Editorial: Penticton’s Naude is still a winner

Win or lose, Andi Naude is a true Olympian

Penticton’s Andi Naude showed the world what an Olympian should be last weekend.

Not by winning a medal, though she was oh so close. No, it was her attitude to not winning that hardware that makes her stand out.

Skiing in the women’s moguls finals Sunday, Naude — ranked No. 2 in the world going into the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics — must have been struggling with a level of disappointment few of us could understand when, after doing a full backflip with a twist off the difficult first jump, she lost control of her speed and had to ski off course causing her to be disqualified.

Related: Naude misses out on Olympic medal

It was heartbreaking to watch, but even as tears welled up in her eyes Naude held her head high. And when she spoke, it wasn’t with regret about throwing a risky harder trick, but about the positives of giving it her all, and already starting to focus on the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“I can’t go back, I just have to keep my head up and look to the future,” said Naude.

That, friends, is spirit. If only we could all bear disappointment with that level of dignity and balance.

Related: Penticton Olympian Naude responds to compassionate Canadians

While it’s certainly a characteristic shared by other athletes and Olympians, it’s rare that we get a good look at it so clearly expressed. The focus is most often on the winners and the fog of other news stories that surround the Olympics: doping, judging scandals and the unbelievable money poured into these two weeks.

Related: Lots of Olympic love for Penticton’s Naude

All that makes the outpouring of support we saw for Naude on social media all the more wonderful as people responded to her spirit with words of encouragement, love and thanks.

Naude’s accomplishments as an athlete are many. But she can add to that being a role model, not just for other athletes but for anyone, looking to her courage in the face of disappointment.

Just Posted

Penticton’s overdose death rate most likely tops Kelowna’s

Preliminary data released to the Western News show up to 20 died last year of overdose in Penticton

Feature Friday: Life in the sex trade

A view into the life from one Kelowna prostitute and the issues it can cause for women

Gold for Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa

Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

North Korea experts to speak at UBC Okanagan symposium

UBC Okanagan is hosting a day-long symposium that will bring together experts on North Korea

Kelowna tour stop for Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams to perform June 10 at Prospera Place

Your Feb. 23 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

Kripps prepares for four-man bobsleigh

Justin Kripps and his teammates are preparing for the four-man bobsleigh competition… Continue reading

BCHL Today: Merritt Centennials keep moving while Salmon Arm Silverbacks slide

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Former Canuck Roberto Luongo addresses Florida shooting victims

Parkland, Fla., resident, delivers speech before Florida Panthers’ first home game since tragedy

B.C. man killed while being Good Samaritan on Coquihalla: ‘He couldn’t help but help people’

GoFundMe page has raised more than $15K in honour of 35-year-old Nicholas Funke

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Kelowna skier Kesley Serwa adds to Canada’s gold medals

Despite losses in men’s hockey and curling, Canadian women won medals in ski cross and figure skating

Suspected serial killer targeting Toronto gay community now faces six murder charges

Bruce McArthur now charged with murders of six men: Toronto police

Trump suggests more guns in schools to combat shootings

Trump floats two-step plan for gun control: More guns, more control

Most Read