When it comes to television I don’t watch much, but with the Sochi Olympics going on I have found myself watching as top athletes from around the world compete at the ultimate event in their life!
The television coverage depicts the lives of these athletes as glorious and amazing. And right now, as they are at the pinnacle of their competitive careers, they deserve every ounce of praise they receive. These athletes are amazing, they are at the top of their sport and they truly are the best of the best!
I am often amazed that when talking about the lives of these athletes that NBC doesn’t talk more about the lives of the athletes leading up to the US Trials in their sport. These athletes at the Sochi Olympics have all recently won their spot on the US Olympic Team by competing against, and beating other top athletes in their sport. They had to prove their abilities by being able to beat everyone in a high stakes and intense competition where the winner takes all…and receives the glory of being on the US Olympic Team.
Each of these athletes, and the others that compete in the US Trials for a chance at going to the Sochi Olympics have dedicated their entire lives to the pursuit of perfection and the opportunity to represent the USA at the Olympics and be recognized as the top athletes in their sport at the Games in Russia. They have spent at least the past 4 years and in most cases their entire lives dreaming of and dedicating their lives to the pursuit of Olympic glory and the chance to compete for Gold at the Games.
Athletes that train for the Sochi Olympics, or for any Winter or Summer Games make a conscious decision that they want to become a champion. They make huge sacrifices in their lives, many leave their families and friends and move to the location in the country where top athletes train so that they can have exposure to those athletes, their training programs and the top coaching available. They walk away from schools and friends that they have had since birth so that they can focus 100% of their energy, time, thoughts and emotions on achieving their goal of becoming the best of the best. Change everything about their lives for the chance to represent the USA at the Sochi Olympics.
These athletes literally give up everything that they know, walk out of their comfort zone so that one day they can have just the opportunity to compete against the top athletes in their sport for a chance to go to the Sochi Olympics and compete for Gold and to be known as the best of the best. While each of the athletes at the Games deserve every ounce of respect and attention they receive, it is important to realize the dramatic changes they had to endure in their lives and to appreciate that they gave up 4 or more years of their lives…gave up the opportunity to live the life of a typical teenager and party, hang out and simply just be kids so that they could train, practice, travel and compete against the top athletes in the world all to prepare for the chance to compete in the Sochi Olympics.
These athletes spend their days waking up early so they can go to the gym to workout with the focus and dedication of an elite athlete. Then do a little schoolwork or chores before getting to their practice venue to spend 6 hours training, doing drills, practicing maneuvers, watching video and being taught specifically what they need to improve on so they can beat the worlds top athletes at the Sochi Olympic Games and become the best of the best…to realize their lifelong goal! After practice, these athletes go to meet with their sports psychologists or do a little more schoolwork before heading back to the gym for some much needed therapy and another structured workout designed to increase their strength, endurance and overall effectiveness in their sport.
The athletes at the Sochi Olympics and those that they trained with and competed against for the past 4 years are the most dedicated, driven, focused, task-oriented, persistent and self-motivated individuals in the world. Giving up everything in their lives for a chance to realize their dreams, letting nothing get in the way of their success and continually overcoming the largest obstacles in front of them to become what they know they already are…true champions. These athletes are shooting for Gold at the Sochi Olympics, but they and those they have been training with for the past 4 years already have proven that they are the best of the best and they prove to every one of us that we can each accomplish anything that we put our minds to and are willing to stop at nothing to achieve!
I am completely inspired by watching these athletes at the Sochi Olympics as they compete against the top athletes in the world with the only goal of standing on the podium with the Medal around their neck. The ones that win know that they deserve every ounce of attention and respect they receive. But watching each athlete compete, as they perform at their best..and when they finish knowing that they failed to reach their ultimate goal; serve as inspiration to me as their passion, their love of sport and respect for their competitors when they hug and high-five each other and congratulate one another on a tremendous fight and the victory that was won. Each Olympic Athlete is a hero, not because the competed in the Sochi Olympics but because they dedicated their lives to achieving their dream and they never gave up no matter how difficult the path to their dreams was, they simply never gave up and continued to push towards their dreams!