Like most of you, the Games of the XXX Olympiad have been part of daily conversations at the office this past week or so. Everything from the South American runner, who is a double amputee, running for the first time in the Olympics (having medaled in the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing) to #NBCFail trending thanks to the tape delay and ongoing spoiler alerts that keep those of us in the states from catching any of the events in real time.
We’ve debated the merits of McDonalds sponsoring the games and tried to figure out exactly what the Opening Ceremonies were all about. We love hearing Morgan Freeman’s voice in the Visa commercials and chuckle at Apollo Ohno in the Subway commercials (client). And what exactly is the purpose of the “duct tape” that the athletes are wearing?
But the one topic that gets me all riled up is the one having to do with pride and acting humble when winning and even more so when you didn’t. These athletes represent the best of the best from their respective countries. They train for years and years, sacrificing so much to be on the international stage and showing the entire world what they are capable of. And yes, I know, the ultimate goal is to win a gold medal. And maybe I’ve watched too many awards shows, but shouldn’t there be pride in simply getting there in the first place? That even if you win a silver or bronze medal you are now the second or third best athlete IN THE WORLD.
There are some countries whose athletes will never stand on the winners’ podium, will never hear their country’s national anthem play as the medal is placed around their neck. Are they any less a winner?
Yes, be disappointed that you didn’t take home the gold. But please, recognize and celebrate all that it took to get you to London, to represent your country. Be proud, be humble and by all means, please appreciate and cherish the moment. For some they may never have the chance again.