I admit it…my 2014 Winter Olympics withdrawal is in full swing. Seventeen glorious days of winter sports events, full of pageantry, anticipation, victory and defeat. With every viewing came a lesson. Here are a few:
Silver is just as exciting as gold. US skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace leapt into her husband’s arms with a radiant smile, shouting, “We did it! We did it!” She enthusiastically and proudly accepted a silver medal. She raced for her family, and this was her final Olympic competition. Often times athletes are disappointed to receive a silver or bronze. In this case, Pikus-Pace demonstrated a positive spirit and true grace as a medal winner.
Even a ponytail can Tweet. US figure skater Jason Brown, who dons a neatly coiffed ponytail, created a Twitter account…for his ponytail, some call a bronytail, reporting news and events from Sochi. A brilliant marketing move. If you are afraid to use social media, this proves that if a ponytail can do it, so can you!
Every hero has a hero. Canadian mogul skier Alex Bilodeau won the gold for Canada and for his older brother, Frederic, who has Cerebral Palsy. “He is my hero,” Alex says of his big brother. As Alex crossed the finish line, it was hard to tell who was more excited about the victory – Alex or Frederic. Alex won back-to-back gold in this Olympic freestyle sport.
Patience is the greatest virtue. Paired for 17 years, US ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White gracefully and elegantly grabbed the gold, reminding us that all important goals in life are worth the wait. And speaking of waiting, let’s include two extremely patient and proud mothers.
When you fall, get up and keep going. When US figure skater Jeremy Abbott fell and crashed into the wall of the ice rink, the audience gasped, expecting him to limp off the ice. Instead, he slowly stood up, regained his composure and finished skating an otherwise flawless program. That’s class and determination.
Community trumps adversity. With the negative hype leading up to and surrounding the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the athletes in Olympic Village proved that despite differences, people of various cultures and backgrounds can get along. And they did. Isn’t that what the phrase “Olympic spirit” means?
As you watch the upcoming Olympics – the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil or the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang, South Korea – watch not just for the victories and defeats; look for the important lessons that spur you on as you compete in this wonderful game called life.
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