As Leon Lett, Lindsay Jacobellis and DeSean Jackson can attest, it never pays to celebrate earlier. Norwegian cross-country skier Emil Hegle Svendsen almost found that out the hard way on Tuesday, when he nearly blew a gold medal at the finish line in the 15km mass start because of a premature celebration.
While Svendsen's hands went skyward to celebrate the race he had yet to win, France's Martin Fourcade almost snuck past to steal a gold. It took a photo finish and a matter of inches to declare Svendsen the winner.
If there was sporting justice, Svendsen would have lost. Dude, you just skied nine miles and raced for 40 minutes. Why would you possibly risk your well-deserved gold medal by raising your hands in the air literally two seconds earlier than necessary? Winning that gold means you can raise your hands in celebration for the rest of your life. But, noooooo, he had to do it after 14.999 km instead of at 15 km.
It's not like Svendsen is unaware of how to win. He earned two golds in Vancouver and has 11 world championships in biathlon.