Jenny Simpson: It’s good to be Queen
2011 World 1500m champion edges fellow American Shannon Rowbury in Zurich, wins Diamond League title.
By Jon Gugala, Deadspin.com
On Thursday, Jenny Simpson won the 1500 meters in Zurich, and with it, the Diamond League overall title in the metric Mile event plus $50,000. The two-time Olympian became the best Miler in the world in 2014, and in a sport that often mires itself chasing times or medals, Simpson's accomplishment had nothing to do with either and was more rewarding than both.
The Diamond League, now in its fifth season, is a series of 14 international track meets that practically requires an Olympic or World Championship medal just to get in. Over the course of the season, from May to September, each discipline is contested seven times, and a cumulative score based on place decides the overall winner. In sum, the Diamond League requires a perfection of skill and a peak of fitness for a grueling four months. It stands in marked difference to how the sport of track & field usually operates.
Track is a sport crippled by two evils: the stopwatch and the Olympics. The stopwatch tries to find validation in the thousandth of a second, and the Olympics wants to have one big hoopla every four years. Both are complete crap.
The stopwatch's flaw is it places value on a race based on every race that preceded it. World records are lauded and anything short is a failure. It's like that guy at the party that won't shut up about every other party he's ever been to. Records have their place—Usain Bolt's 100m and 200m races were thrilling, and baseball was reignited by the Bonds/Sosa/McGwire home run era. But just because no one's threatening the home run record this year doesn't mean that announcers spend their time debating why not. The same can't be said for track.
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