Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

You know how athletes' repetitive actions eventually become muscle memory? It's like that for Daniela Anschütz-Thoms and that dejected, hunched-over pose. You see, Daniela has a nasty habit of coming in fourth.

Anschütz-Thoms is one of Germany's best speed skaters. But go look at her results page for a second and see if you don't notice a pattern.


When she missed out on the podium by three hundredths of a second at Sunday's 3000m, it was the 15th time in recent years that she's finished fourth in the big three of her sport - Olympics, World Championships, and European Championships.

After the race in Vancouver she moaned: "Shit! Shit follows me wherever I go! I made no mistakes, I'm endlessly disappointed."

Sarcastically she added: "Winning all my fourth places has always been a close call."

Athletes who win bronze are thrilled to be on the podium. Athletes who finish last say it's an honor just to compete. But constantly coming in fourth has to be some kind of accomplishment. Perhaps in honor of Anschütz-Thoms's lovely quote (surprisingly sexy if you imagine it in German), we should award her the scheiße medal.

German speed skater finishes fourth - for the 15th time! [Bild]

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