My dad answered simply, “Because It is the Olympics.”
In my mind, it seemed kind of silly. All that for something you hang around your neck?
The last week was a long one. Filled with negativity about my job, having not been working this week at my personal best and hearing the horrific news of yet another tragedy in Florida, I felt like I needed some good news when I turned on the television.
I found it. From Shaun White’s face when he realized, that yes, he was baaaack, to the beautiful grace of Chloe Kim, I finally saw why people like to watch snowboarding. I even thought I might give it a try myself, until I heard about what Shaun White was coming back from. An injury that resulted in 62 stiches on his face. Maybe I will give it a shot with VR glasses someday!
Tonight was men’s figure skating and my new favorite Olympian, Adam Rippon, took the ice. Here is a guy who knew going into the contest that he did not have the technical ability to be on the medal podium. The quadruple jumps that are required to win are not in his repertoire. At age 28, it was his first Olympics. Most people don’t do figure skating at the Olympics at the ripe old age of 28, but there he was, knowing he wasn’t going to be first. Or second. Or third. But he was going to live the moment that he had trained for his entire life.
And live it, he did! His programs were filled with energy and joy. No pressure to be number one, none of the angst and stress that the top contenders felt, he went for and lived in the present, comfortable in what he had and who he was. We can all make note and work toward doing that a little more.
If Adam wasn’t enough to lift my spirits, there was Brian Orser, now a skating coach who trained Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, and Javier Fernandez, of Spain, who took the Gold and Bronze medals tonight.
Brian was a men’s Canadian Olympic skater who always seemed to just miss being in the top spot. He settled for silver behind American Scott Hamilton in 1984. Then there was the heartache of missing out on gold by one-tenth of a point to Brian Boitano in the epic Battle of the Brians at the 1988 Calgary Games. Yet instead of being bitter or saying, “My best is behind me,” he continues to make the sport he loves great instead of doing some cheesy reality show.
Live in the present, leave the bitterness behind and know there is always more to accomplish in the future. Some great lessons that helped me make my week a little better.
I think I am finally starting to get this Olympic thing.