In the world of sports we have seen it countless times over the years. An athlete celebrates too early and costs themselves a score, a touchdown, a winning run or a race. How many times now have we watched a football player celebrate a touchdown before actually getting into the end zone, only to have another player knock the ball out of his hand, nullifying what was a sure touchdown? It happens so many times that it’s funny when the rest of the world watches it happen, but it’s devastating to the athlete that commits the horrible mistake. Sometimes the athlete can get over it and laugh about it, but other times they are never able to live down their mistake. At the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China, Molly Huddle made such a mistake. Huddle had ran a very solid race and was about to finish in third place for the bronze medal. But then she made the mistake of raising her hands in victory before she actually crossed the finish line. The action of raising her hands actually slowed her down a split second, enough for Emily Infeld to cross the finish line before her. Huddle was obviously devastated by her blunder and said, “In that last half step, I just let up too much. Emily was right there the whole time with just more momentum. She got that bronze. It’s going to take a long time to get over. I just didn’t want to mess up on the last lap and I did. I don’t know when that chance will come again.”Huddle had great success in the past so nothing less was expected at the World Championships.
She set the American record in 2014 for the 5,000 meters. This led to high hopes for her race in 2015.
She paced herself well and stayed in a solid position for the entire race.
Huddle thought she finished in third place and couldn’t understand what was going on when she looked at the scoreboard with her teammates Shalane Flanagan and Emily Infeld.
Huddle raised her arms in celebration before she actually crossed the finish line. That split second action allowed Infeld to actually finish ahead of her.
When she realized what had happened she couldn’t believe it.
Half a stride too soon led to a heartbreaking incident she will never forget.
She was mortified that she made such a careless mistake to cost her the Bronze medal.
Huddle was in shock as her teammates tried to help her feel better about the mistake.
Infeld (right) ended up winning the Bronze medal because of Huddle’s careless mistake.
Infeld celebrated her Bronze medal once she realized she had actually won it.
She knows that it was a mistake that gave her the medal, but who cares right?
Huddle will never be able to live down that horrible mistake that cost herself a medal.