SFP: My greatest medal - When losing and not winning are not the same
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
Sometimes, not finishing first and losing are two very different things.
For instance, Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce lost her Olympic 100m title on Saturday night; she lost the chance to win three straight Olympic 100m titles; but what she gained, as far as she is concerned, was far more valuable.
Fraser-Pryce, 10.87, followed two others to the line in Saturday's women's 100m final inside the Olympic Stadium - her training partner Elaine Thompson, who clocked 10.71 seconds, the fastest time in an Olympic women's 100m final if you consider that Florence Griffith-Joyner's 10.54 in 1988 was wind-assisted; and American Tori Bowie, who was second in 10.83.
So why does the 29-year-old consider this her greatest championships ever?
"I didn't think I would have been here at this championship. It was a tough journey and continues to be a tough journey," Fraser-Pryce said after the final, which took place inside the Olympic Stadium.
"When I came out, I said it was His will and tonight was all about God's will. It didn't matter to me, to be honest, I just wanted the opportunity to defend my title and it was really hard.
"By far, I would say that this is my best championships ever because I knew how hard I worked, I knew the pain, sacrifice and tears. But despite everything, I stuck with it and toughed it out and kept my head in the game, even when the odds were against me," Fraser-Pryce observed.
The 29-year-old had endured her most challenging season yet, with a major toe injury threatening her entire season.
Her bronze medal was a painful sacrifice that could only be attempted by someone who knows the value of victory - even those that come in defeat.
"I'm really happy I persevered. One of the things I was happy about is that Elaine (Thompson) was able to get across the line and get her gold medal. I am really happy for her, I have seen her work hard and it was her time," Fraser-Pryce noted.
"In 2008, it was my time. In 2016, it is her time and I'm happy Jamaica gets to keep the gold."
Continuing, she said: "When I started my season in 2015 (background work), and looking forward, I never imagined something like this would happen. I was just excited to defend my title, and then the unexpected happened. Looking back, I have accomplished so much, but to be able to stand on the podium with Elaine is a wonderful feeling," Fraser-Pryce added, before speaking to the grimace on her face that followed her victory in the semi-final, just over an hour before the final.
"I have accomplished so much, I am blessed and I think this is my greatest medal ever."
Fraser-Pryce, who is set to feature in the 4x100m here, says she will bring her season to an end after the Olympics and will most likely undergo surgery to correct the issue with her toe.