1. They remind us that anything is possible. Whether they are flying into the air after launching off ski jumps several stories high with boards strapped to their feet or swirling on ice like helicopter propellers, these athletes are fearless.
2. They demonstrate that mental training is as important as the physical training. Many of us at home are in a competition of our own: raising children, meeting company deadlines, or maybe trying to loose weight. Whatever the goal, getting in the proper mind zone is key component to success. I’ve often wondered what these athletes do to achieve their fierce focus and calm demeanor. Here’s a great article from The Huffington Post that outlines some of what they do.
3. They demonstrate unwavering grace and humility. Have you noticed that when the athletes win and the media wants to praise them, they are quick to deflect the accolades to someone else, be it their mom, their coach or fellow teammates? When T.J. Oshie, winning goal scorer for Team USA men’s hockey, was called a hero, he humbly said, “It’s the men and women wearing camouflage who are heroes, not me.”
4. They compete fiercely for their countries without weapons. Imagine if our world leaders could do the same. Shaun White, third time Olympic snowboarder, failed to win a metal in his sport this time. He was the first, however, to hug and congratulate Iouri Podladtchikov, a Swiss rider, who won the Gold Medal.
5. They are breaking age barriers. When commentators call 27-year-old Shaun White and 36-year-old Bodie Miller old, I wonder if I should go buy a wheelchair. I’m not even at the 50-year-old midpoint yet. I chuckle at their expressions, for even they seem surprised. Let us all have that can do attitude no matter how old we are!