Finding inspiration in the Olympics

Today launches the start of the XXII Winter Olympic Games and I cannot express to you enough on how excited my house is. My family has always loved the Olympics, both the winter and summer events. It’s a great opportunity to see sports that you don’t see all the time and I love how countries come together to celebrate the tradition and compete to completion. Mostly though I love the inspiration that can be found in every aspect of the games. I’m a dancer (which isn’t an Olympic event) and a writer. I find inspiration and motivation in the acts of the athletes that I use to apply to my own life. But really no matter what you do you can find inspiration in these games.

The Olympics is the symbol of hard work. Whatever sport is up those athletes became Olympians through hard work, dedication and talent. Notice how I put talent last. In so many pre-Olympic articles the topics are not about talent but about mindset and the athletes preparation. That is how most things are. For example, with writing I see that it is more about persistence than anything. Each day I have to stay in my chair and write or I’ll never accomplish my goal of publishing my fiction work. Same thing with dance, I may have talent but if I don’t practice and study new trends then what kind of dance instructor would I be?

Like anything in life how you look at it can help you reach your goals. In one article I read recently it talked about how strict Scott Hamilton was going into his Olympic games. It talked about the intense pressure he felt especially with being the favorite to win gold. He said that he tried to shut out as much as he could about the games and focus on his routine. Figure skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White are seen as favorites for these games. They expressed their plan to have fun and get out and experience the games. Two different approaches but no wrong answer.

I love hearing about different athletes and how they mentally cope with the pressure. Their techniques are ideas that everyday non-Olympians can apply to daily tasks and on up to dreams. And how can you not be inspired by such great triumphs? I still remember screaming in front of my television when the U.S. men took to the pool and won the 4×100 relay. That final touch of the wall was amazing to watch over and over. Remember great Olympic performances such as Michael Johnson, USA “Dream Team” in basketball, Usain Bolt, the 1980 USA hockey team, Mary Lou Retton’s perfect score, Michael Phelps, Kerri Strug and all the other wonderful athletes and moments.

This year as you watch the Olympics (and I hope you will) be sure to pay attention to the stories that take place off the competing areas. Listen to the stories of personal triumph, those who have conquered battles greater than a gold medal and those that can teach us about the power of will. Those are the stories I love best and the stories that will inspire me for many writing days ahead.

Though we won’t be seeing this event at the winter games, take a look and relive one of my favorite Olympic moments.

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