The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are over and the United States and its athletes are clearly on cloud nine, winning the Olympics with 104 medals – 46 Gold, 29 Silver and 29 Bronze. It is always wonderful to enjoy the talent, athleticism and competition of the Olympics; and although the last couple of weeks have been filled with exciting moments, there is much more we can take away from the experience. Specifically, many of the athletes teach us important life lessons that we can use and apply within the context of our own lives.
Three life lessons that stood out this year:
Never Give Up: Allyson Felix, a track and field sprint athlete, proved that persistence and determination pays off. In both the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Felix lost the gold in her specialty – the 200 meter race – by less than a second to Veronica Campbell of Jamaica. Although disappointed, she came to the 2012 Olympic games with unwavering passion. Her passion paid off: she won the Gold in the 200 meters. She also went on to win the Gold in the 4 x 100m relay while also setting a world record, and winning Gold in the 4 x 400m relay as well.
Anything Worth Doing is Worth Enjoying: When Michael Phelps first arrived at the Olympics, he admitted in an interview with Bob Costas, he wasn’t enjoying the games or having much fun. After losing the Gold by 5 hundredths of a second to South African swimmer Chad le Clos, he decided he needed to relax and smile more. After a day of downtime he refocused, brought a winning smile to the races and went on to win two Gold medals in individual competitions. He is now the most decorated Olympian with 22 medals in total. Having a little fun made the difference.
It Isn’t Over Until the Fat Lady Sings: Before athletes go off to compete at the Olympics, there is often great speculation as to how they will place and what medals they will win. This happens especially in gymnastics. Jordyn Wieber was proclaimed the American gymnastic darling, poised to win the Gold of the women’s all-around gymnastic competition. When she placed fourth in qualifying, however, she did not compete in the all-around due to a two-person per country rule (two of her teammates were in the top three). One can never predict the outcome of a competition or take for granted that they will win until they do indeed win.
There are many lessons to be learned from these amazing athletes. What lessons did you learn during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games? What were your favorite moments?