This video has been featured widely on the internet. I'm going to repost it here because it struck a chord with me on a very personal level, which I'll explain at the end.
This is a remix; the original video (which you can view here) shows an 8th-grade girl named Alexis participating in her first school track event. The YouTube poster comments "This video is 6yrs old. Alexis did run the hurdles again and didn't fail. She did give me permission to post the video and all of her friends have seen it, while they do find it funny they do support her and her courage."
The remix adds the audio of the Scala and Kolacny Brothers' version of Radiohead's "Creep."
The classically trained Kolacny brothers, Steven (piano) and Stijn (conducting) have turned this Belgian girls’ choir into an international phenomenon, performing imaginatively reworked covers of Radiohead, U2, Rammstein and Nirvana songs...
One can debate whether the lyrics for Radiohead's "Creep" are totally appropriate for the hurdles video, but the rendition by this girls choir is so beautifully executed, and some phrases are so perfect that the remix really "works" for me. The original hurdles video was time-stretched to match the audio, and the resultant slo-motion effect is quite dramatic.
I've reviewed the comments about the video at 3-4 different websites. Not surprisingly perhaps, given the shallowness of many websurfers, the dominant theme is that this is a "fail" video. That the girl is a loser, that she missed a hurdle, that her coaching was dreadful, that this is the funniest LOLs video they've ever seen.
I have a different viewpoint. And for that I need to tell a story. In 1952 I contracted polio; after recovering I was left with some residual atrophy of my right quad, so I could ambulate, but couldn't run very fast. I attended a school where participation in sports was mandatory all three seasons of the school year. In the spring the school also held an all-school track day in which everyone was required to participate in several events. I was entered in the discus and the 220 yard run. For the latter event I can still remember being in the back stretch when the leaders were crossing the finish. By the time I got to the finish line they were setting up for the next heat.
When I crossed that finish line, the school's track coach came over to me. Mr. Bettels was a man who knew what impairment was. He had what I think in retrospect was severe kyphoscoliosis, but he was an inspirational coach and classroom teacher. He came to me and very quietly and privately congratulated me on finishing the race. I hadn't viewed my circling of the track as anything heroic; I was just doing what was expected. He viewed it a bit differently, and it took me some time to fully appreciate the import of his commendation. In the decades since then I've won a variety of non-athletic honors and have a smattering of trophies and plaques, but those words from Coach are one of the treasured memories of my youth.
So... I offer my congratulations to young Alexis. I don't find the video to be funny at all - it's inspirational, and it choked me up to watch it. It's also a good reminder that every day there are children whose bravery and courage goes unrecognized. We all need to take moments now and then to commend the "losers."
Reposted from 2010 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Radiohead's initial release of this, their debut song.
See also this animated version and Chrissie Hynde's cover of the song.