished metal.

The third place pair was announced and then someone was giving her flowers, but the next think she really was aware of was Doug's voice, “Man, that must really suck.”

“What?”

“It's one thing to not hear your anthem because you came in second, but to win it and then...”

She glanced over at the Russians, who were staring ahead stoically while the Olympic hymn played.

“At least it is our flag up there,” she finished his thought.

“Yup, and we are the sweethearts of the games,” he continued, “Maybe we should kiss again. You know, give the people what they want.”

“You really are a Neanderthal.”