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Have you heard about Fu Yuanhui yet? She's basically breaking the internet.

Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images.

On Aug. 8, 2016, Fu represented China in the women's Olympic 100-meter backstroke semifinal. It was a close race, and she finished in just 58.95 seconds. And when she heard that time, she basically exploded into smiles.


"Whoooaah! I was so fast!," said Fu, according to The Guardian. "I didn't hold back... I used all of my mystic energy!"

That time earned her third place — a bronze medal — although she didn't realize this until a reporter told her.

"What?!" said Fu. "I came in third? I didn't know!"

Fu's glee at getting third place spread like wildfire, quickly becoming an the subject of hundreds of memes. People loved her and her reaction. (Not to mention how she continued to be awesome in the following days, like when she challenged taboos.)

But contained in all that joy might be an interesting lesson about how we think about our achievements.

Consider this interesting tidbit: A study from 1995 asked people to rate how happy Olympic athletes appeared at the end of their events and during awards ceremonies.

A medal ceremony in the Rio Olympics. Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images.

Though you'd think happiness would rise with placement, the results of the study told another story. Although bronze comes below silver in the "rankings," people who got bronze medals at the Olympics were ranked as happier overall compared with silver medalists.

It turns out that the bronze medalists, like Fu, were happy to just get a medal.

The silver medalists, however, couldn't help but compare themselves to the gold medalists. That's what the researchers thought, anyway. Other researchers have suggested it was because the silver medalists had much stricter expectations.

Later analyses in the 2004 Athens Olympics seemed to reaffirm the happy-bronze/sad-silver dichotomy.

Basically, Fu teaches us that how we frame our achievements can change how we feel about them.

Photo by Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images.

Fu and other bronze medalists like runners Jenny Simpson and Andre De Grasse show us something important. How we think about a win might be more important than winning itself.

Though she mentioned the competition, she didn't dwell on it. Instead, she seemed to be focused on her own journey:

"I want to go back in time, to when I almost gave up, to tell myself that all of the hardship is worth it," she said."Even though I didn't win first place today, I've already surpassed myself, and I am happy with that."

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


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Making a priceless memory

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