6 Things We Can Learn From Olympians
Source: The Olympic Games are always a spectacle to behold. Every four years we get a new set of summer and winter games where the best athletes in the entire world come together in the spirit of competition to determine who the best in the world are. The Olympics are always a spectacle that brings with it quite a bit of fanfare.
Watching the best athletes our countries have to offer can be very exciting, but aside from the Olympics being great entertainment, it is also something that teaches us many life lessons. The Olympians themselves embody many of the best characteristics of humanity. Looking at some of the greatest moments from Olympics past will allow us to learn many valuable life lessons. We are going to take a look at six things that can be learned from Olympians.
1. No Guts, No Glory
In the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta during 1996, a wrestler by the name of Kurt Angle won the gold medal in heavyweight freestyle wrestling. Angle was an incredibly talented wrestler who possessed all of the great skills to be a success in his sport. Taking that into account, it might not seem surprising that Angle was able to win the gold medal for his country.
What makes his story remarkable is the fact that he had broken his neck, fracturing two of his cervical vertebrae, herniating two discs and pulling four muscles in his neck. His neck was in terrible shape going into the Olympics. He rehabbed it for a few months before the competition, but still required injections into his neck in order to be able to compete. Working through the pain and injury, Angle won his trials and went on to face the Iranian Abbas Jadidi in the finals of the competition.
They wrestled to a one-one draw, with both earning only one point in the entirety of their match against one another. Through a judge's decision Angle was granted the win and thus the Olympic Gold. What we can learn from Angle's inspirational win is that it takes guts to get what you want out of life. It would have been easy for someone to give up in the face of such a struggle, but when you dig deep and pursue your dreams, you can make great things happen.
2. All Men Are Created Equal
Thankfully in our modern day world, many understand that all men truly are created equal. Things were quite different during the 1936 Olympic Games at Berlin. During this period of history the Nazi regime was in power in Germany, and their leaders were looking to use the Olympic Games to showcase the supposed superiority of the Aryan race.
A young African American man by the name of Jesse Owens wanted to tell another story though. Owens dominated the 1936 games and won four Gold Medals. Despite all the preaching of genetic superiority by the Nazi regime, Jesse Owens incredible performance showcased that all men were created equal. It wasn't race that determined a man's ability, it was how hard he was willing to work and push himself.
3. Competition is a Good Thing
The Olympics teaches us the great lesson of how competition is a good thing. In our modern world, many people shy away from competition, because of a fear of failure or of seeing themselves as not good enough. Competition isn't about the winning and the losing. It does feel great to win the Gold medal for your country, and stand at the top of that podium, but it isn't the end all be all.
When you compete you push yourself to your limits and look to showcase your abilities as best as you can. Participating in competition in any facet of life pushes you to get better and better. When you shy away from competition you will stagnate and stay inside of your safety zone. Only by pushing yourself will you reach heights that you previously thought unattainable for yourself. Revel in competition and look to become the best you can be.
If there is one thing that Olympians possess it is dedication. In order to get a spot on an Olympic team, and be chosen to represent your country, you must be extremely dedicated to your sport. Even though the Olympics are only held every four years, it takes so much training and engrossing yourself in the world of your particular sport year-round to stay relevant.
Athletes hone their skills during the years leading up to the Olympic Games, competing in both National and International competitions. They train their tails off for the Olympic moment that they dream of having. We should be so dedicated in our personal lives towards the things we are passionate about.
5. Anything is Possible
In life you can come across things that seem insurmountable. Given the proper levels of determination and the willingness to put aside doubt and believe in yourself, you can achieve just about anything in this world. This concept has been showcased in the Olympics several times. One of the most famous instances of anything being possible in the Olympics is the miracle on the ice in the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.
The Russian men's hockey team was completely dominant during that era of sports, and no one really gave the fledgling US team a chance of even picking up a medal at the 1980's games. They believed in themselves though and wanted to give it their all to represent their country. Starting off with a tie game against Sweden, they used their motivated mindsets to rack up several wins.
They played great hockey and just kept winning until they were finally set to meet the might USSR. The USSR were undefeated in their group going into the match and were the odds on favorites to win the Gold. Team USA rallied and managed to defeat them despite all the hype, and even went on to win the Gold after felling the Russians. Miracles do happen, and when you believe in yourself anything is possible.
6. Always Get Back Up
In life you may get knocked down sometimes. Getting knocked down is nothing to be ashamed of. We go through trials in life, and sometimes you are inevitably going to stumble. It is what you do after you fall that is most important and tells the most about your spirit. The famous story of Kerri Strug at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games is a great Olympic example of getting back up and giving it your all.
It was up to Strug to get the Gold Medal for her gymnastics team with her final two vaults. She needed a great score on at least one of her vaults to secure the medal. On her first vault she didn't stick the landing and hurt he foot badly. Despite the pain she rose back to her feet and was determined to keep going and win that medal that she so badly wanted.
On basically one leg she performed her vault and stuck the landing. Afterwards she was clearly in pain, and her trainers attended to her. Despite her pain, she went out there and did what she needed to do. Her score came in and it was good enough for her to capture the Gold Medal for her team. It just goes to show you that when you use your willpower to get back up, you can accomplish great things. Don't let falling be the end of you, no matter what it is you are doing.
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