Happy Olympic Day!
Ever since I was a little kid, I have had a deep passion for the Olympics.
I wish I could post a photo of me running in the Olympics like many of my social media friends are doing today, but I was not blessed with such Olympic talent. Instead, here’s a photo of me in the 1996 Olympic stadium in Atlanta. I was 23 years old. Every morning, I hung out in “scalper’s row” outside the CNN building and bought tickets from scalpers to see everything I could—gymnastics, fencing, baseball, volleyball, and, of course, track and field. I saw Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia outsprint Paul Tergat from Kenya in the 10,000 meters to win by inches. I saw Amy Van Dyken win one of her 4 gold medals in swimming. I saw Poland win the team gold medal over Italy in fencing. (I found myself chanting, “Polska! Polska!” along with everyone else in the arena.) And I saw my childhood idol, Carl Lewis, win his fourth Olympic gold medal in a row in the long jump.
It’s easy for Olympians to say things like, “If you work hard enough and believe, anything is possible,” but that is not really the truth. Talent can take one very far, in sport and in other areas of life. Truth is, most of us cannot be the best in the world at something. Very few people make it to the Olympics, no matter how hard they try.
What is really important (listen closely, because this is what you came to my post for) is that, just like an Olympian, we can all strive to be better than we were yesterday. And we can all put our hearts into something to see what we can become, despite the fear of failure. People take risks because the chance of failing makes success taste even sweeter.