It’s Sunday night as I am typing this up. And I am currently soaking in the last moments of the Sochi Olympics. I’m a self-proclaimed Olympics nerd (junkie?) and have even gone as far as stating that I plan on taking off the 2-ish weeks for the Rio Olympics and the only reason I didn’t take off for Sochi is because February is the absolutely busiest time of the year for my office. But that’s not the point in this post.
Every two years when I get the joy of watching the Olympics (and I will watch any sport – I absolutely love the Olympics), I can’t help but think of the athletes that come to the Olympics after spending their lives preparing for this moment, go in the first run and don’t qualify for the finals or anything. The athletes that happen to have a bad day on the day of their competition. The athletes that do their absolute best but their best still doesn’t hold a candle to the best in the world. And they leave the Olympics with no medals. Or the athletes that finish in 4th or the ones that finish .1 behind the leader. Everyone seems to fixate around the athletes that won gold and they throw silver and bronze in their as well for good measure. But what always amazes me about these athletes is the respect that they have for each other and the absolute exquisite beauty they display in defeat. Sure, for some of them it is heart wrenching and an utter disappointment. But they always seem to be able to turn it around and respect their fellow athletes (provided that there isn’t a judging controversy…ahem).
At the end of the day, we all know that it feels amazing to be the best. To have the validation that you are the best. But more often than not (at least for me) we aren’t the best and it is important to see the beauty in defeat. To see what you can work on to improve. To respect those that have worked exceptionally hard to make their goals and to be successful.
I’m sad to see the Olympics be gone. But now the countdown is on for Rio 2016…893 days. So in the mean time, I’ll keep working on learning more about the Olympics, and maybe someday I will get to use my Olympic knowledge for something exciting. But if not, helping friends win arguments or just being known as the Olympics geek among my friends is good enough (Ahem, MegRenSco, I’m looking at you).