I just loved watching the women's team (despite the results) and all-around gymnastics finals the past few nights. Not only did our girls kick some serious butt, even though they're years older than some of their competition (don't get me started), it was also so nice to see and hear about how they all support each other. After Alicia Sacramone fell in the team finals and looked so unbelievably crushed and haunted, Shawn Johnson reportedly "took her aside and said, "Were you mad at me when I messed up at worlds last year?" Sacramone said no. Johnson said: "OK, well, we're not mad at you. We all still love you."
And then last night, when Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin were both battling for the gold, they continued to cheer each other on with shouts of encouragement, high fives and hugs and when Liukin pulled ahead to win, Johnson said, “I gave my heart and soul to the competition today, but Nastia, she deserves that gold today. I think everything happens for a reason, and I was destined to get the silver. I got what I deserved.” They embraced each other at the end of the night.
We've seen so much of the dark side of competition between friends --better known in that instance as frenemies -- be they celebrities or Olympiads of the Tonya Harding variety that it's heartening to see true friends competing for the U.S. For more on the friends you need and those you don't, check out Friend or Frenemy? the new book by best friends Andrea Lavinthal and Jessica Rozler. While at first glance you might think this book skews young for you, I think we all have friends, no matter what our age, who we cherish and need but we also all have frenemies, who ultimately drag us down and don't have our best interests at heart. I can't think of a better topic to discuss at a book club. Send your friend (or frenemy) an ecard today.