No Malice of Fourth Thought

Our super-fit Olympic winners
Inspired we lump-like sofa-sinners,
With Jess and Mo and Chris and Laura,
And Vicki – how we all adore her.
The country celebrated headily,
Crunching crisps and supping steadily.
We’d many medals from the North,
But who remembers who came fourth?

Fourth is the cruelest cut of all.
They trained and strained and hit the wall.
It seems somehow to be so wrong
They came away without a gong.
It’s patently just so absurd….
No medal if you come sub-third?

So “nearly there”, so “not quite made it”,
So “just fell short”, so, “no parade” it…
Seems so harsh, so mean, so tough,
So “sorry, not quite good enough”.

So “no cigar” so “no champagne”,
So “go to Rio, try again”.
So “very near and yet so far”,
So “sorry, don’t know who you are”.

We need to put it in perspective.
These athletes, far from ineffective,
When their banners were unfurled
Became the fourth best in the World.

Fourth in the World! I’m telling you,
That’s more than most of us could do.
These are no slouches, no slow-pacers,
Let’s hear it for the world’s Fourth Placers.

So come on then, Olympic fans,
Let’s raise the roof for also-rans.
The world needs more heroic triers,
The gritty type that still aspires
To greatness though they’ve had a knock.
Focused, steady as a rock.
Though they didn’t come first or third or second,
They’re clearly a Fourth with which to be reckoned.