On February 20, American skier Maddie Bowman began her pursuit for a second Olympic gold medal in the women’s freestyle ski competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Bowman had previously claimed the top spot at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
America collectively let out a shriek at the moment Maddie Bowman fell on her final trick of her final run and chance for gold. You’ve got to admire her gusto and willingness to go for it all. https://t.co/ooGiomQINZ #Olympics pic.twitter.com/3xkr9xWOOJ
— Sara Bueno (@TVwebproducer) February 20, 2018
Unfortunately, Bowman was unable to execute a repeat like she had hoped. In all three of her final runs, the 24-year-old skier fell during her performance.
Following her third run, Bowman lied on the ground with her face in her hands for a few minutes before standing up with tears in her eyes.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) February 20, 2018
As this was happening, NBC zoomed in on the face of the heartbroken Olympian. Fans watching were not too happy with NBC’s lack of compassion for Bowman. Some wrote on Twitter:
I’m not sure we had to zoom in on Maddie Bowman crying NBC. Come on.
— Nick Fink (@finkn23) February 20, 2018
I don’t watch the Olympics for you to zoom in on a sobbing 24 year old returning Olympic gold medalist after crashing on her 3rd or 3 runs, putting her in last place. Leave Maddie Bowman alone.
Happy tears only, please.
— Katlyn (@libraringkat) February 20, 2018
NBC get that camera out of Maddie Bowman’s face you monsters! ? #Olympics
— Battykins (@BattyKinsstfu) February 20, 2018
Not sure how I feel about NBC zooming in on Maddie Bowman after her fall on the final run. Seemed really unnecessary. #PyeongChang2018
— Charlotte Clymer?️? (@cmclymer) February 20, 2018
Take the camera off Maddie Bowman. Shame on you, NBC. She’s human and shouldn’t have to display her sadness on national television. #PyeongChang2018
— Mary Grace Donaldson (@TheRealGracieD) February 20, 2018
NBC constantly needs these shots of the US Olympians at all time, but they really need to leave Maddie Bowman alone. My goodness. #WinterOlympics
— CRT (@StoryofEverest) February 20, 2018
Instead of focusing on Bowman’s tears, people suggested that the focus should be on the grit and determination she showcased during all three runs. Bowman never threw anything easier than a 900 on her last trick, sending the message that even if the going gets tough to never give up:
Again, I love the #Olympics…. Maddie Bowman, US Freesyle Ski, goes huge on all three runs, and wipes out on the last 900 three times. Last time she’s sobbing into the half pipe. These athletes leave it all out there and then some.
So much heart. So much heartbreak.
— Alex Zuber (@jmuzuber) February 20, 2018
I’m just saying Maddie Bowman made it to the Olympics & not many people can say that they’ve been there. So even tho she didn’t place well, she still made it.
— kb. ? (@kb_smalls) February 20, 2018
My heart goes out to Maddie Bowman. So hard to see that kind of disappointment after all that training. #WinterOlympics2018
— Bob Redell (@BobNBC) February 20, 2018
Maddie Bowman, you made us proud. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t get gold. You went for it! We love you!!! ?????
— Barbie Ward ? ? (@bakerbarb13) February 20, 2018
Bowman has since taken to Instagram to congratulate her teammates Brita Sigourney for winning the bronze medal and Annalisa Drew for “being a total bada**.”
It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, it only matters how many times you get back up. Bowman is a testament to that.