Stories Behind The Olympic Games
Nov 18, 2012Posted by james

So much has occurred during the last handful of months that the 2012 Summer Olympics already is a distant memory.

The other day, while reading an article about a former Olympian, I decided to take a few moments to think about the countless hours that many of us spent in front of the television just a few months ago. I quickly realized that I actually remembered little about the results. Fresh in my mind, though, was what we learned about our young athletes. Back then, and again now, I was energized by the hard work, the passion and the sacrifices that pushed these young men and women to this highest level of international sports competition.

During the London games, we were bombarded with all the media hype and coverage, Facebook postings, YouTube videos, blogs and countless tweets. Rarely surfacing through all this noise were the insightful comments made by our athletes. Here are just a few of the many that most of us missed. Their words showcase their drive, their commitment to succeed and their gratitude to the people who helped along the way.

  • Kerri Walsh (beach volleyball): “In fifth grade, volleyball was the new sport at my junior high school, and all my best friends were playing. From the first second, I loved it. And I’m thankful I’ve had amazing coaches and parents who were super enthused, right from the start.”
  • Casey Tibbs (paralympic track and field and first amputee to serve as an air crewman in the U.S. Navy): “I lost my leg in 2001. About a year later, in a doctor’s waiting room, I ran across an article about the paralympic games. By the time I finished reading it, I knew this was something I wanted to do. I went to the gym that night and started working out.”
  • Rebecca Soni (swimming and three-time medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games): “I actually started in gymnastics but switched to swimming when I was 10, because that’s what my older sister was doing. I had a choice. Either wait for my sister’s swimming class to end, or start swimming myself. I chose to swim.”
  • Michael Landers (table tennis and youngest U.S. Men’s Singles Champion): “When I was nine, I broke my arm, which ruled out most other sports. But I’d been playing table with my dad since I was two. We found a table tennis club in Queens (New York City), and I started really focusing when I was 12. The great thing is, it’s still fun to me.”

As you can see from these comments, never underestimate the spark that ignites that passion in sports, or even in business. You will be influenced by parents, other relatives and friends, mentors and those you meet briefly along the way. Each encounter will lead you along your path to success, while competition and hard work will help you rack-up positive results. In some instances, you might just get to grab that gold.


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