SOMETIMES the wisest of words can come from the youngest of mouths.
Amy Cure may be a two-time Olympian and six-time world champion, but it is also worth remembering that she is still only 23.
She spoke with the wisdom of a veteran moments after the Australian women's team pursuit Olympic campaign finished in a disappointing fifth place.
"We didn't come here for fifth place but I think sometimes it's not about the gold medal, it's about the journey it took to get here as a group of girls," Cure said.
“When bad things have happened we've pulled each other together and tried to get as many positives out of it as we can. That's sport, you get ups and downs, it's how we deal with the negatives that makes us stronger. "
Cure was talking about how her squad dealt with the setback of a 60kmh training crash that left Mel Hoskins in hospital and three others injured just two days out from an Olympic Games competition.
Sadly, her comments could just as easily refer to Tasmania's overall involvement in Rio de Janeiro.
From the Barra velodrome to the road race's Circuito Vista Chinesa, the Deodoro Hockey Centre, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas and Stadio Engenhao, it was a Games of misfortune, frustration and disappointment for the Tasmanian contingent.
Road cycling made its Olympic debut in Athens in 1896 but few riders in the 120 years since can have had as much bad luck as Richie Porte.
Despite two slipped chains and a puncture, the Australian team leader was still among the front-runners when he rounded a bend on a fast descent to find a fellow competitor sprawled in his way. Unable to avoid him, Porte crashed into a tree, fractured his shoulder blade and in a split second his race, Olympics and season were over.
In the space of a few weeks, matters beyond his control denied the 31-year-old both Tour de France podium and Olympic medal contention.
Just a couple of days later and it was déjà vu for Tasmanian cycling as another high-speed crash effectively derailed the campaign of fellow medal prospects Cure and Georgia Baker.
The state teammates, along with Hoskins and Ashee Ankudinoff, all hit the deck hard. As Tasmania's national track cycling coach Matthew Gilmore said it, with majestic mastery of understatement: "When I saw Mel go over the top, I knew things were not the way they should be."
Cure and Baker went on to compete in bandages, Hoskins bravely emerged from hospital to play her part while the full extent of Ankudinoff's injuries was only just emerging.
The team valiantly qualified in the top four but ultimately finished fifth and as Gilmore noted: "At the Olympics you have to be 100 per cent and have all team members firing and that just took the wind out of the girls." The pairs of Tasmanians contesting the state's traditionally strong sports of rowing and hockey were to suffer similarly early ends to their campaigns.
At the much-maligned windswept and polluted rowing course, Kerry Hore and Meaghan Volker's respective crews had to finish in the top six of seven entries to make their finals. Both finished seventh.
For Volker, whose women's eight had just nine days to prepare following the expulsion of a tainted Russian crew, it was little surprise but the 25-year-old followed Cure's lead by finding positives.
For Hore, whose quad scull crew had narrowly missed winning their heat and securing automatic qualification to the final, it was clearly devastating not to make a fourth straight Olympic final.
Perhaps most unthinkable was the fate of the Kookaburras. Ranked No.1 in the world and already holding the World Cup, World League and Champions Trophy titles, the team featuring Eddie Ockenden and Tim Deavin was hotly-tipped to repeat its solitary Olympic victory of 2004.
Aside from a big win against the competition's easy-beats Brazil, the team had nervy 2-1 wins over New Zealand and Great Britain and lost 1-0 to both Spain and Belgium before being outclassed 4-0 by the Dutch in the quarter-final.
Just when it looked like the balance of power in world hockey might be switching from Down Under to Europe, Argentina popped up to win the tournament. Ockenden's observation about the depth in world hockey not only proved true but could also have been said about the state of men's javelin.
The Olympic qualifying benchmark of 83 metres was also set as the mark required to reach the final. Seven throwers duly obliged, from five different countries. Another 10 threw over 80m.
Despite a personal and season best of 84.39m, Hamish Peacock recorded three throws just under 78m and was another to label his campaign "disappointing".
Like the Tasmanians before him, the 25-year-old also looked on the bright side.
"I'm always pretty positive when things don't go my way, I want to improve and this poor result will definitely get the fire into the belly going into the future."
Scott Bowden reported similar motivation after his first taste of Olympic competition, first in supporting Porte in the road race and then on the final day of competition in his more familiar discipline of mountain biking, in which the wide-eyed 21-year-old was 36th of the 44 finishers.
Although Rio represented Tasmania's first medal-less Olympics in 40 years, the returning athletes could do worse than remind themselves of the impressive achievement of making it to the Games in the first place.
All will be able to call themselves Olympians for the rest of their lives. That's certainly something worth celebrating.
And as Cure said, it's how we deal with the negatives that makes us stronger.