What? That’s a big statement, especially during election year!
But it’s true. All Americans root for the USA Olympic teams. (I certainly hope so, I have not Googled “anti-Olympics” and don’t intend to.)
This was an Olympics where the United States achieved the third most medals ever won: 121; and 46 of those Gold. How proud this makes us!
This was 17 days where many of us found ourselves glued to the television, internet or social media cheering on our national teams. I have to say my favorites were “The Final Five,” the US women’s gymnastics team! Special mention to our track and swimming teams!
Through the wonders of technology, I even “virtually watched” some events along with a Bahamian friend of mine as we chatted via Messenger. I laughed at his exuberance as his country’s athletes triumphed! Another friend of mine laughed and told me today that he feels like he hasn’t gotten anything done these past two weeks. Good thing the Olympics happens in 4-year intervals!
Congratulations to my Team USA! Congratulations to all Olympians who competed – whether you went home with a medal or not, you are winners by virtue of being there. And a special shout-out to my Jamaican and Bahamian friends, for the individual and collective achievements of your teams! 🙂
There are three main lessons I believe we can learn from the Olympics: to strive for personal best, to learn to work together as a team and to practice the spirit of the Olympic games.
Watching the Olympics highlights tonight, it was just mind-boggling to see the personal, Olympic and world records that were broken! Phelps, Ledecky and Bolt especially come to mind. Ledecky is at the early stages of her Olympic career, while Phelps and Bolt are ending their careers in blazes of glory.
But it’s not all about winning. Not everyone will go home with a medal. Some came so close but missed by a fraction of a second or were disqualified. It is important to learn how to lose graciously, without enmity and resolve to keep trying and doing one’s best. Focusing on personal best is something we all need to do, whether we are an Olympic athlete or not.
Teamwork is also key in life. The Olympics should teach us something profound right there. Working together for a common goal.
I think of the track and field relay race and how important split-second timing is to this event. There is a science and strategy to how they place the runners, on which leg they place them. They are placed where their strengths can be used to the best. The runners need to be attuned to each other to complete the handoff without error. What better metaphor can we use to compare to how life should be lived?
Which leads me to my third point: practicing the spirit of the Olympics, by going not just for the gold, but for The Golden Rule. “Do to others as you would have done to you.” While in other parts of the planet people are killing each other, in Rio, countries put aside their political ideologies to compete in the purity of sports. They treat each other by The Golden Rule, living and working with one another in harmony. One golden moment reported during TV coverage was when two women athletes, one from North Korea and one from South Korea took a “selfie” together. How poignant! This is what Olympic spirit is all about.
There is so much that we can learn from the Olympics. Why can’t this be practiced 365 days a year? Every year, not just in 4-year intervals. There’s no reason why we can’t. It’s the personal decision of each human being on this planet.
Go for The Golden Rule. Incorporate these three goals into your life: reaching for personal best, practicing teamwork and living The Golden Rule. If we all do this, we all will win far much more than a medal.