For Allyson Felix, it has been eight years of living with failure, eight years of living with disappointment: "I've had eight years now," she said, "to think about being a silver medalist."
About being a what? Felix can make "silver medal" sound like a swear word, as if she has ever said a swear word. She has won silver in the 200-meter sprints in the past two Olympics. She also has won gold in a relay but doesn't seem to count that.
That's because her job was to make us forget about Marion Jones, rebuild credibility and spotlight in track and field and become the next American superstar athlete. Her job was to save track and field.
But you can't get there with silver medals in individual events.
Not to put too much pressure on her, or anything.
The bar is too high for Felix, the demands too much. They would be too much for anyone, really. But she still thinks she can get there, and the frustration is that she almost does.
The Olympic trials start Friday in Eugene, Ore., and F...