By: Sandy Swanson
It goes without saying, but the Olympics inspire me. The athletes, many in sports that will never yield great fame or fortune, dedicate their lives for the chance to compete at this level. It’s the one time when all eyes are on a 16-year old gymnast or 19-year-old swimmer, surpassing the attention of a Hollywood star or popular recording artist.
Another great joy about the Olympics is the ability to unify the country. Who wasn’t proud to watch the U.S. athletes walk together during the opening ceremonies? It seems like in the past few years we have become more fragmented as a nation. The Presidential race is one defining example, splitting us on social issues, economic recovery, and so on. However, the Olympics allow us to root for the home team – together.
For two weeks, we believe anything is possible, having witnessed incredible performances and come-from-behind wins. We have also watched some athletes’ dreams crumble because it just wasn’t their day to compete.
I can certainly relate to those highs and lows from running a business. One minute I am giddy with excitement over winning a new client, and the next I am wringing my hands over a new challenge. If there is one thing the Olympic Games have reminded me of, it is that it’s never as bad or as good as things may seem. The old cliché is so true – what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
Take Jordyn Weiber — the golden girl. She was the reigning world women’s gymnastics champion and a sure winner for the all-around gold. But two of her fellow teammates outscored her in the qualifying round and she didn’t make the finals. It was heartbreaking for all of us to see her pain, and her mother stated that consoling her afterward was one of the hardest things she ever had to do. But Jordyn Weiber didn’t let this major setback get her down. She composed herself and led her team to win the team gold two days later.
I think another great lesson about the Olympics is remembering that life is a journey. As spectators, we sometimes just see the glory, forgetting the resolve it takes to pull oneself out of bed to train even when you don’t want to. I was reminded of that this morning when the alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. so I could take my spouse and business partner to the airport for a business trip. So, I guess sometimes my journey gets fueled with a boost of caffeine!
©OrangeBoy, Inc. 2012